ISTF 2015 Leadership

ISTF Leadership 2015

Kristina (Krysia) Solheim (Co-Chair):

Krysia is Greek American and grew up in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cyprus, Venezuela, and Qatar. She has a B.S. from the University of Arizona where she majored in Environmental Sciences and minored in Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. She worked in two soil laboratories researching the change in microbial communities in thawing permafrost (University of Arizona) and carbon sequestration under different grazing regimes (University of California, Berkeley). She has also worked with Environment Colorado and the Fund for Public Interest on environmental and social rights advocacy issues. She is currently a second year Master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Though she recently switched her focus to urban sustainability (waste reduction and the intersection between sustainable transportation and well being), tropical conservation and restoration still holds a special place in her heart.

Melissa Arias (Co-Chair):

 Melissa Arias is an Ecuadorian Environmental Management Master Student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES). Her academic and professional focus is on wildlife conservation across heterogeneous, human modified landscapes. She is currently researching the implications of large-scale forest  conversion on the distribution of 5 felid species, including the Sumatran tiger  (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Central Sumatra, Indonesia in partnership with WWF. Previous to F&ES, Melissa was working for several sectors within the topic of  environmental management in Ecuador. She worked alongside the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador and several NGOs to improve the management of protected areas in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. This included developing field assessments of the implementation of management plans, financial sustainability strategies, and research and biodiversity conservation projects in more than 40 protected areas. She also worked with United Nations agencies developing climate change adaptation projects in the Andes. Melissa holds a B.A. in International Relations and Environmental Management from Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Matheus Couto (Treasurer)

Matheus is a Brazilian Master of Forest Science Candidate 2015 at Yale School of Forestry &Environmental Studies. He has Forestry Engineer degree at University of Sao Paulo (USP/ESALQ), and a Master in Ecology and Sustainability at School of Environmental Conservation & Sustainability (ESCAS - Brazil). He worked in both Amazon and Atlantic Forest with issues related to forest restoration strategies, agroforestry systems and tropical commodities production and certification standards. His currently researching ecosystem services in an Indigenous land, in the Brazilian State of Acre.


Celine Lim (Coordinator)

Celine Lim is a second year Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry &Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on forest governance and conservation in the tropics as related to forest carbon, agricultural commodities, extractives, the rights and livelihoods of forest communities, and corporate sustainability within the forest landscape. Her current research compares oil palm in Brazil and Indonesia, and explores the use of data and spatial tools in conservation Celine has interned with the World Resources Institute, Forest Trends  and CIFOR, and spent a year in the Peruvian Amazon as a Princeton in Latin America  fellow. Celine is from Singapore and holds a BA from Middlebury College in Geography and Environmental Studies. She has field research experience in Brazil, Peru and Indonesia. Follow her on Twitter @celinelimjl