The LIFEstockProtect team

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project management team

  • Project Manager: Max AE Rossberg
  • Deputy Project Manager: Laura Rossberg
  • Technical Manager: Benjamin Kostner
  • Communication Manager: Lisa Marie Mahlknecht
  • Administrative Manager:


Laura Rossberg

Bio Austria Lower Austria and Vienna

As a small farmer and owner of certified organic chickens with a great interest in organic products, I am now involved in livestock protection at LIFEstockProtect. Despite the return of predators, BIO Austria’s aim is to continue to fulfill its grazing obligations and to be able to farm successfully and sustainably.”

Max A E Rossberg

European Wilderness Society

“I have long been fascinated by the topic of livestock protection. Through countless on-site visits to Livestock farmers in various European countries, I have gained a comprehensive insight into the different solutions. Properly implemented livestock protection is a practical solution to a multi-layered conflict, and I personally seek dialog with the various interest groups and the media landscape above all.”

Lisa Marie Mahlknecht

European Wilderness Society

“I actually studied languages and communication, but I’m very interested in the environment, nature and animals. As I grew up in South Tyrol, I was surrounded by the topic of wolves and livestock protection from an early age. I realized how important the topic is for our landscape and the associated connections – with biodiversity, climate change, tourism, etc. – in the course of my work. – became clear to me in the course of my work.”

Albin Blaschka

Austria Center Bear, wolf, lynx

“Studying ecology at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg combined with work in applied agricultural research led me to work on pasture and alpine farming and the associated challenges for the future. Since September 2019, I have been coordinating activities relating to livestock protection, among other things, together with the board and the members of the Austrian Center Bear, Wolf, Lynx.”

Felix Knauer

VetMedUni Vienna

“Professionally, I am a wildlife ecologist, work at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna as a senior researcher and deal mainly with large carnivores: wolves, bears and lynxes. As a result, I automatically have to deal with livestock protection, especially of sheep and goats on alpine pastures. I spend most of my free time outdoors, hiking in the mountains or in the Waldviertel.”

Lucas end

Austrian Nature Conservation Association

“At the Austrian Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union, I deal with lynx, wolves, otters and the like, i.e. animal species whose return sometimes provokes very contradictory feelings in society. Since studying International Nature Conservation at the University of Göttingen, I have been dealing with these discourses and challenges in Central Europe. I live with my family in a co-housing project with agriculture and Livestock such as Galloway cattle and forest sheep, which I help look after.”

Franziska Werba

Environmental umbrella organization

Eve closet

Bio Austria Federal Association

“Growing up in a rural environment, surrounded by lush orchards, I experienced early on what a thriving coexistence of people and nature can be. That’s why my heart beats for organic farming. As a law graduate and a graduate of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, I have interdisciplinary access to the intersections between agriculture and nature conservation.”

Leopold Slotta Bachmayr

Conservation dogs

“After studying biology with a focus on ecology at the University of Salzburg, I worked as a wildlife biologist and zoo educator, as well as the manager of the Wels zoo and animal shelter. Since 2015 I have been working as a freelance biologist, dog trainer and lecturer in a wide variety of fields. Even as a child I was fascinated by dogs and I really enjoy working with them. And we must never forget one thing – without the dogs, our partners, we could never carry out this work so successfully.”


Gwendolyn Manek

Bioland Consulting GmbH

“As Managing Director of Bioland Beratung GmbH, projects in animal husbandry and grazing are very important to me. Livestock protection is playing an increasingly important role here. I have already accompanied this development in my previous job as a consultant for sheep and goat husbandry. But I also deal with it on my farm in Lower Saxony, because I fatten kid kids and geese in the pasture. It’s not just about birds of prey and foxes, I also keep a constant eye on developments in the local wolf pack.”

Martin Hermle

Bioland Consulting GmbH

“As the son of a veterinarian, I grew up in cattle pens. My passion for grazing was awakened on hikes in the Alps and in the Black Forest. After my apprenticeship as a farmer and a year of internship in New Zealand on dairy farms, I studied organic farming. During this time, I spent four summers on various alps in Switzerland, where I worked as a Shepherd and dairyman. I have been working as a consultant for organic farming in the Allgäu for 24 years now and run a small organic farm with cattle farming myself.”

