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Presenter Biographies

Below is a closer look at the presenters, their backgrounds, and the topics they will be covering.

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Fabien Esculier

Coordinator of OCAPI and researcher at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech in the LEESU laboratory. 

TOPIC: Keynote Speaker

As a higher-level civil servant of the French Ministry of Ecology, he worked for 6 years for various public institutions in the water sector. In 2014, he set up the OCAPI action research program, which aims to study and support the socio-ecological transition of food/excretion systems, and in particular to investigate the potential for a paradigm shift in the management of human urine and feces through source separation and agricultural valorization. He defended his thesis in March 2018 on this topic. He is now the coordinator of a multidisciplinary action research team (biogeochemistry, agronomy, sociology, anthropology, geopolitics, territorial ecology...). The OCAPI program has become a publicly funded national resource centre for source separation.

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Lotte Kristoferitsch

EOOS NEXT, Austria

TOPIC: Lighthouse Projects & Nutrient Futures

EOOS NEXT is an industrial design studio and a social enterprise that strives for positive change by designing transformative technologies currently in the fields of mobility, health, water, self-sufficient toilets and electricity with the aim to drive forward the development of social and sustainable design projects. The multidisciplinary studio is managed by Lotte Kristoferitsch and Harald Gründl.

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Pete Munoz

Nutrient Recovery Services

TOPIC: Lighthouse Projects & Nutrient Futures

Pete Muñoz is an international lumiére in his innovative work as a licensed engineer, certified wastewater treatment plant operator. He has been involved in over 200 infrastructure projects involving wastewater treatment, stormwater management, rain harvesting, environmental remediation, and watershed restoration. Pete co-founded SEEDS in 1990, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of the fields of design, education, and ecology. He is a partner in the Alliance for Regeneration, an EcoDistricts Incubator faculty and regularly teaches courses at Yestermorrow Design/Build in Warren, Vermont and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. In addition to co-founding NRS in 2021, Pete currently manages the Biohabitats Cascadia Bioregion office in Portland, Oregon and works around the globe helping to connect communities with appropriate inspirational living water infrastructure.

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Pat Lando

Pat Lando has been a leader in nature-based solutions for over 30 years and holds many positions in the field of water reuse and resource recovery. Pat is the Executive Director of Recode, a nonprofit organization that creates sustainable and equitable building code and policy solutions for water, sanitation and nutrient recovery systems. Intentionally collaborative, his leadership finds solutions by convening regulators, technical experts, community leaders, legislators and impacted communities. Pat is the co-chair of the National Gold Ribbon Commission for Urine Reuse, and in 2021 he joined the People’s Water Project steering committee to help the coalition draft national water and sanitation related policies.


Mathilde Sageot

Mathilde Sageot is the study manager for the Water and Sanitation Technical Service of the City of Paris.

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Julie Ginesty

Paris et Métropole aménagement

TOPIC: Lighthouse Projects & Nutrient Futures

Julia Ginesty is the sustainable city officer for the Paris et Métropole aménagement.


Thomas Starck

Thomas Starck is 3rd-year Phd student in the OCAPI programm in France. His work focuses on nutrient flows at the regional or national scale.

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Veera Koskue

Dr Veera Koskue works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia. She has several years of research experience on nutrient recovery from different wastewater fractions using bioelectrochemical and electrochemical methods. She is currently involved in the interdisciplinary Nutrients in a Circular Economy research hub, funded by the Australian Research Council and industry partners.

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Carsten Beneker

zirkulierBAR research project, Germany

TOPIC: Virtual Tours: Urine Processing & Research Facilities Screening

Carsten Beneker is an environmental process engineer dedicated to the sanitary transformation and profiled in the design and operation of human excreta value circles and treatment technologies. He is currently working as implementation engineer in two innovation projects, german project “zirkulierBAR” and Horizon Europe project P2GreeN.


John Lansing

John Lansing is a lead plumbing designer at PAE, a consulting engineering firm in Portland, Oregon. John specializes in applying sustainable solutions to plumbing systems and research on international engineering design guidance. He also serves on the technical committees for the IAPMO Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard (WEStand) and the ICC 815 Standard for Sizing Water Distribution Sanitary Drainage and Vent Piping Systems.


