About us

Three senior researchers are organizing and leading The Overpopulation Project (TOP), see below. Included in the group are also three Research Assistants, three Mentors, and Associated Researchers, see below.


Frank Götmark – Project Manager; Professor, Animal ecology and Conservation Biology, University of Gothenburg


Research interests:

  • Overpopulation and human ecology
  • Ecology and conservation of forest ecosystems, temperate zones
  • Nature reserve systems and conservation policy
  • Broadleaved forests and management for biodiversity and biofuel
  • Oak (Quercus spp.) ecology: regeneration and stand management
  • The less known biodiversity: molluscs, insects, cryptogams (collaboration with other researchers)

For publications click here>>


Philip Cafaro – Senior researcher, Author; Philosophy professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado

 philip.cafaro@colostate.edu; website: http://www.philipcafaro.com/

Research interests:

  • Environmental ethics
  • Consumption and population issues
  • Wild lands preservation
  • Creation of sustainable societies that respect limits to growth

Philip is an affiliated faculty member of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability and a former president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. He has also served as book review editor for the journal Biological Conservation. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Philip is author, editor, or co-editor of the following five books:

  • How Many Is Too Many? The Progressive Argument for Reducing Immigration into the United States (2015)
  • Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation (2012)
  • Virtue Ethics and the Environment (2010)
  • Environmental Virtue Ethics (2005)
  • Thoreau’s Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue (2004)


Jane O’Sullivan – Honorary Senior Research Associate at the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, AustraliaJaneOSullivan-2016


Jane is a cross-disciplinary researcher with interests in environmental protection, human ecology and sustainable development. As an agricultural scientist, for 15 years she researched crop nutrition and soil fertility management for tropical root crops in developing country settings. Realising that population growth tends to overtake agricultural productivity gains, exacerbating poverty and environmental impact, she turned attention to the drivers of human fertility reduction and the cultural contexts, policies and programs influencing it. She is active in policy advocacy for climate change response, steady state economics and sustainable development.

Recent publications include:

  • Synergy between Population Policy, Climate Adaptation and Mitigation. Chapter 7 In “Pathways to a Sustainable Economy” (Eds M Hossain et al.) Springer International. (2017)
  • Population Projections: Recipes for Action, or Inaction? Population and Sustainability 1(1), 45-57. (2016)
  • Ageing paranoia, its fictional basis and all too real costs. In “Sustainable Futures: Linking Population, Resources and the Environment.” (Eds J Goldie and K Betts). CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. (2014)
  • The burden of durable asset acquisition in growing populations. Economic Affairs 32(1), 31-37. (2012)


Research Assistants

Jenna Dodson – Assisting researcher, Environmental studies Ms.cDodson_Jenna[191]

Jenna graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Virginia, United States in 2015. She studied avian reproductive ecology, specifically growth in response to terrestrial and aquatic prey availability. More recently, she worked as an agroforestry extension agent in Senegal, West Africa. Jenna specialized in the establishment and management of mango and cashew orchards to increase food security in rural communities.

Jenna is now working as the state coordinator of Adopt-A-Stream, Georgia’s statewide volunteer water quality monitoring program.


  • Global issues – food security, overpopulation, climate change
  • Human dimensions in conservation
  • Avian ecology


Patrícia Andresz-Dérer – Assisting researcher, Biology Ms.cpatri

MSc in biology specialized on plant ecology, conservation, evolutionary and behavioral biology. Experienced field biologist, researcher of the herb layer of deciduous forests in Hungary. Teacher of Russian language.

Patricia graduated from Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary, Budapest in 2016. She was working in a project of multipurpose assessment serving forest biodiversity conservation in the Carpathian region of Hungary.

Patrícia is now going to work for the Hungarian National Forest Inventory as a field ecologist.


  • Woodland conservation
  • Forest ecology – vascular plants
  • Human ecology
  • Global issues – climate change, overpopulation, biodiversity crisis


Pernilla Hansson – Assisting Researcher, Biology B.Sc

Pernilla Edit_web

Pernilla studied biology at the University of Gothenburg, finishing her bachelor thesis on the survival of migrating salmon smolt in 2018. She has worked with nature conservation in a nature reserve in southern Sweden and with public outreach about endangered species.


  • Nature conservation
  • Human ecology
  • Global issues – overpopulation, biodiversity crisis, food security
  • Conservation of genetic diversity



Karl-Erik Norrman – Senior advisor, Mentor, Diplomat

Diplomat for more than 30 years, worked in Moscow, Beijing, Rome, Geneva, Seville and other places. Later on, Karl-Erik founded the European Cultural Parliament, ECP (Europe’s only pan-European interdisciplinary forum for cultural workers). As Swedish diplomat he worked with international development aid (e.g. aid for Asia), as Swedish representative of UNHCR, FAO and World Food Programme, and as co-responsible for Swedish UN-aid. Has written a Swedish book on population growth, and its problems and solutions. Lives in Berlin and Stockholm.

For publications, click here>>


Carl Wahren – Senior advisor, Mentor, Independent political organisation professional

After some years as assistant professor in political science and international politics at the universities in Stockholm and Uppsala, Carl spent his professional life working on global issues, such as sustainable development, water, food supplies, demographic dynamics and the status and role of women. Worked for SIDA (development agency in Sweden), the OECD (Paris), and as a Secretary General at the IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation, London), and as consultant at the UNFPA (New York).

Founding Board Member of the Internationa HIV/AIDS Alliance (UK) and active in a range of international parliamentary groups as well as the WHO (consultant) and UNICEF (Board Member in the Swedish National Committee), Member of le Commitée Scientific – Equilibres et Populations (Paris) and others.


Robert W. Gillespie – Senior Advisor, Mentor 

Bob GillespieMr. Gillespie is the founder and president of Population Communication. From 1964 to 1976, he served as Resident Representative for the Population Council in Taiwan, Province of China, Turkey, and Iran and as a consultant for SIDA, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Egypt, the Philippines, and Thailand. He authored the Statement on  Population Stabilization by World Leaders, which has been signed by 74 heads of government. Mr Gillespie has designed 181 family planning and population policy instructions, and evaluation materials that have been used in program and policy development in 10 countries.


Associated Researchers

Karin Kuhlemann – Lawyer and a PhD candidate at University College LondonKK screenshot 30 (2)


Karin holds degrees in law, politics, and biology. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the human right to procreate and the legitimate scope of anti-natalist population policies. As part of this, she is developing a novel, interest-based account that engages with the oft-neglected issue of moral conflicts and limits to rights, with particular attention to the normative implications of risking in the context of unsustainable population growth.


Lucia Tamburino – Ecologist


Lucia has a background in Mathematics and Natural Sciences. She holds a PhD in Forest Ecology and has a post-doctoral research experience at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).

The path that led her to focus her attention on the over-population issue is rooted in her interest in sustainability. She studied the conditions allowing a population to achieve a sustainable equilibrium, or vice versa leading a population to collapse. She identified the population-resource relationships as a key factor, driving the dynamics of any ecosystem. Starting from this, Lucia realized that over-population is one of the main drivers of all the current global issues (food security, climate change, biodiversity losses), and population growth risks to vanish all the gains brought to humanity by technology. In addition to conducting research on the subject, she is interested in disseminating knowledge and science, to help to break the taboo surrounding population matters.


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