STeP in the IAI


Step into our community and shape science for society! 



Anne-Teresa Birthwright

Biography: Anne-Teresa holds a PhD in Geography from the University of the West Indies, Mona. She has an interest in action-oriented research where solutions are developed to reduce vulnerability, shape policy, and encourage sustainable livelihoods. She has worked with various local and regional multidisciplinary projects centered on reducing risk to climate change and improving the livelihoods of rural communities. Her work has led her to be a recipient of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in International Achievement. She is also the Research Lead for the Jamaican Women in Coffee (JAWiC), the national chapter of IWCA which focuses on women’s empowerment within the island’s coffee industry. Currently, she works as a Research Consultant in the areas of rural livelihood, and climate change adaptation where she has collaborated to produce several national documents including Jamaica’s first Climate Change Research Agenda, as well as Jamaica’s inaugural Adaptation Communication. Anne-Teresa will support the IAI in the establishment of the IAI Science Diplomacy Center.




Fany Ramos

Biography: Fany Ramos Quispe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering by the Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Change and International Development by the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She has worked with a variety of private, public, nationally, and international organizations, on projects about renewable energies, waste and water management, environmental education, climate change, inter and transdisciplinary research, among others. Since her early age, she has combined academic training with other side activities and activism for environmental and educational issues. She is the founder and former chair (2019-2020) of the Environmental Engineers Society of La Paz, and collaborates with different organizations. Fany is interested in building stronger bridges between the different disciplines of science and reduce fragmentation. She is passionate about helping to rebuild a better relationship between humankind and earth. She is self-motivated and collaborative. Fany is hosted by the Belmont Forum.



Laila Sandroni

Biography: Laila Sandroni is an Anthropologist and Geographer with experience in transdisciplinary research in social sciences. She holds a MsC and PhD in social environmental sciences and has engaged in many activities related to the science-policy interface and indigenous communities in Brazil. Her research interests lie in the field of transformations to sustainability and the role of different kinds of knowledge in defining the best paths to achieve biodiversity conservation and forest management. She has particular expertise in epistemology, power-knowledge relations, and evidence-based policy in environmental issues. Laila will help with the development and management of transdisciplinary science programs.





María Inés Carabajal

Biography: María Inés Carabajal is a researcher at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a lecturer in various universities in Argentina. She works as a consultant for local and international projects focusing on climate change and sustainability issues. Her research is related to the human dimensions of climate, climate change, and the Anthropocene. Her work has focused on the production, circulation, and use of climate-related information, and how it is applied to decision-making processes. She has studied how communities, agricultural producers, and stakeholders perceive and experience the effects of climate change and variability, and how they develop resilience and adapt to these changes through the co-production of knowledge. Dr. Carabajal received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has received numerous honors and fellowships, including a Conicet postdoctoral fellowship (2017), IAI-CRN3035 (2013), CLIVAR-WMO (2016), and a UNESCO scholarship Award (2015). She has published articles and contributed chapters to national and international scientific journals and publications.




Matías Mastrángelo

Biography: Matías Mastrangelo is an Environmental Scientist from Argentina. He holds a PhD in Conservation Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is now a researcher at CONICET, Argentina, and a professor at the University of Mar del Plata. His research focus is on the human and social dimensions of environmental change, with emphasis on how stakeholders make decisions that make an impact on the environment. His main study area is the South American Gran Chaco, where he has been practicing inter- and transdisciplinary research to reconcile agricultural production and biocultural conservation. He has been the lead author of the regional and global assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services undertaken by IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). His interactions with local stakeholders, regional governments and inter-governmental platforms have spurred his interest in the science-policy interface, where he is actively learning and participating. Matías will conduct of the regional assessment of policy decisions impacted by global environmental change.




Maria Schmukler

Biography: Maria has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from the Faculty of Architecture, Urbanism, and Design of the National University of Cordoba, Argentina. Subsequently, she completed a Master's degree in Science, Technology, and Society Studies, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Quilmes in Argentina. She has participated as a university professor and researcher in various interdisciplinary projects, linking her technical skills with the social perspective. Maria has investigated design and innovation practices and knowledge production in topics such as rural electrification, technologies for social inclusion, and technology for recycling and renewable energies. Maria is an IAI STeP Fellow supporting the program "The Role of ecosystem services in Adaptation to global change for human well-being".




Mauricio Romero

Biography: Mauricio holds a PhD in Biosciences. He has developed research and management interests in topics such as Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Disaster Science for Terrestrial and Marine Systems as well as the nexus between science and social problems. Therefore, Mauricio has worked on projects in the public, academic, and non-governmental sectors with transdisciplinary visions, field and laboratory work, and the development of geographic tools. Mauricio is an IAI STeP Fellow supporting the Coordination of Funding for Transdisciplinary (TD) Research on Global Environmental Change (GEC) in the Americas.




Hilario Espinosa

Biography: Hilario holds a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology from the University of Panama, a Master's degree of Science in Crop Protection from the University of Göttingen in Germany, and a Master’s degree in Project Management from the Euncet Business School in Barcelona. He has been working for more than a decade in basic and applied research in plant-fungus interactions, as well as developing science education and capacity building. He has worked with the government of the Republic of Panama to create opportunities for Panamanian students at all academic levels. Hilario is an IAI STeP Fellow hosted by the Belmont Forum in Community Development Support and Transdisciplinary Research in Global Environmental Change (GEC).