Lucas Crane

Arizona State University

TOPIC: Design & Sociotechnical Dynamics

Lucas Crane is a Doctoral Student in Environmental Engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University, where he is affiliated with the STEPS (Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability) Center. His current research focuses on advancing the implementation of urine diversion and treatment processes to recover phosphorus. Crane holds a MS in Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University.


Ashton W. Merck

North Carolina State University

TOPIC: Design & Sociotechnical Dynamics

Ashton W. Merck is a Postdoctoral Researcher at NC State University and a Scholar at the STEPS (Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability) Center. Merck is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research focuses on emerging risks in food and agriculture. Merck holds a PhD in History from Duke University.

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Hayley Joyell Smith

Michigan State University and PHLUSH

TOPIC: Design & Sociotechnical Dynamics

Hayley Joyell Smith is recent graduate from University of Georgia where she completed a dissertation on the social-environmental systems and education pathways toward ecological sanitation. She is now a post-doc at in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department at Michigan State University. Smith has also served on the board of PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) for seven years.

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Valentin Aubois-Liogier

CITERES, University of Tours, France

TOPIC: Design & Sociotechnical Dynamics 

Valentin Aubois-Liogier is a PhD student in Design and Urban planning (CITERES, University of Tours). His doctoral research aims to study users' and stakeholders' experience of ecological sanitation systems, especially urine recycling systems.


Marine Legrand

Rooted in environmental anthropology, her research focuses on the "greening" of landscape planning and city making in post-industrial contexts. Within the OCAPI research program, she works on the emergence of new modes of management of human excreta in France, and the renewal of knowledge, practices, and imaginaries related to ecological sanitation. She is also interested in an art-science approach to body fluids, waste, fermentation, rotting, etc.


Mathew Lippincott

Recode, Oregon, USA

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Regulatory Pathways

Mathew Lippincott is a technical writer who has worked on reform of building mechanical codes since 2010. Mathew led writing of the IAPMO/ANSI WE Stand chapter on composting and urine diverting toilets, and is currently working with the University of Michigan's Food, Ecology & Equity: Designing Circular Nutrition Production (FEED CNP) program on regulatory pathways for urine diversion in Michigan.

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Aleksandra Jaeschke

University of Texas, Austin

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Regulatory Pathways

Aleksandra Jaeschke is an architect and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. Born and raised in Poland, she holds a Doctor of Design degree from the Harvard GSD and an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London.


Kai Udert

Eawag, Switzerland

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Regulatory Pathways

Dr. Kai Udert is currently a research group leader at Eawag and lecturer at ETH Zurich. My main research focus is on new technologies for resource recovery from wastewater. My work is guided by the belief that resources can be recovered more effectively, if wastewater streams are not mixed but treated separately.

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Orion Herman

LiquidGold Africa, South Africa

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups 

An accidental environmentalist, father of four and passionate sanipreneur, I have been working with nutrient recovery from urine since 2018 and with my team successfully commissioned, Africa first female waterless urinal and an automated off grid nutrient and water recovery reactor.

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Jenna Senecal

Sanitation360, Sweden

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups

Jenna is a Bioresource engineer and completed her PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where she co-developed a urine stabilizing and drying technique. Jenna is now leading the commercialization of the technology through Sanitation360.

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Nadège de Chambrier

VunaNexus, Switzerland

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups

Nadege is an Environmental Engineer from ETH Zurich. After different projects in decentralised sanitation during her master, she worked on a project to develop a mobile urine treatment plant at Vuna. She co-founded VunaNexus summer 2022. She is now responsible for the technology development and projects management.


Kim Nace

Brightwater Tools

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups 

Kim Nace holds an M.A. in International Administration from World Learning and an M.A. in Educational Leadership from Keene State College. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana and has taught children of all ages. She coordinated research funded by the MacArthur Foundation and later served as an Elementary School Principal – in rural Vermont and in Chennai, India. She has been passionate about sustainable sanitation alternatives ever since creating an educational video about composting toilets for her 1989 master’s thesis project. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Rich Earth Institute, she focused her leadership and organizational strengths to build a high performance team at the Institute and to engage others in the possibilities and practicalities of urine recycling. Kim is now CEO of Rich Earth’s spin-off organization, Brightwater Tools. Kim and her family use a urine diverting composting toilet.


