Dr. Catherine Potvin is a forest ecologist specialist in global environmental change, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Her academic training includes a PhD from Duke University in plant ecology and postdoctoral studies in statistics at Université de Montréal. Her current research is of an interdisciplinary nature and includes socio-economic and policy aspects of land use changes. Dr. Potvin, who is professor at McGill University in Canada and associate staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, has been working in Panama since 1993 on aspects related forest conservation and carbon cycling often in close contact with farmers and indigenous people. She has published ~100 scientific papers in international scientific journals. Dr Potvin actively engaged in policy-making serving as Panama’s negotiator at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change between 2005 and 2011. In 2012 she received the Royal Society of Canada’s Miroslaw Romanowski Medal recognizing an exceptional contribution for important improvements to the quality of an ecosystem in all aspects brought about by scientific means. Dr. Potvin is the first woman to receive this price which rewards inter alia her exceptional contribution to the development of the proposal on the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) at the international level. In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Charlestown’s Conference, Dr Potvin has been selected as one of 23 women visionaries for the future of Canada by the initiative a “Bold Vision”.