Steering Committee Leadership

Dr. Komali Yenneti is the inaugural New Generation Network Scholar-Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, and an Honorary Fellow at the Australia-India Institute. She is the founding chair of the International Geographical Union’s Young and Early-Career Geographers Task Force (IGU-YECG). Dr. Yenneti has extensive research and policy experience in climate change, urban development and energy policy in the Asia Pacific. She has published widely in influential journals including, Energy Policy, Journal of Rural Studies, Geoforum and Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and has made several policy contributions including the ‘Cooling Cities’ document featured on the UNISDR and the UNEP’s ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’. Dr. Yenneti is a frequent invited speaker, including those events by the Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) and Al-Gore’s Climate Change Leadership Programme. She was described as one of the World’s Top 25 Young Scientists in Energy by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (2012) and one of the ‘100 Great Minds’ by the Falling Walls Foundation (2013). She has served in research, advocacy and advisory capacities for several international organisations including Institute for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Das Deutsche Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, LandCom University Roundtable, Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), and the Commonwealth Youth Climate Network (CYCN).

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Dr. Gaurav Sikka, Secretary and Treasurer of the Taskforce, holds PhD in human geography from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and is currently an Assistant Professor in Geography at L.N. Mithila University, Bihar (India). His research interests revolve around social geography, geography of gender, rural issues, policy research and development induced displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation. Dr. Sikka has been published in a variety of journals, including: the Journal of Land and Rural Studies, Geo Journal, Social Action, and Man & Development, and has presented in prominent international conferences of International Geographical Union, Development Studies Association etc. He is also on the committee of Royal Geographical Society Gender & Feminist Geographies Research Group. He has been a recipient of Junior Research Fellowship by University Grants Commission to pursue PhD research.

Dr. Yining Tan is a human geographer at the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning of Arizona State University. She specializes in skilled migrations between China and the United States and her current work focuses on two areas: Chinese intellectual migrants in the U.S. and returning to China; and U.S. skilled migrants in China. Combining ethnography with GIScience, she studies the multi-scalar mobilities of skilled migrants in relation to the intersection of race, gender, class and citizenship. Yining enjoys working collaboratively and has involved in multiple projects with scholars based in Canada, China and India the U.S. She has presented at several internationally renowned conferences such as International Metropolis Conference, Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference, etc. She is an active participant in student service and has served as the international student representative of School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (2016-2017) and student committee member of the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group of American Association of Geographers (2018-2020), and the International Geographical Union’s YECG Taskforce Steering Committee member.

Dr. Teresa Graziano earned a PhD in Geography at the University of Catania (2009) and in Territory and Landscape Sciences (2017) at the School of Contemporary Languages and Cultures of the University of Sassari (Italy). After a master’s degree in European Languages and Cultures and a research stay at the University Paris VII-Denis Diderot in Paris (2003), she was an intern at the North-Atlantic Council in Brussels (2005). As a research scholar in Economic and Political Geography of the University of Catania, she was a visiting fellow at the Department of Geography of the Royal Holloway, University of London (2010) as well as the Fondation Maison Sciences de l’Homme of Paris (2011-2012), where she worked for the Tic&Migrations Research Group. In 2014 she earned the Italian National Scientific Qualification (ASN) as Associate Professor in Geography and in 2016 won the Italian Geographic Society Young Geographer Award. She is currently a Lecturer of Economic and Political Geography at the University of Catania (Italy). In addition to gentrification and contemporary tourist/consumption practices, her main research interests include the geopolitical consequences caused by current migratory flows in the Mediterranean basin, apart from the role played by ICTs in re-shaping spaces, places an territorial narratives.

Dr. Cadey Korson is a lecturer in human geography in the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University (Aotearoa New Zealand). In 2015 she received a Ph.D. in Geography from Kent State University, USA, in the field of political development and Indigenous studies. Her work focuses on critical geopolitics and Indigenous peoples in small island states; urban governance; geography education and pop culture; identity and commemoration; and citizen journalism and peacekeeping. From 2015-2017 she undertook a postdoctoral research position with the Relational and Territorial Politics of Bordering, Identities, and Transnationalization (RELATE) Centre of Excellence at the University of Oulu, Finland. During that time, she studied indigenous agency relative to urban placemaking, sustainable affordable housing, informal settlements, and Indigenous co-governance in the Pacific.

Milton Milaras worked for ~10 years as an environmental manager in the mining and construction sectors; both within industry and as a consultant. In June 2015 he graduated with a MSc Geography from The University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has designed and presented tertiary curricula, in both contact and distance learning contexts, from first year through to Masters levels (including courses in Physical Geography, Environmental Management, and Human Geography). His academic publications focus on sustainable mine closure, as well as geographic pedagogical research; while he supervises students across varied environmental topics. As a young and emerging academic, he is passionate about education for emancipation in developing world contexts. As a result, in 2017 he registered for his PhD with The University of South Africa, which focuses on conceptualising an Africanised Soil Science curriculum.

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Dr. Pablo Cabrera-Barona holds a PhD from the Department of Geoinformatics – University of Salzburg. His research interests are focused on health and socioeconomic geographies, spatial planning and urban ecology. Pablo has published his research in high impact journals and has presented his work in a variety of conferences in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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Jackeline Romio studies Power (social), inequalities, Violence Against Women, mortality and health and cities. She graduated in humanities at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (2007). During her graduation she did intensive studies on sociology of poverty, victimology and black women studies at Howard University, USA (2006). She completed her Masters in demography at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, on the topic of violent deaths by gender and race in cities (2009). She received a PhD from the State University of Campinas and successfully defended her thesis, “Feminicide in Brazil, a proposal with data from health sector,” in 2017. During her PhD she also studied issues of gender and development at the University Paris 7. Her academic publications focus on social inequalities, gender and development, feminist studies, mortality by violence,an intersectional approach in gender, race, and social class, population and health, human rights. As a young and emerging academic, she is passionate about the struggle to end violence in developing world contexts.

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Dhritiraj Sengupta, is a doctoral candidate at the School of Geographical Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China. He acquired his Master’s degree in GIS and Geography from Mysore University, India. Before joining academia, Dhriti started his career as a tour guide with Royal Mysore Walks, Mysore, India. In 2014, he led a group of 7 students to organize a national level conference on enhancing geography education in India with The Institute of Geographical Studies, Bangalore. Since January 2018, he manages the online presence and social media platforms for IGU-YECG. Currently, Dhriti works on the environmental impact of coastal land reclamation in China, with an added focus on its interaction with social ecological systems. In addition, he is also interested in open source mapping and disaster aid using geospatial technology.