The LIFEstockProtect Team

This post is also available in: German


Peter Karner (BIO AUSTRIA NÖW)

“Originally I come from Carinthia, where I grew up with bees, goats, pigs, chickens and horses! I still spend a lot of time there! Professionally and privately, I spend a lot of time on agricultural land, especially on mountain pastures. Thereby, organic farming is my main focus. Through my former education I know a lot about soil and the rehabilitation of such and my biggest passion is beekeeping!”

Max Rossberg (European Wilderness Society)

“For a long time I have been fascinated by the topic of livestock protection. Through countless visits to livestock owners on site in various European countries, I have gained a comprehensive insight into the different approaches. Properly implemented livestock protection is a practical solution to a multi-faceted conflict, and I personally seek the dialogue with the various interest groups and the media landscape.”

Hanna Öllös (European Wilderness Society)

“I come from Slovakia and have a background in behavioural ecology, having been involved in several projects on large carnivores and human-wildlife conflicts. I have also supported an Austrian-Slovak transboundary grazing project along the Danube. At LIFEstockProtect, my work is very varied, from project management, to volunteering on alpine pastures, to meeting farmers. Personally, I like everything outdoors and spend most of my free time in the mountains.”

Julia Ramsauer (European Wilderness Society)

“I have always felt very connected to nature and especially to animals. During my education in biology, as well as media studies, I connected my passion for writing and communication with my passion for the outdoors. In order to be able to report on livestock protection, the life of a shepherd etc., I am of course always active on site as a volunteer, which is a welcome balance to the daily office routine”.

Nick Huisman (European Wilderness Society)

“I come from the Netherlands and have a background in ecology, where I focused on large mammals from different parts of the world. Together with my colleagues, I worked extensively on the proposal for this project. Because of LIFEstockProtect, I was able to spend some time with shepherds in central Italy and Austria, where I helped herd sheep over beautiful mountains and through snowstorms.”

Albin Blaschka (Österreichzentrum Bär, Wolf, Luchs)

“My studies of ecology at the Paris-Lodron-University Salzburg combined with work in applied agricultural research led me to the study of pasture and alpine farming and the related challenges for the future. Since September 2019, I have been coordinating activities related to herd protection, among other things, together with the board and the members of the Österreichzentrums Bär, Wolf, Luchs.”

Felix Knauer (VetMedUni Wien)

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

Lucas Ende (Naturschutzbund Österreich)

“At the Naturschutzbund Österreich I deal with lynx, wolf, otter and co., animal species whose return sometimes arouses very conflicting feelings in society. Since my studies in International Nature Conservation at the University of Göttingen, I have been dealing with these discourses and challenges in Central Europe. With my family, I live in a co-housing project with agriculture and farm animals such as Galloway cattle and forest sheep, which I help to care for.”

Christian Raffetseder (Umweltdachverband)

“I work in the field of rural development and nature conservation, two areas that can only give an overall picture of the Austrian cultural landscape when considered together. Grazing livestock husbandry lies at the interface like hardly any other topic. Since my studies of behavioural biology at the University of Vienna I have been moving through the cultural landscape as an observer. My responsibility in shaping our environment is a particularly important topic for me, which I also pass on to other people as a nature educator and national park ranger”.

Eva Schrank (BIO AUSTRIA Bundesverband)

“Growing up in a rural environment, surrounded by lush orchards, I learned early what a prosperous coexistence of people and nature can look like. That is why my heart beats for organic farming. As a lawyer and graduate of the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, I have an interdisciplinary approach to the intersection between agriculture and nature conservation.”

Leopold Slotta Bachmayr (Naturschutzhunde)

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

Tourismusverband Tiroler Oberland

“We support the project with our experience and contacts in the tourism sector and a communication strategy that makes aspects of livestock protection interesting for guests and locals through various media such as printed materials and video tutorials. In addition, we will develop signage designs showing different behavioural measures for a harmonious coexistence of tourism and livestock protection measures.”


