January 20, 2020

Steering Committee

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Steering Committee 2020 - 2024

Dr. Komali Yenneti is a Lecturer and Program Leader in ‘Geography, Urban Environments and Climate Change’ at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, and an Honorary Fellow at the Australia-India Institute. She is the founding chair of the IGU-YECG. Komali has extensive research and policy experience in climate change, urban development and energy policy. She has published widely in influential journals and has made several policy contributions including the ‘Cooling Cities’ document featured on the UNISDR and the UNEP’s ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’. She was described as one of the World’s Top 25 Young Scientists in Energy (Green Talents) 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 worked 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).




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.sas

Ms. Gabriela Adina Moroșanu accomplished her BSc and MSc studies at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Geography, where she graduated General Geography and Hydrology – Meteorology. Following her Master’s field, she then pursued a joint international PhD thesis in Hydrology at her Alma Mater University and at the University of Grenoble Alpes (Institute of Environmental Geosciences). She obtained her PhD title in 2020, on an interdisciplinary research focused on the fine sediment sources in a coal mining watershed in SW Romania, using hydrological and geochemical methods. Ms. Moroșanu’s main scientific interests involve watershed hydrology, fine sediment sources, mining basins, water and river management law (for this latter preoccupation owing a degree in General Law as well). Between 2013 and 2018, she worked as an editor of an online environmental magazine together with students and professors from the University of Bucharest, where she contributed with over 90 popularizing articles on different geographic topics. Besides her research oriented on issues related to hydro-sedimentary fluxes and river management, Ms. Gabriela Adina Morosanu Gabriela is also involved in working with students, by coordinating them in projects related to the Geography Olympiad, and by developing mixed teaching techniques, both conservative and innovative. Currently, she works as a junior researcher at the Institute of Geography of the Romanian Academy and as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Geography. She is also an active member of various geographical associations, such as the Romanian Geographical Society, Romanian Young Geomorphologists Group, Water Sustainability Commission of IGU, Romanian Limnological Association, or EGEA (European Association of Student Geographers, where she founded the EGEA Hydrology group).


M. José Becerra-Ruiz is a graduate in Geography from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). He worked with indigenous peoples in the Amazon of Venezuela and Brazil on topics such as environmental management, life plans, territorial development, and mining extractivism. In addition, he is an advisor to social and humanitarian organizations of  Amazon territory. Currently, he belongs to Post-graduate Program in Environmental Sciences at the Federal University of Pará, UFPA-Brazil, where he works with the perception of climate change in coastal regions. He has been the organizer of the Latin American Geographers Meetings (EGAL), additionally, he is part of the CLACSO workgroup about Latin American Critical Thinking Geographic and participates in different academic collaborations in the Latin American continent. Also, he is a member of the Latin American Studies Commission-IGU and representative of Venezuela National Committee – IGU.


Ms Sinenhlanhla Memela is a lecturer in the Geography Department at Rhodes University, South Africa. She has recently submitted her PhD thesis for examination. Ms Memela is well a published author and her research interests include gender, human mobility, land use and urban issues. Through her hard work, she was honoured as a wonder woman in science and has received an invitation to be an independent reviewer for a reputable journal (Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies). She is a young emerging researcher, who is actively attending national and international conferences.

Fernando BARRAGÁN-OCHOA: PhD in Geography (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris). Master in Human and Social Sciences, with emphasis on research in Geography of developing countries (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris). Master in Regional Development and Territorial Planning (PUCE, Quito). Geographer with mention in Territorial Planning and Sustainable Development. Has worked in administration of geographic databases and cartography, in territorial planning (SENPLADES and different sub nationals Ecuadorians governments), consultant in international institutions (FAO, GIZ, AVSI), environmental modeling (EcoScience), change climate, teacher-researcher (PUCE, UTE, IAEN). He currently works as a research professor at the School of Strategic Prospective (EPE) of the Institute of Higher National Studies. Research themes: geography, dynamics spatial, climate change, risk, field-city relations, spatial planning and territorial ordering, territorial modeling and data visualization.


Dr. Rui Zhu is a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include spatial statistics, geospatial semantics, and spatially explicit machine learning. His work has been used to address a wide range of geospatial challenges that are related to our environment and society, as well as their broader interactions. Rui has served, and continues to serve, multiple professional committees such as the GISS Speciality group of AAG, GeoAI and Deep Learning Symposium, and GIScience 2021. As a young and early career geographer, Rui is passionate about outreaching to underrepresented groups, such as the youth in developing countries, to help them learn about and engage in the ever-changing world from a geographic perspective.