Dr. Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel

Senior Research Scientist | Associate Editor, MRD

Sustainability Governance Impact Area

+41 31 684 88 22
Postal Address
Dr. Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel
Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)
University of Bern
Mittelstrasse 43
CH-3012 Bern

Areas of professional focus at CDE

  • Local environmental knowledge, ethnoecology and biocultural diversity
  • Sustainable and just food systems
  • Social-ecological systems resilience and adaptation to global change
  • Sustainable development in mountain regions (Associate Editor of Mountain Research and Development)
  • Community-based conservation, restoration and natural resource management
  • Social learning, multi-stakeholder, and inclusive approaches


Further professional interests

  • Inter- and transdisciplinary research for sustainable development and natural resource management
  • Management and coordination of research partnership programmes with developing countries
  • Teaching and capacity development (at university, technical, and community levels)

Field experience

  • Latin America (particular expertise in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil; 13 years based in Peru)
  • Eastern and Southern Africa (particular expertise in Madagascar and Mozambique; 1 year based in Madagascar)
  • Western Mediterranean (Portugal, Spain, Morocco; 5 years based in Portugal)


English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German


Jump to: 2018 | 2016


Mathez, Sarah-Lan; Huamán, Martin (2018). "Qora Hampiyku”: Nuestras plantas medicinales en las comunidades de Pitumarca, Cusco, Perú. Bern, Suiza: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, en colaboración con Bern Open Publishing (BOP) 10.7892/boris.117166


Hurni, Hans; Molden, David; Zimmermann, Anne B.; Wymann von Dach, Susanne; Mathez-Stiefel, Sarah-Lan; Price, Martin F.; Thibault, Marlène; Mosher, Debby; Ingraham, Kathleen (eds.) (2016). Mountain Research and Development, 36(1-4). International Mountain Society

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  • President, International Society of Ethnobiology - 2022 to present (Board member 2010-2014)
  • Board of Trustees, Global Diversity Foundation, Oxford, UK – 2019 to present 
  • Board of Directors, A Rocha Portugal, Portugal – 2020 to present
  • Committee of Reference, A Rocha Peru, Lima, Peru – 2020 to present (Board of directors 2017-2019)
  • Advisory Board member, Working Group on Socio-Ecological Land Systems of Latin America, Global Land Programme (GLP) – 2020 to present
  • Senior Associate, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya - 2019 to present
  • Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy (CEESP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – 2013 to present
  • Research Associate, ETC Andes, Lima, Peru - 2008 to 2011
  • Swiss Network of Ethnobiology