bas Rijnen

PLUS Project Coordinator, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

As projects Coordinator at NUST, Bas manages research grants (pre- and post-award). Bas holds a master’s in organisation anthropology from Utrecht University and is currently doing his PhD in Sport Management at the University of Johannesburg about a stakeholder framework for organisations delivering on sustainable sport and sport for development outcomes within the Namibian context. He was the African team leader of the TReMOR project (Toolkit for Early-career Research Managers Online Resources) under the International Research Management Staff Development Programme (IRMSDP).

Catalina Lopez

PLUS Project Coordinator, Universidad de los Andes Bogota, Colombia

Catalina holds a BA in International Relations from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia, and a Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Development from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Bordeaux, in France. She is currently in charge of coordinating research and development projects at the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies (Cider), at Universidad de los Andes.

Gonzalo A Vargas

PLUS Academic Coordinator, Universidad de los Andes Bogota, Colombia

Gonzalo, PhD, is associate professor of development studies at Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. He obtained his doctoral degree on development studies from the London School of Economics & Political Science, UK. His research has focused on the relation between armed conflict and development in Colombia; currently he is researching the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Latin America.

José Castiano

PLUS Academic Coordinator, Universidade Pedagógica Maputo, Mozambique

José is professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at the Pedagogical University. He occupies the chair of African Philosophy, a specialty in education. In terms of teaching activities, he collaborates in institutions such as Eduardo Mondlane University (master’s degree in philosophy), University of Barcelona (doctoral seminar), Agostinho Neto University (African Philosophy in the master’s degree in philosophy), Academy of Police Sciences (Sociological Theories), Agostinho Neto University Polytechnic (Philosophy in Doctoral Courses), University of Coimbra (Doctoral Seminars).

Malki Saenz

PLUS Project Coordinator, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Ecuador

Description will follow soon.

Viviana Di Bartolomeo

PLUS Student Assistant, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Viviana studies history and cultural studies at the JLU with the subjects philosophy, sociology and international law. She also works in a law office for asylum and migration law. She is interested in the legal implementation of climate related flight and migration as part of climate justice transition.

Mokgadi Molope

PLUS Project Coordinator, North-West-University, South Africa

Mokgadi is an Associate Professor of Development Studies at the North-West University in South Africa. She supervises and conducts research in community development, social service provision, gender and land related issues. She is currently participating in a project team whose focus is on the effects of Covid-19 on rural communities in the North West province, South Africa.

Sarita Henriksen

PLUS Project Coordinator, Universidade Pedagógica Maputo, Mozambique

Associate Professor Sarita is a DAAD Visiting Professor at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany, and a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Post-Doctoral Program in Human Rights: From Social Rights to Diffuse Rights, at the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Anna Pehlgrimm

PLUS Project Coordinator, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Anna works for the International Office of JLU where she supports international students. With expertise in project management, Anna provides assistance to the administration of SDG Plus.

Gabriel Faimau

PLUS Academic Coordinator for Botswana, University of Botswana, Botswana

Gabriel is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Botswana. He is also a visiting Associate Professor at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) and an Extraordinary Researcher at North-West University, South Africa. He completed his PhD in Sociology in 2011 at the University of Bristol. His main research interests include digital society and culture, climate change communication, new media and religious practice, multiculturalism and the politics of intercultural dialogue, social implications of HIV/AIDS, and graduate employability. His current research focuses on digitalisation and digital infrastructure in Botswana and climate change communication.

Ikechukwu Umejesi

PLUS Academic Coordinator, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Ike is Associate Professor at the Dept. of Sociology at UFH, East London Campus. His main areas of research include: systems analysis, environment, risk, vulnerability & resilience, extractivism & society. He has served as faculty member of Southern Africa Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) and Southern Africa Systems Analysis Center (SASAC), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University. He has also served in different national research committees, such as CSIR’s study on Shale Gas Development (gas fracking) in the Karoo, and Water Research Commission on ethically-grounded and value-based approach to water governance.

carlos larrea

PLUS Project Coordinator, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Ecuador

Description will follow soon.

Jörn Ahrens

PLUS Project Chair, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Jörn is professor of cultural sociology at Justus Liebig University Giessen and extraordinary professor of social anthropology at North-West University, South Africa. He holds a PhD in sociology from Free University Berlin. His work focuses on the social impact of climate change in southern Africa; popular media & culture; violence in society; urban

Hannah Lea Schulz

PLUS Student Assistant, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Hannah is supporting the PLUS network as a student assistant at Justus Liebig Universität Giessen. Sie is currently completing her Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences with additional certificates for Intercultural Competency and Verbal Communication Skills.

luquegi gil Neira

PLUS Project Coordinator, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Luquegi is a lawyer from the University of Antioquia. He holds a master’s degree in Law and specialises in public law with an emphasis on administrative law. At present, he is a dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Antioquia, where he has also served as a professor. As a teacher, Luquegi has guided courses on administrative and economic law.


PLUS Academic Coordinator, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Description will follow soon.

Uchendu Eugene Chigbu

PLUS Academic Coordinator, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

Uchendu Eugene is Associate Professor in Land Administration. His works fall within the interface between Social Sciences and Geodesy. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal Land Use Policy. He is a co-Chair of the Research Cluster of the Global Land Tool Network (UN-Habitat). He is also the Coordinator of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) in the Southern African Region. He has particular interest on applying land methods to societal development issues. His most recent book, “Land Governance and Gender: The Tenure–Gender Nexus in Land Management and Land Policy” was published in 2022.

Esther Nkhukhu-Orlando

PLUS Project Coordinator, University of Botswana, Botswana

Esther is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Botswana. She holds a PhD in Sociology. She has collaborated with other scholars and published work in the areas of formal organizations, change management, organizational commitment, mixed Methods, educational technologies, blended learning and recently climate change.

Ghita Rezzouk

PLUS Project Coordinator, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Ghita is a Ph.D. researcher in cultural studies and sociology at the Graduate Center of the study of Culture (GCSC) at Justus Liebig University Giessen. She was an Erasmus Ph.D. researcher in cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Her work focuses on single motherhood and communication strategies in Morocco, gender issues and economic survival; resilience and culture.


PLUS Academic Coordinator, North-West-University, South Africa

Andre is a senior lecturer in social anthropology and director of the NWU School of Social Sciences. His research is broadly interested in how settler populations construct notions of belonging. His publications focus on the environment and on heritage, demonstrating how settlers leverage power and wealth to shape landscape and public culture as material support for mythic narratives that may confer on them some sense of located belonging in the former colonial peripheries they inhabit.

Octavia Sibanda

PLUS Project Coordinator, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Octavia is a Research Manager at the Research and Innovation office, Govan Mbeki Research and Development Centre, UFH. She manages day-to-day research administration operations at the university and manages grants for university researchers. Octavia is a trained Social Anthropologist with a PhD from the UFH. She also has a Masters degree in Social Policy and Development. She has vast experience in applied research and has worked on numerous research projects. She also has a background as an academic and has taught and supervised Masters and PhD students. Her research interests include; Race, Gender, poverty and policy development. Dr Sibanda is an active member of the Anthropology southern Africa Association.