Originally from Switzerland, Sarah-Lan is an ethnobiologist and geographer with extensive working experience in Latin America and Eastern and Southern Africa. She holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Bern, Switzerland. Her professional interests focus on sustainable development and natural resource management, indigenous environmental knowledge, local food systems, social-ecological resilience and social learning processes.
Presently a Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, she has over 16 years of experience in the management of and scientific expertise for international cooperation programmes involving research institutions, NGOs and community-based organisations. She was based for over 12 years in Lima, Peru, where she was a Postdoctoral Fellow and then a Researcher at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) from 2014 to 2018. Since 2010, she has also been actively involved in the NGO sector, first as Executive Director and then as Board Member at A Rocha Peru, a Peruvian environmental non-profit organisation focusing on community-based conservation and environmental education. Among other professional offices, she was a Board Member of the International Society of Ethnobiology from 2010 to 2014. Since 2016, she is Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Mountain Research and Development.
Sarah-Lan lives in Southern Portugal where she is currently developing a project on neglected food species, cultural landscapes and gastronomy.