Abe Noe-Hays

Brightwater Tools

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups

Abraham Noe-Hays has been working with dry sanitation systems since 1990. He holds a B.A. in Human Ecology with concentrations in agroecology and compost science from the College of the Atlantic, where his interest in recycling human manure was solidified by an internship at Woods End Research Laboratory and a thesis project, “An Experiment in Thermophilic Composting.” He has operated Full Circle Compost Consulting since 2001, providing complete design, manufacture, and maintenance services to individuals and institutions with dry toilet systems. He is now the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Rich Earth’s spin-off, Brightwater Tools.


Julien Saludas

Toopi Organics, France

TOPIC: Urine Processing Startups

Julien Saludas, Chief Development and Impact Officer of Toopi Organics. Agronomist with 15 years of experience in farmer co-op and agroinput companies in France.

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John Culpepper

Compost for Good, New York, USA
TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research
(part 1)

John Culpepper co-founded Compost for Good to help communities around the world to upcycle all appropriate organic materials to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions; keep resources in local communities; create business opportunities; help solve water quality issues; and lower the cost of food and fiber production. John has worked in education, facilities management, and research.

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Nebiyat Nigusie Woldeyohannis

Addis Ababa University, Ethopia
TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research
(part 1)

Nebiyat is a PhD student at Addis Ababa University in Prof Adey's laboratory since 2016.

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Meili Gong

Stanford University, California, USA

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 1)

Meili Gong is a research assistant in the Tarpeh Lab of Stanford University. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. She is passionate about resource recovery, sustainable agriculture, and water quality engineering. She’s looking forward to discussing emerging technologies!


Harold Leverenz

UC Davis / Biohabitats / AEM, California, USA
TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research
(part 1)

Harold Leverenz is a research engineer at UC Davis and wastewater process engineer with Biohabitats. Harold co-founded Advanced Environmental Methods LLC (AEM) in 2015 to support the implementation of nutrient recovery projects. Harold is a registered civil engineer in California.

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Chibambila Simbeye

University of Cape Town, South Africa

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Chibambila Simbeye is a Civil Engineering Masters candidate at the University of Cape Town. He is passionate about sustainable infrastructure and technology that ameliorates the human living experience while supporting circular economies. The insights he presents today stem from his dedicated work as part of his Master's research project.

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Weonjung Sohn

University of Technology Sydney, Australia

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Weonjung Sohn is currently a PhD candidate at University of Technology Sydney under Prof. Hokyong Shon’s supervision. Her main research interests include biological nitrification process in membrane bioreactors for nutrients recovery in a circular economy from source separated urine.

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Natnael Demissie

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Addis Ababa University Institute of Biotechnology

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Caitlin Courtney

Future Water Institute, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Cape Town

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Caitlin is an avid Pee-cycler and recent PhD graduate from the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on nutrient recovery from wastewater, non-sewered sanitation, and membrane technologies.


Dr. Praveena Gangadharan

Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, India
TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Dr. Praveena Gangadharan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Palakkad, India. She is a recipient of Early Career Research Award (SERB, India; 2019- 2022), Women Scientist Fellowship (DST, India; 2014-2017), Bhagyalakshmi Krishna Ayengar Award (IIT Madras; 2017), and Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (2015). Her research interests include bioelectrochemical systems for wastewater treatment, desalination, defluoridation of groundwater, nutrient recovery from urine, metal reduction and recovery and electrochemical water or wastewater treatment. She has authored 6 research papers in reputed international journals and 1 book chapter.


Sudeep Popat

Clemson University, South Carolina, USA

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Dr. Sudeep Popat is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University. His research group focuses on biological and electrochemical technologies for resource recovery from domestic and industrial wastewater. Some of Dr. Popat's groups recent work includes using electrochemical technologies to enable N and P recovery from source-separated urine, developing electrocoagulation as a possible technology for primary treatment of animal processing wastewater, and expanding the understanding of anaerobic conversion of fats for anaerobic co-digestion applciations for enhanced biogas recovery from municipal wastewater solids.

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Jiaxi Jiang

University of Technology Sydney, Australia

TOPIC: Urine Treatment and Processing Research (part 2)

Dr Jiaxi (Jade) Jiang is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) at UTS. Currently, she is working at the ARC Research Hub for Nutrients in a Circular Economy (ARC NiCE Hub), utilizing UF-based membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology to achieve complete nutrient recovery and develop next-generation fertilizer from source-separated urine, contributing to sustainability and the circular economy.


