McKenna Davis works as a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute Berlin and is Coordinator of the institute's International Fellowship Program. Her work focuses on the assessment of green infrastructure (GI), nature-based solutions (NBS), ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation (EbA) as well as their surrounding governance frameworks. McKenna's expertise extends to European biodiversity and nature protection policies and the links to climate change adaptation. She is further interested in international development cooperation, particularly in relation to the aforementioned topics. McKenna Davis is a native English speaker and speaks fluent German.
McKenna is currently researching urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, their delivery of ecosystem services, and the role of policy frameworks as an enabling or hindering factor in this context. These themes are being addressed within the Horizon 2020 project NATURVATION ("Nature-based Urban Innovation"), where she led an assessment of the legal, political and planning frameworks in place for supporting the deployment of NBS, and in the BiodivERsA ENABLE project ("Enabling Green and Blue Infrastructure Potential in Complex Social-ecological Regions"), where she is assessing citizen perceptions and preferences for socio-cultural ecosystem services. McKenna is also leading Ecologic's work within the H2020 project CLEVER Cities, including developing the project's analytical framework and producing a multifaceted guidance tool to support cities in the uptake and advancement of NBS to meet urban regeneration challenges.
Tasks relating to the European Nature Directives and Natura 2000 network comprise the other main component of McKenna's work. She is actively involved in the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity and Drivers for successful implementation of the Nature Directives project, and coordinates Ecologic’s role in the Evidence-based improvements in the Birds and Habitats Directives implementation project and the Framework Contract to Monitor LIFE Projects.
Previous work focused strongly on defining, cataloguing and assessing ecosystem-based approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as green infrastructure initiatives across Europe. Linkages of these topics with freshwater issues are also prevalent in McKenna's previous work, which included developing four River Basin Adaptation Plans (BeWater), evaluating the cost effectiveness and future market potential of sustainable urban drainage systems (RECREATE), and assessing the socio-economic aspects of freshwater biodiversity conservation (BioFresh). She also recently led a study for the Committee of the Regions which informed their ex-post Territorial Impact Assessment on Natura 2000 and the EU Birds and Habitats Directives.
Before coming to Ecologic Institute, McKenna Davis worked on several international wildlife conservation projects, including the German Wildlife Foundation's Wildtierland project and projects aiming to conserve the balkan lynx (Macedonian Ecological Society) and South African vervet monkeys (Vervet Monkey Foundation).
McKenna Davis holds a Master of Science in Environmental Governance from the University of Freiburg (Germany), focusing on wildlife conservation and management. In her master's thesis, she analyzed stakeholder conflicts arising from lynx conservation efforts in Sweden and Switzerland and proposed a model for addressing such conflicts.