Who

we are

We are an international team of climate, water, forest, agroforestry, ecophysiology, landscape ecology, entrepreneur, and communications professionals brought together by a shared vision.

We include those who devised the biotic pump and others who have recognized its power to improve and transform the trajectory of our planet and its people. We also include those who devised syntropic restoration as well as those who acquired experience and developed innovative knowledge and various methods of ecosystem restoration.

 
Adriana Cuartas

Adriana 

Cuartas

Hydro-meteorology Research, Modeling, Projections

Modeler of waters on the landscape with an eye on the sky  

 

A hydro-meteorology scientist working on the impact of land use and climate change on water resources. Since 2014, Adriana Cuartas has been a scientist working in hydrology at the National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters – CEMADEN.

 

She holds a degree in Civil Engineering and an MSc in water resources from the National University of Colombia, and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE)/University of Campinas.

 

She has participated in projects and consulting activities on hydrology, hydrometeorology, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and the impact of land use and climate change on water resources, with observational studies and hydrological modeling of micro, meso and macro-scale catchments. She has participated in collective interest educational outreach programs through short courses on hydrology, climate change, and modeling, offered in Brazil and abroad for Ph.D. students from other institutions and universities and for environmental agency professionals and other governmental agencies.

 

She is a key co-author of a revolutionary new normalized terrain model (Height Above the Nearest Drainage – HAND), which can be applied in mapping soil water conditions, in accurately predicting the depth of the water table across the landscape and the flood extent potential using only digital topography. She developed and applied new approaches for hydrological modeling in the prediction of hydrological scenarios in basins under the risk of water scarcity.

 

Thinker of life regulation principles and shaper of equations

 

Anastassia graduated from Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (Faculty of Physics and Mechanics, Department of Biophysics), where she was a student of the late Professor Victor Gorshkov. Anastassia earned her Ph.D. in physics of the atmosphere and the ocean from St. Petersburg State University with a study of the global carbon cycle and the role the biosphere plays in its stabilization.

 

Since 1996, Anastassia has been working in the Department of Theoretical Physics at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, where she currently holds the position of Senior Researcher. Anastassia’s research interest is to understand how life maintains itself — to investigate the genetic, ecological, and environmental aspects of life’s persistence on Earth.

 

Together with Victor Gorshkov, Anastassia worked on the concept of the biotic regulation of the environment. The biotic pump of atmospheric moisture is a key aspect of the biotic regulation concept. Water is crucial for life, so how ecosystems water themselves is central to the understanding of life’s stability on land. Anastassia worked on a number of ecological projects, including “Quantitative Validation of the Necessity of Conservation of Russia’s Undisturbed Ecosystems in the Current Situation of Global Change” and “User-friendly environmental knowledge: Information fluxes in the biosphere and civilization.

 

AWARDS 2001-2002 stipend from the Governor of Leningrad District for ecological research; 2004 Young Outstanding Scientists award from the Russian Science Support Foundation; 2008 L’Oreal-UNESCO “Women for Science” prize for Russian scientists.

 

Anastassia is a member of the Earth System Preservation Group

Anastassia Makarieva

Anastassia

Makarieva

Environmental Physics

Biotic Pump

 
Andrei Nefiodov

Andrei 

Nefiodov

Physics theory developer

Atmospheric Circulation, Rainfall, Evaporation, Condensation, Heat Fluxes, Wind Power  

 

Andrei graduated from Leningrad State University (Faculty of Physics, Department of Quantum Mechanics) in 1988. As a Ph.D. student, he collaborated with Professor Victor Gorshkov on the quantum scattering theory. In 1991 Andrei earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics from St. Petersburg State University.

 

Andrei has been working in the Department of Theoretical Physics at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute since 1992, where he currently holds the position of Leading Research Fellow.

 

In 2004 Andrei habilitated in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics. Since 2008 Andrei has been a member of the Ecological Physics Group together with Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva.

 

Andrei’s research interests concern the physical fundamentals of the biotic pump mechanism. He is a key author of several fundamental papers on condensational dynamics of atmospheric circulation including intense vortices.

 

AWARDS 1997-1998 Honorary Research Fellow awarded by The Royal Society at the University College London (UK); 2001-2002 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Dresden University of Technology (Germany).

 

Explorer of forests, aerial flows,

and hidden waters

 

Antonio Nobre holds a Ph.D. degree in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire in the USA, where he was awarded a NASA Global Change Fellowship.