Gwendolyn Manek (Bioland Beratung GmbH)

“As Managing Director of Bioland Beratung GmbH, projects in animal husbandry and grazing are very close to my heart. Here, livestock protection plays an increasingly important role. I already accompanied this development in my previous job as a specialist consultant for sheep and goat husbandry. But I also deal with it on my farm in Lower Saxony, because I work with goats and geese on the pasture. Not only do i have to keep in mind birds of prey and foxes, but also the developments in the local wolf pack.”

Martin Hermle (Bioland Beratung GmbH)

“As the son of a veterinarian, I grew up in cattle stables. On hikes in the Alps and the Black Forest, my passion for grazing was awakened. After my apprenticeship as a farmer and an internship year in New Zealand on dairy farms, I studied organic farming. During this time I spent four summers on different Alps in Switzerland and worked there as a shepherd. For 24 years now, I have been working as a consultant for organic farming in the Allgäu and manage a small organic farm with cattle myself.”

Stefanie Morbach (BUND Naturschutz Bayern)

“I am an agrobiologist, but after my studies I was more drawn to nature conservation than agriculture. In the Bavarian Forest National Park I had good teachers, especially nature itself. Later, my main topics were domestic predators. Especially with the topic of wolves, my work shifted to the necessities and difficulties in livestock protection. With a small flock of sheep, I still realize my original agricultural intention and continue to attend courses on it. Even if only on a small scale, we try to use all the products they supply us.”

Beatrice Grimm (OPUS)

“Outside in nature – that’s where I feel most comfortable! Not only in my free time, but also at work, I prefer to go outdoors. I have been working for the OPUS office for almost ten years now, where I mainly focus on species and nature conservation. I also like to spend my free time working where help is needed, be it to build fences for livestock protection or in summer in the mountains.”

Katharina Mikschl (OPUS)

“Professionally, I focus on the space where wildlife and people meet – and that’s why the situation is sometimes heated. 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 boars, lynxes, geese, wolves, otters, bears, deer – and above all with humans – at the Technical University of Munich and the Bavarian State Institute for Agriculture. In my free time, I take care of a small flock of sheep and a handful of chickens.”

Christoph Schinagl (Bioland Bayern)

“After studying agricultural sciences with a focus on animal and ecosystem sciences, I have been working for Bioland for over 6 years in advising our members in Bavaria. My focus is on cattle farming, grassland and pasture farming. Specifically, it is therefore 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 that I also practice on my own Bioland farm.”

South Tyrol

Julia Stauder (Eurac Research)

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

Johanna Maria Platzgummer (Naturmuseum Bozen)

“I am a trained historian, have been working in museums since 1998 and since 2007 I have been working in the field of education at the Naturmuseum Südtirol. Brown bear and wolf, like many other wild animals, are the theme of the Nature Museum. Therefore, I became more aware of the importance of grazing animals and the alpine vegetation. My approach is therefore factual information: to accompany a broad audience to a complex question and to solve the social conflict. We test proposals in practice, present results and convey what can be implemented to protect grazing animals.”

Mauro Belardi (Eliante)

“Originally I come from the field of ornithology, but for 20 years I have mainly been working with large carnivores, with a special focus on the Alpine region and damage prevention. I have been involved in several national and international projects on the subject and lead the Pasturs project, where volunteers help shepherds with livestock protection. I firmly believe in the multidisciplinarity and thus also in the cooperation between biological and social sciences.”

Maria Benciolini (Eliante)

“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 the perception of climate change. I have experience in research and project management and have done some fieldwork with shepherds in the Alps. For three years, I also volunteered in the Pasturs project, helping the shepherds implement livestock protection measures.”

Chiara Crotti (Eliante)

“I am a naturalist. I work with shepherds in projects of interaction between wild and farm animals, especially bears, wolves and sheep. I am also a dog educator 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 in the Parco delle Orobie Bergamasche and currently I am working in various projects with Eliante”

Chiara Spallino (Eliante)

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

Anna Crimella (Eliante)

“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”


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