Gretchen Walters
Assistant professor

University of Lausanne
Institute of geography and sustainability
Mouline - Géopolis 3612
CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone +41 21 692 3072

Gretchen Walters is a researcher and practitioner and has interdisciplinary training in the natural and social sciences. She obtained a PhD in anthropology from the University College London in 2010 on the historical and political ecology of the savanna commons of the Batéké Plateaux in Gabon, Central Africa.

During her career, she coordinated the Missouri Botanical Garden's work in Central Africa (based in Gabon) and worked at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), coordinating programmes related to forests and natural resource governance in Africa (based in Cameroon) and internationally.

Initially focused on biodiversity, her research later centered on social aspects of conservation, natural resource governance, restoration, protected areas and engagement with local communities. In addition, her work focuses on the recognition and defense of land commons in western Europe and Central Africa, their contributions to society and nature, and how their historic governance shapes the nature of today.

She collaborates with conservation organisations, the Université Omar Bongo (Gabon), and the Government of Gabon. At IUCN, she is member of the Species Survival Commission, the World Commission of Protected Areas, and of the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. She is an honorary member of the ICCA Consortium and works with several land commons organisations and initiatives including VALCOM (Valoriser les communs). She coordinates the UNIL partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

She is a member of the International Association for the Studying of the Commons, the International Society for Ethnobiology, The Society for Conservation Biology, and the International Association of Landscape Ecology.