An interdisciplinary research initiative about law and biodiversity conservation

About us

Claws & Laws consists of the following researchers:

Guillaume Chapron

Researcher (habilitated) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, he leads Claws & Laws and focuses specially on the ecology side. Initially trained at a veterinarian, he has a master and a doctorate in ecology and a graduate diploma in political sciences. He uses a diversity of methods and disciplines, ranging from Bayesian state space models to legal analyses to answer questions at the core of contemporary conservation challenges, with particular emphasis on the conservation of large carnivores. Email:

Yaffa Epstein

Associate Professor (docent) at Uppsala University faculty of law, and leading the legal side of Claws & Laws. Her work explores the relationship between law and natural science as well as the interaction between international, EU and national environmental law. Her research focus has been interdisciplinary, bringing ecology into law. Courses taught include legal philosophy, legal history, environmental law and EU law.
Google Scholar page. Email:

Julien Bétaille

Associate Professor (Maître de conferences) in public law at the Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, France. He is co-director of a Master degree in environmental law. His research focuses on the theoretical dimensions of environmental law, with emphasis on environmental democracy, access to justice and environmental constitutionalism. He is the French representative of the International Centre of Comparative Environmental Law and member of the Environmental Law and Policy commission of the French IUCN Committee.
Google Scholar page. Email:

Anna Christiernsson

Associate Professor (docent) at Stockholm University. Her research focuses on the legal protection of biodiversity and has to a large extent been interdisciplinary, focusing in particular on the relationship between law and ecology. She teaches national, EU and international environmental law. She is a member of the Swedish scientific council on biodiversity and ecosystem.

Lovisa Helmius

Research assistant in law at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. She is a lawyer with a Master in law from Uppsala University. Her interests involve legal regulation of natural processes with a Master thesis about environmental damages and forest pests. She is responsible for coordinating a project about mapping litigation for species protection by collecting and coding court cases from  EU member states. She also oversees the compliance of data protection law of project activities. 

José Vicente López-Bao

Conservation scientist at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), based at the Biodiversity Research Institute, CSIC, Oviedo University, Principality of Asturias. He interested in the integration of quantitative, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to meet conservation challenges. He particularly focuses on human-wildlife interactions,  large carnivores and other megafauna in human-dominated landscapes. He is a member of the Scientific Committee advising the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
Google Scholar page. Email:

Mar Ouro Ortmark

Doctoral student in law at Uppsala University. She is a law graduate with a Bachelor of Law, a one-year Master of Lawyering and a two-year Master of Environmental Law, the latter from the University of Uppsala. She is interested in biodiversity conservation and has experience as a litigator in the public law department of a law firm, where she worked as a legal intern and handled several cases involving environmental law.

Grzegorz Mikusiński

Associate Professor (docent) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. His research focuses on biodiversity conservation and management. Birds are the main taxonomic group and forests are the main environment he studies. He cooperates with a broad network of conservation scientists in Sweden, Poland and Nepal and has been acting as associate editor of the journal Biodiversity and Conservation since 2011. He acted as an expert at the European Court of Justice in the case against Poland concerning management of the old-growth Białowieża Forest.
Google Scholar page. Email:

Juan Pablo Ramirez Loza

Doctoral student in ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He is a graduate from the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME), a double-degree programme jointly organised by four European universities (University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany; Uppsala University, Sweden; University of Montpellier, France). His project will focus on the conservation impact of laws, with emphasis on large carnivores, and on the ecological understanding of concepts defined in nature protection laws.

Rebecka Thurfjell

Doctoral student in law at Stockholm University. She is a lawyer with a Master degree from Stockholm university. She is interested in law as a tool for the protection of species and biodiversity conservation. Her project will focus on species protection through fishing regulation in the EU and what role ecological science plays when rules and regulations with importance for the protection of endangered species are designed.

Our projects

  • Can laws save the natural world? Project leader: Guillaume Chapron. Funder: Swedish Research Council VR. Total funding: 16 491 000 SEK.

  • Environmental Rights for Environmental Protection. Project leader: Yaffa Epstein. Funder: Swedish Research Council FORMAS. Total funding: 2 940 936 SEK.

  • A systematic mapping of public interest litigation for species conservation in the European Union. Project leader: Guillaume Chapron. Funder: Swedish Research Council FORMAS. Total funding: 2 870 001 SEK.

  • Natural Science in Law: Developing Theory and Methodologies for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental Law. Project leader: Yaffa Epstein. Funder: RJ. Total funding: 3 170 001 SEK.

  • Nature rights to the rescue of life on land and below water. Project leader: Guillaume Chapron. Funder: Swedish Research Council FORMAS. Total funding: 1 996 088 SEK.

  • Naturdispens. Project leader: Charlotta Zetteberg. Funder: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Total funding: 4 760 000 SEK.

  • ClawsAndLaws. Project leader: Guillaume Chapron. Funder: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Total funding: 5 090 000 SEK.

Design and implementation by Guillaume Chapron © 2023. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors only. Contact: