Gund Graduate Fellow, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Svenja was born and raised in Germany. At the age of 19, she moved to Costa Rica to support biodiversity conservation in several national parks. After returning to Europe, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Tourism in Germany, followed by a Master’s degree in Development Economics in Lisbon, Portugal.

Upon graduation, she worked for the international organization “Transparency International”, with the aim to enhance integrity and transparency in global climate finance governance. Her subsequent position as a Sustainable Development Policy Analyst at the United Nations Secretariat provided her with the opportunity to work at the heart of climate change policy and toward the implementation of the sustainable development agenda.

Svenja is now pursuing a PhD in Natural Resources at the Rubenstein School at UVM, and is a fellow with the Gund Institute for Environment and the Economics for the Anthropocene program. Her research interests lie in non material values of nature, eco-spirituality and indigenous community engagement strategies in land use policy decision making processes.

Advisor: Rachelle Gould

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Environmental policy and indigenous community engagement


  • M.Sc., Development Economics, NOVA School of Business and Economics, Portugal 
  • BA, Economics and Business Administration, Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Germany