Stefanie Morbach

BUND Nature Conservation Bavaria

“I am an agricultural biologist, but after my studies I was drawn more towards nature conservation than agriculture. I had good teachers in the Bavarian Forest National Park, above all nature itself. Later, my focus areas were domestic predators. With the wolf issue in particular, the focus of my work shifted to the necessities and difficulties of livestock protection. With a small flock of sheep, I still realize my original agricultural intention and continue to attend courses. Even if only on a small scale, we try to recycle all the products they supply to us.”

Katharina Mikschl

BUND Nature Conservation Bavaria

“Professionally, I’m out and about where wild animals and people meet – and that’s why things get heated at times. Since my master’s degree in sustainable resource management with a focus on forest ecosystem management and wildlife management, I have been dealing with wild boar, lynx, geese, wolves, otters, bears, deer – and above all with people at the Technical University of Munich and the Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture. I also take care of a small flock of sheep and a handful of chickens.”

Christoph Schinagl

Bioland Bavaria

“After studying agricultural sciences with a focus on animal and ecosystem sciences, I have been working for Bioland for over 6 years advising our members in Bavaria. My focus is in the areas of cattle farming, grassland and pasture management. Specifically, it is usually about the question of how ecological, natural and species-appropriate animal husbandry can be implemented on the farm. Grazing is a central pillar of organic farming and I also do it on my own organic farm.”


Julia Stauder

Eurac Research

“The fascination for nature and animals runs like a red thread through my life. Biology, conservation and wildlife ecology were the main focuses during my studies and now I am dealing with human-animal conflicts. I prefer to spend my free time outdoors, in the mountains and with our sheep.”

Benjamin Kostner

Eurac Research

“As a wildlife ecologist, I find the interactions between different species and their environment fascinating. It is particularly important to me to show, contrary to the image so often painted, that humans can very well contribute to the preservation and promotion of biodiversity through extensive land use. I have found my great passion in ornithology, where many of these win-win situations between humans – environment – interaction become clear. “

Johanna Maria Platzgummer

Bolzano Nature Museum

“I am a trained historian, have been working in museums since 1998 and since 2007 I have been working in the field of mediation in the Natural History Museum of South Tyrol. Like many other wild animals, brown bears and wolves are themes in the Natural History Museum. That’s why I became aware of the keeping of grazing animals and the alpine vegetation. My approach is therefore factual information: to accompany a broad audience on a complex question and to solve the social conflict. We practically test suggestions, present results and convey what can be implemented to protect grazing animals.”

Mauro Belardi


“I originally come from ornithology, but for the last 20 years I’ve been working mainly in the field of large carnivores, with a particular focus on the Alpine region and damage prevention. I have been involved in several national and international projects on the topic and run the Pasturs project, where volunteers help Shepherds with livestock protection. I firmly believe in the multidisciplinarity between and thus also in the collaboration between biological and social sciences.”

Maria Benciolini


“I am an environmental anthropologist, my areas of expertise are the human-nature relationship, social and cultural aspects related to the protection of biodiversity and perceptions of climate change. I have experience in research and project management and have done some field research with Shepherds in the Alps. For three years, I also worked as a volunteer in the Pasturs project, helping the Shepherds to implement herd protection measures.”

Chiara Crotti


“I’m a naturalist. I work with shepherds on projects involving the interaction between wildlife and Livestock, especially bears, wolves and sheep. I am also a dog trainer specializing in working dogs. I have a Master’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Pavia, I have worked as a researcher at the University and at the Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche and I am currently working on various projects with Eliante.”

Chiara Spallino


“I am a communicator with a focus on sustainability, the environment and scientific topics. My specialization is creative writing and planning of non-profit communication campaigns.”

Anna Crimella


“With a focus on the management of sustainability projects aimed at politics and communities, my expertise lies primarily in decision-making processes. In particular: Co-planning, management of environmental conflicts, community participation and awareness-raising for sustainable lifestyles.”

Christian Drescher


“I am a Demeter farmer with suckler cow husbandry and a qualified biologist (focus on ecology). That’s why I can understand the concerns of animal owners and also empathize with nature and nature conservation.”