 

He lived and worked in the Amazon for 20 years and held a position as a senior scientist at INPA – a leading organization for tropical rainforest research - for more than three decades. Presently he is active at INPE – the Brazilian Space Research Institute, where he leads research in hydro ecology and lagrangian climatology. He is also a professor in the Earth System Sciences Ph.D. program.

 

With a productive and distinguished academic career, Antonio Nobre is also involved in research of biogeochemistry, physical ecology, physical geography, hydrology, climate change, ecosystem restoration, degraded land recovery, sustainability, Gaia, and Biotic Pump theories amongst other topics.

 

He has successfully transferred scientific knowledge to the general public, helping to spread key concepts, like that of the biotic pump and flying rivers. His report The Future Climate of Amazonia, published during the unprecedented megadrought that hit São Paulo, Brazil, in 2014, compiled the best knowledge in the scientific understanding of the connection between the forest and climate, drawing the connections on how trees can generate and control their own climate, generously affecting areas within and beyond their location, as well as how their destruction can generate an inhospitable climate.

 

Nobre has authored or co-authored more than 70 scientific papers, cited over 7000 times in scientific literature.

Antonio Donato Nobre

Antonio Donato

Nobre

Greening, Research, Integration, Coordination

 
Dayana Andrade

Dayana 

Andrade

Syntropic Agriculture Researcher

Articulator of social sciences and life sciences in agriculture  

 

Dayana Andrade holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism, an MSc in Literature Studies from São Paulo State University (UNESP), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Conservation from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In her thesis, Dayana demonstrates the relationship between social arrangements and agricultural innovation, which raises new perceptions on how to increase adoption rates of regenerative practices in the field.

 

With her transdisciplinary academic background, she moves easily between the major areas of Communications and Life Sciences. Together with Felipe Pasini, Dayana contributes to the Agenda Götsch - a communication initiative that helps diffuse Syntropic Farming and has already helped thousands of farmers around the world to adopt more sustainable practices.

 

Dayana moved to Mértola, Portugal in 2018 to one of the driest and most degraded regions of Europe, with a high risk of desertification. She coordinates a program that teaches public school children to adapt to and regenerate impoverished soils using the concepts and techniques of syntropic farming. The successful initiative has drawn the attention of many institutions and local governments and is spreading to other municipalities. In addition to the environmental impact, it also addresses other social problems such as depopulation and cultural identity.

 

Bridge-builder between syntropic farming and society

 

Early in his career, Ernst Götsch decided to quit as a researcher on plant breeding, after asking himself the following question: "Wouldn't one achieve greater results if one sought methods of cultivation that favor the development of plants, rather than creating genotypes that support the bad conditions we impose them?" Aware that the answers he looked for would not come from the laboratory, he leased land in Switzerland and Germany to begin his experiments.

 

He combined the cultivation of vegetables, roots, and grains, in the search for beneficial mutual cooperation that resulted in higher productivity. He took an important step by including the cultivation of fruit crops and noticed the benefits the trees brought to the whole system. He proposed to increase the diversity of the consortia, including not only short cycle species but also all stages of a forest occupation – from pioneer (placenta) to climax. He came to understand that the dynamics of natural succession should be incorporated into agriculture, favoring, as a forest does, the establishment of ecosystems with increasing levels of organization. The results of his experiments led to work in Namibia and Costa Rica, where he applied his ideas in different climatic and social contexts. Later Ernst moved to a degraded 480-hectare farm in the south of Bahia, Brazil, which he reforested, introducing cocoa as a key crop, and published the results in "Breakthrough in Agriculture" (1995). At that time, his work was known as Successional Agroforestry.

 

In the early 2000s, Ernst was already considered one of the most respected references in agroforestry systems in the Americas. With the launch of the film Life in Syntropy in 2015, produced by Felipe Pasini and Dayana Andrade, awareness of his work spread around the world and became known globally as Syntropic Farming.

 

In addition to many projects in Latin America, Ernst currently designs and coordinates syntropic initiatives in Portugal, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany.

Ernst Götsch

Ernst

Götsch

Syntropic Agriculture Creator

 
Felipe Passini

Felipe 

Passini

Syntropic Agriculture Researcher

Bridge-builder between syntropic farming and society

 

Felipe Pasini holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and an MSc in Environmental Sciences and Conservation from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with a thesis entitled "Ernst Götsch's Syntropic Agriculture: its history, fundamentals, and niche in the universe of Sustainable Agriculture."

