The ȘTEFAN CEL MARE University of Suceava – a dynamic and familiar(l) presence on the European research map of in the field of Forestry

Two renowned specialists in the top four positions in the field of Forestry sciences in Romania carry out an internationally appreciated activity at the “Ștefan cel Mare” University in Suceava: Professor Laura Bouriaud – Director of the Doctoral Council – and Dr. Olivier Bouriaud, research of MANSiD, “Integrated Research, Development and Innovation Center for Advanced Materials, Nanotechnologies and Distributed Manufacturing and Control Systems”. The two researchers (amicably nicknamed by a French colleague “un couple d’enfer”) form a team with complementary skills. While Laura’s accomplishments include winning major research projects and specializing in forest governance issues, Olivier specializes in modeling, data analysis, and publishing scientific articles in prestigious journals such as Nature or Science. Their activities aim at the foundation and formulation of public policies as relevant as possible in the field of Forestry and the forest sector, through a motivating and passionate research for both. Decorated with the “Ordre du Mérite Agricole” by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food (31.01.2022) for their achievements, they have an impressive number of citations in scientific databases and promote an ecological attitude aimed at sustainable development, environmental protection, biodiversity, especially forests, carefully monitoring the evolution of ecosystems in Romania in the context of current climate changes.

Professor Laura Bouriaud is a graduate in Forestry (University “Ștefan cel Mare” from Suceava) and Legal Sciences (University “A.I. Cuza”, Iasi), obtaining her PhD degree in France at ENGREF Nancy with a thesis on the restitution of forests and forestry policies in the former socialist countries. During the 25 years of teaching experience in the field of Law and Environmental and Forestry Policy she has developed a rich research activity. As director or project manager for USV participation in international consortium, she led 15 research projects, eight of which were international, bringing research funds worth over 1.7 million euros to the University of Suceava. Here are some examples from recent years: Wildcard “Effects of rewilding in forests and agricultural lands on carbon sequestration and diversity”, 2024-2027; Informa “Science-based Integrated Forest Mitigation Management Made Operational for Europe”, 2022-2026; Fem4Forests “Forests in Women’s Hands, Danube Transnational Programme”, 2020-2022; EFFECT, “Environmental Public Goods From Farming through Effective Contract Targeting”, 2019-2023.

During her career, Professor Laura Bouriaud has published eight books (as sole author or co-author) amongst which: Meeting the European Union’s Forest Strategy Goals. A Comparative European Assessment. From Science to Policy. European Forest Institute, 2023, 52 p. (in collaboration with: Pecurul-Botines, M., Secco, L., Giurcă, A., et al.); Forest Biodiversity in Europe. From Science to Policy, European Forest Institute, 2022, EFI study, 80 pp. (in collaboration with: Muys, B., Angelstam, P., Bauhus, J., et. al.). Professor Laura Bouriaud published on various forest governance related topics, e.g. “The Property Rights Index (PRIF) Can Be Used Worldwide to Compare Different Forest Governance Systems” in collaboration with: Rimoli, R., Acharya, A. et al. (2023); “New Law for Old Trees in Romania: Lessons and Opportunities” in Conservation Science and Practice, in collaboration with: Hartel, T., Arghiuș, V., Stoican, F., Réti, K.O.; 2023; “Perceived Climate Change Risks among Other Risks Affecting Private Forest Owners in a Top-down Decision-making Process” in collaboration with Coșofreț, C. (2022).

In 2016 Professor Laura Bouriaud became a doctoral supervisor at “Ștefan cel Mare” University. In recognition of her professional experience, Mrs. Laura Bouriaud was an invited lecturer or organizer of some international conferences and is an evaluator for scientific journals abroad as well as for doctoral theses defended in universities in the country and abroad. She has also had numerous teaching and mentoring activities with Master students at the AgroParisTech Nancy, France and is a researcher-associate of IGN – France, Forest Inventory Laboratory.

Dr. Olivier Bouriaud is a “confirmed researcher” by the “Comité d’évaluation scientifique des agents de catégorie A” (CESAAR) in France and holds the authorization to supervise a doctorate from Université Paris-Saclay, France. Olivier got his PhD title in Forest Sciences of ENGREF (École Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et Forêts) Nancy, France.

The professional trajectory of Olivier Bouriaud is constantly going upward as a result of his involvement in numerous research projects, among which we mention: 2009-2013. Carbo-Extreme: “The terrestrial Carbon Cycle under Climate Variability and Extremes – a Pan-European Synthesis”; 2011-2014 FunDivEurope: “The Functional Significance of Forest Biodiversity”; 2016-2018. UEFISCDI PN III 191/PED: “ForBIOME”; Labex ARBRE Projet AAP-221 Maestro: “Dynamic Sampling and Inference for a Smart Forest Monitoring with Applications to the French National Forest Inventory”; 2022-2024. UEFISCDI PN III 108/PCE: “SAFEClim: Integrated evaluation of the evolution of the supply of ecosystem services of Romania’s forests under the influence of climate change”.

From his long list of publications of the French researcher established in Romania (as sole author or in collaboration) we mention several papers published in Nature or Science journals, that are one of the most quoted globaly: “Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests” (2016); “Climatic controls of decomposition drive the global biogeography of forest-tree symbioses” (2019); “Integrated global assessment of the natural forest carbon potential” (2023); “Native diversity buffers against severity of non-native tree invasions” (2023). In total, Olivier Bouriaud is quoted more than 10 thousand times, and has published 94 scientific papers indexed in the data basis Web of Science Core Collection (Clarivate).

Having all the necessary conditions to carry out a leading research activity at the “Ștefan cel Mare” University in Suceava, professor Laura Bouriaud and researcher Olivier Bouriaud are exemplary in every way. Integrated into the European map of researchers, working with enviable tenacity and with forces multiplied by the energy of a well-welded couple, they declared with the sincerity that characterizes them: “… some of the most interesting and motivating research topics were those discussed over a cup of morning coffee in our kitchen before preparing the children for the school.” The continuation of all professional and personal projects at the same sustained pace constitutes, therefore, an impetus for all colleagues in our academic environment.

TreeMap Chart for Olivier Bouriaud publications, sourse: Web of Science, Clarivate:
TreeMap Chart for Olivier Bouriaud publications, source: Web of Science, Clarivate:

Author: professor Elena-Brândușa Steiciuc

Photo credit: Two trees side by side. Pexels. 

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