Dr Eirini Saratsi
A human geographer with research interests in cultural, historical and environmental geography. Eirini’s work is distinguished by transdisciplinarity and a long commitment to unravelling interrelationships between nature, society and culture. Her current work explores the role of arts research and practice in communicating knowledge, opening-up different perspectives and creating new understandings of values for environmental protection and decision-making. In 2018, she led the first AALERT meeting that took place at the National Gallery, London, funded by the Valuing Nature Programme and the Landscape Research Group, and established the AALERT network.
Eirini obtained a BSc in Agricultural Science from the Agricultural University of Athens in 1995. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked for several years in Athens in the private sector on landscape design and management and in the public sector at the Greek Ministry of Agriculture. In 1997, she was awarded a scholarship from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) to undertake postgraduate studies abroad. Through this opportunity, she obtained an MSc in Landscape Ecology Design and Management from Imperial College at Wye, University of London, and a PhD in Landscape History from the School of Geography, University of Nottingham. Her doctoral thesis employed an ethnographic, mixed methods approach to investigate long-term processes of landscape character change on the Greek mountains in the context of shifting societal realities and cultural constructions of nature. Working in several distinguished higher education institutions in the UK, she has since explored how people value, use, appropriate and stewardship nature in rural and urban settings; the production of environmental knowledge; cultural landscape histories, and the role of science as a significant cultural force that has historically mediated and changed relationships between humans and the natural world. A substantial part of Dr Saratsi‘s work is concerned with participatory and deliberative approaches to decision-making, and in 2014 she co-designed and led the public dialogue for the UK National Ecosystems Assessment.
Eirini is currently a Senior Specialist – Social Science at the Chief Scientist Directorate, Natural England. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society & the Institute of British Geographers, and a member of several societies and professional groups. These include the Landscape Research Group, the European Society of Environmental History, the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) working group ‘Historical Landscape Ecology and the International Union of Forest Research Organisations, at which she served as deputy director of its Forest History research group for ten years (2005 – 2015).