 

Felipe is one of the first people to spread the news of Ernst Götsch's farming concepts to a broader audience. Since 2006, he has been registering regenerative agroforestry systems all over the world and translating technical and scientific language into more comprehensible terms. The videos and articles published on the agendagotsch.com and lifeinsyntropy.org websites since 2011 have helped thousands of people to adopt a more regenerative way of farming.

 

In 2016, Felipe helped to write the agriculture-related scenes of "Velho Chico", an 8-month long TV soap opera (Telenovela) aired on Brazilian primetime TV and nominated for an Emmy International Award.

 

He currently lives in Mértola, Portugal, one of the municipalities with the highest risk of desertification in all of Europe. Together with Dayana Andrade, he implements agroforestry gardens for children in public schools using syntropic farming's drought-adapted techniques.

 

He also assists Ernst Götsch's consulting projects in Europe.

 

Counter and teller of

water pathways in trees

Prof. Dr. Jan Čermák first began to pursue forest-related subjects in 1958, when he attained his Arboristic license and then finished the Forest Technical School in Písek. From there, he obtained an MSc. and a Ph.D. with distinction at the Faculty of Forestry, at the Agricultural University in Brno, Czechia.

 

In 1991, he was also named a Charles Bullard Fellow at Harvard University, a distinguished fellowship that supports advanced research and study by individuals who show promise of making an important contribution to forestry and forest-related subjects.

He has over 30 years of experience in collaborative research on whole-tree water relations, architecture, and growth. This includes partnerships both in Europe (Sweden, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, France) and the U.S.A.

 

He has lectured in over 25 European and US Universities and has published more than 180 scientific articles as well as some 40 research reports. He holds three patents on equipment for making physiological studies of trees.

 

He is vice-chair of the IUFRO Whole Tree Physiology Group and is on the editorial board of the scientific journal Tree Physiology

Jan Cermák

Jan

Čermák

Tree Ecophysiology, Vessells, Roots, Leaves, Fungi

 
Jan Pokorny

Jan 

Pokorný

Environmental Physics,

Solar radiation, Ecophysiology

Greener, catcher of sunshine

 

Jan Pokorný graduated from Charles University Prague, at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Plant Physiology. His Ph.D., done at the Institute of Botany of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, versed about photosynthesis.

 

IIn 1984/85 he worked as a visiting scientist at CSIRO Australia. Later he was involved in lake and wetland restoration projects in Europe and the development of a suction dredger for the removal of eutrophic sediments. He studied the effects of water plants in the chemistry of shallow lakes and similarly terrestrial vegetation photosynthesis. Jan focused on the active distribution of solar energy by terrestrial plants via transpiration, which is the most powerful air-conditioning process. Together with Slovak colleagues, he explained the role of water and plants in the book Water for Climate Recovery (2008) which received an award from the Czech Minister of the Environment. At that time, he became acquainted with the Biotic Pump theory and recognized it as an important step forward towards explaining the role of forests in climate and the continental water cycle.

 

He lectured and led fieldwork for UNESCO international courses in Applied Limnology (in cooperation with IHE- Delft and BOKU Wien). He lectured on Plant Ecophysiology at Charles University Prague for 25 years. He gave an Erasmus course on “Water Quality Management” at Turku University, Finland for 7 years.

 

Jan was elected a member of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention for Central Europe. He is a member of the Intecol Wetland Working Group. In 2011 – 2018 he was a member of the Research Board of the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic.

 

In 1998, together with colleagues, he founded an NGO for applied science, ENKI, which deals with fishpond and lake management, solar technologies, sustainable landscape management in terms of solar energy, water, and matter fluxes (landscape metabolism). Jan has been a director of ENKI since 1998.

 

Storyteller of things that matter

 

Storyteller is a good definition for Maria Zulmira de Souza (Zuzu) after spending 30 years working on turning communication into an essential key that puts the environment and sustainability in the right place on the daily agenda.

 

She helped spread this view in Brazil and other countries as well. Her media footprint now counts for over 6,000 stories. Her close ties with environmental issues started in early 1990 at TV Cultura, a Brazilian Public TV Channel. She co-created Reporter Eco, an environmental program to cover Eco-92, in Rio de Janeiro, and still airing today. After covering Eco-92, Rio+10, Rio+20, and many other events related to the theme, doors opened to launch new projects related to “Media – Sustainability – Solutions” on various platforms.

