ZaVita's key experts
ZaVita’s team comprises eight committed and enthusiastic individuals, while well-established external experts are regularly included in our work. For every client and each project, we assemble a team, whose knowledge and experience can provide optimum solutions.
Matjaž Harmel has completed his studies in forestry and has since acquired profound understanding of how ecosystems function and what role humans play in the process. He has over 25 years of international experience in planning, management and implementation of projects in the field of nature conservation, environmental protection and sustainable development. He established ZaVita in 2012 and acts as its director.
Klemen Strmšnik is a geographer with excellent understanding of natural and social processes and systems. He complements his extensive experience, gained while working on projects in Slovenia and abroad, with his outstanding communication skills and leadership capacities. He enjoys tackling new challenges, whether in the field of environmental protection, efficient management, regional development and capacity building or for development and implementation of international projects.
Samo Škrjanec is a forester who, during his studies, gained experience in organizing work in fields of construction and logistics as well as managing volunteer organizations. Recently, he has worked at Slovenia Forest Service on international projects in the field of planning and management of urban and protective forests.
Matevž Premelč is a geographer, who has been acquiring international experience already as a student by studying abroad (Sassari, Italy) and working within the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (Chambéry, France). His experience in the field of strategic valuations of regional, national and international programmes has been successfully applied in the development of new projects. His areas of expertise include strategic environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments and natural resource management studies.
Aleksandra Krajnc is a geographer by profession and at heart. She strives to combine social and physical geographical aspects into a coherent whole in all aspects of her work, as she firmly believes that one-sided perspectives lead to short-term and often poor decisions. She enjoys teamwork, especially in a heterogeneous group, where a compromise needs to be found among contradictive opinions. She is a pessimist who is open to positive surprises. She has extensive experience in project preparation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. Her work experience also includes work in preschool education and photo documentation of archaeological excavation.
Sabina Cepuš is an ecologist with extensive experience in environmental protection, marine litter and micro plastic research and management, economic analyses and environmental compliance audits for companies. In recent years, she has focused on environmental assessments of plans and projects (SEA and EIA), risk management relating to major industrial accidents and waste management planning. Her work is guided by her love of research of how systems function and can be changed, and how efficient technical and management solutions can be found.
Sašo Weldt is a biologist and a globetrotter. While still studying, he was a member of project teams engaged in the preparation of the technical basis for identification of Natura 2000 areas and implementation of monitoring of the ecological state of still waters’ watercourses. He has contributed to the preservation of the olm in Postojna Cave and participated in the implementation of cohesion and LIFE projects in the field of nature protection. He is enthusiastic about the interpretation of nature, is experienced in the restoration of the permanently installed vivarium in Postojna Cave and in placing interpretive infrastructure in protected areas, where he applied his vast experience from the field of tourism.
Nives Harmel is an economist, who has gained her experience in controlling, organisation, insurance, banking and commerce. At ZaVita, she is responsible for financial management. She loves nature, the sea, the sun and especially stones.
As a master’s graduate from University of Copenhagen and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Jerneja Harmel holds a comprehensive knowledge in Environmental Sciences. She has an international understanding of various environmental issues and policies, resulting from her studies as well as practical experience. So far, she has been mostly involved in projects in the field of nature resources management, especially water resources and forestry, often by utilizing remote sensing and other modelling techniques. Before joining ZaVita she has undertaken an extensive master’s project, researching the invasion dynamics of European Crack willow (Salix fragilis) in Patagonia, for which she received several grants. After occasional assistance throughout her study years, she continues to work for ZaVita full-time from September 2020 on.