Lucinda Li

University of Michigan, USA

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture (part 1)
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Elena Bischak

University of California, Merced

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 1)

Elena is a 5th year PhD candidate at UC Merced. She studies circular approaches to human waste management to recouple sanitation and agriculture and mitigate climate change.


Rebecca Nelson

Cornell University, USA and 2 Poverty and Health Integrated Solutions, Kenya

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 1)

Rebecca Nelson is a Professor at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Rebecca Nelson's interests focus on sustainable agriculture and food systems, with research activities and engagement in Africa, India and New York. Her research group has four main focus areas: the circular bionutrient economy (CBE); mycotoxin management; disease resistance in crops (particularly maize); and agroecology and food systems.


Fernando Perez

Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Bolivia

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 1)

Fernando Perez has a PhD in technologies for waste treatment and reuse at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). He is a researcher at the University of San Simon in Bolivia. Collaborating with the group of environmental engineering from SLU in developing the drying technology for treatment and reuse of urine.


Fernanda Daniela Gonçalves Ferreira

Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC, Brazil
TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 2)

Fernanda has a master's in Environmental Engineering, Laboratory for Recovery of Resources from Sanitation Systems (RReSSa), Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC).


Paul Olivier

Paul spent his entire life working on the wise and efficient transformation of waste. He distinguishes four kinds of biodegradable solid waste, and when they are properly transformed, farmers are able to make their own feed, fertilizer, high-grade heat and biochar. He believes that farmers should buy no bottled gas, no commercial feeds and no chemical fertilizers. He is now setting up sites that enable farmers to raise pigs, chickens, fish and cows in an entirely unconventional way.

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Renaud de Looze

Palmeraie des Alpes, France

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 2)

Engineer, nurseryman and experimenter author of the book, instructions for use, "L'urine de l'or liquide au jardin", translated into German and Spanish

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Dan Hettinger

Living Web Farms, USA

TOPIC: Urine Fertilizer in Agriculture
(part 2)

Out of his small shop and gardens in Weaverville NC, Dan develops appropriate technology for creating value from waste streams and maximizing small farm efficiency. Dan is a biochar specialist; an experienced educator, professional fabricator, hobby farmer, handyman and amateur artist.


Jojo Casanova-Linder

Kompotoi, Switzerland

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Portable Toilets

Jojo Casanova-Linder is the co-founder of Kompotoi, Switzerland. Jojo Linder was a Project Manager and Event Organizer has organized sports events himself. Through studying permaculture he became aware of compost toilets and wanted a better solution for the event industry.

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Benson Colella

Benson holds a M.S. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Benson was introduced to urine-diversion as an intern of the Rich Earth Institute in 2019, where he worked on the development of a urine freeze-concentrator among other assignments. He is excited to continue the work of reclaiming resources from human "waste" as an engineer at Wasted* in Burlington, VT. Benson takes pleasure in making use of discarded or overlooked resources; and he enjoys foraging, canning and brewing, dumpster diving, and tinkering.

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Jamina Shupack

Rich Earth Institute, USA

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Portable Toilets

Jamina is interested in any system that treats waste as a resource, especially when it comes to sanitation. She joined the Rich Earth team in 2021. She sees improving the sanitation systems in the United States and beyond as a vital component in the fight against climate change. Jamina holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology from the University of Oregon. She comes to the world of circular sanitation after 12 years as an educator.


Arthur Davis

Rich Earth Institute, USA

TOPIC: Resource Recovery Portable Toilets

Arthur Davis holds a B.A. in Geology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and has been working with alternative sanitation systems since 2013. This includes working on the Living Machine Wastewater System at Oberlin College and work as a marine engineer on an educational tall ship in the Puget Sound region. He is excited to be back home in Brattleboro, VT, working toward completing the food nutrient cycle. At Rich Earth, Arthur directs Rich Earth’s community-scale urine recycling program (the Urine Nutrient Reclamation Program), coordinates the portable toilet service, and works on technical and agricultural research projects. He also works as an R&D engineer at Rich Earth’s spinoff company Brightwater Tools.

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