 

Zuzu is called up by all sectors for special tasks such as event mediation, content development, and communication strategies. Her company, Planetaria Sustainable Solutions, is the result of vast experience. Focusing on how important it is to make people aware of and involve them in environmental issues, her activities aim to lead ultimately to a change of awareness and behavior in a positive and pro-active sense in Brazil.

 

She is a fellow of LEAD International (Leadership on Sustainable Development) and is a “Visiting Journalist Fellow” at Duke University / NC. At IMAFLORA (Institute of Agricultural and Forest Management and Certification), Brazil, she currently chairs the Advisory board as President.

 

Presenting and introducing the general public to the forests’ special role in the global water cycle is Zuzu’s most recent challenge after joining the Biotic Pump Greening Group.

Maria Zulmira

Maria

Zulmira

Media, Communication

 
Paulo Nobre

Paulo 

Nobre

Climate modeling

Simulator of Winds and Rains

 

Senior researcher at the National Institute for Space Research – INPE, in Brazil. Bachelor of Meteorology from the University of São Paulo and Master of Meteorology from the Brazilian Space Research Institute, Paulo Nobre did his Ph.D. counseled by Prof. Jagadish Shukla at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. He did his post-doctoral study at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory – LDEO, Palisades, NY, USA.

 

Since then, he has taught at the Graduate Program at INPE, advising both Masters and Doctoral students on coupled climate modeling studies. He currently directs the development efforts of the Brazilian Earth System Model – BESM at INPE.

 

His main areas of research interest are in Earth System climate modeling, with a focus on atmosphere-ocean-biosphere interactions. His pioneering work on the effects of Amazon deforestation on ocean circulation and climate represents a hallmark of success in investigating the effects of forests on global climate variability and change.

 

Follower of the Wind,

hunter of Moisture

 

Ruben Molina is an engineer working on the mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of environmental systems.

 

He holds an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Antioquia in Colombia.

 

He has participated in projects and consulting activities involving modeling and simulation on hydrology, hydrometeorology, and limnology. His research focuses on evaluating the impact of environmental change on water resources.

 

He has authored several scientific articles,

research reports, and software tools.

Rubén Molina

Rubén

Molina

Climate, Hydrology, Modeling

 
Urlirch Zens

Urlirch 

Zens

Tribute and obituary

Global Gardener

Urlirch Zens died on June 7, 2020.

Involved in landscape development projects in various countries for more than 3 decades, vegetation became Ulrich’s raw material for solving local urban and rural development problems. Work in Landscape Construction and Plant Maintenance during his college years was practical preparation before entering the Faculty of Landscape Architecture at the University of Essen, Germany, and - later - the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Toronto, Canada.

 

In the exercise of his profession as a landscape architect since 1984, from the design stage through to supervision, Ulrich accumulated a wide spectrum of experience on all scales and challenges. From original ideas to final solutions defining strategies to implement green structures for colorful cities and various other environments, all levels of project development were included: Strategic Planning, Design Development, Environmental Impact Assessment, Project Management, and Implementation Supervision.

 

His focus was always to search for vegetation-supported solutions for infrastructure, urban, and landscape development, achieving the best possible results for resilience, sustainability, and biodiversity whilst seeking a balance with social and economical considerations.

 

Ulrich applied his knowledge of Multifunctional Vegetation Systems as a complementary and “low key – high efficiency” approach to meet a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG, Agenda 2030). He was called upon recently to develop the Strategic Plan and the Green Master Plan for the City of Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, and was a consultant to UN-Habitat regarding sustainable urban drainage systems.  He lectured at various universities on Multifunctional Landscape Development and gave a special course on Multifunctional Vegetation Systems promoted by his office INCRIATÓRIO in São Paulo, Brazil.

 

Joining the international Biotic Pump Greening Group gave Ulrich the opportunity to contribute actively towards his vision of vegetation as nature’s most efficient component for maintaining resilience on Planet Earth.

 

Scientist, teacher, and colleague

 

Victor Gorshkov died on May 10, 2019.

 

We were privileged to have known and collaborated with him. His work was broad, original, and profound including themes as diverse as the biological regulation of the environment on Earth, quantum scattering, hurricane dynamics, the role of forests in driving winds and maintaining rainfall, and the nature of time.

 

His scientific leadership and originality are at the root of our group’s capacity to offer qualified knowledge on greening.

 

Let us carry his important legacy forwards.

Victor Gorshkov

Victor

Gorshkov

Tribute and obituary