Core Team


Prof. Saleem H. Ali

Prof. Saleem H. Ali joined the University of Delaware as Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment in September 2016. Prior to that he was Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He was a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and is a past director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security. His most recent book is titled Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future. Dr. Ali is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the IUCN Taskforce on Transboundary Conservation. The World Economic Forum chose him as a "Young Global Leader" in 2011. He has also been selected by the National Geographic Society as an "emerging explorer" and was profiled in "Forbes magazine" in September, 2009 as "The Alchemist." Professor Ali received his doctorate in Environmental Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.E.S. in environmental law and policy from Yale University, and his Bachelors in Chemistry from Tufts University.

Dr. Laurent E. Cartier FGA

Laurent is a lecturer and researcher on gemstones at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) also works for the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF - a leading gemmological laboratory. Laurent holds a PhD from the University of Basel (Switzerland). His PhD research explored sustainability and traceability issues in pearl farming, and in this context co-founded the Sustainable Pearls project which also obtained funding from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. He has been working for a number of years on issues of natural resource management and sustainable sourcing of gemstone materials. He continues to work on sustainability issues in coloured gemstones and diamonds and frequently visits mining areas, most recently in West Africa and Burma. He has authored articles in all major gemological journals. His work has been presented in National GeographicBBCFastCoExistInhorgenta and Tages Anzeiger. He holds a Master in Earth Sciences from Basel University and is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

Lynda Lawson

Lynda is the knowledge transfer and training manager at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining.  She has designed and led training and train the trainer programs in the extractive industry in Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. She is especially interested in miner education and in practical field gemmology courses for women miners. She is currently designing a specialised online course Understanding Coloured Gemstones. Her special area of expertise is in women in gemstone mining in Madagascar and she is currently researching women’s work across the sapphire value chain:  miners, traders, cutters and jewellers. She is a senior researcher on the Tiffany and Co Foundation Coloured Gemstone Knowledge Hub GemHub. Lynda is currently under taking a Ph.D. entitled Pathways, opportunities and challenges for women working across the gemstone value chain in Madagascar.

SyvrudPhoto 2008.jpg

Patricia Syvrud, G.G.

Patricia Syvrud is the Program Development Manager for the Minerals and Society educational platform at the University of Delaware. She is the immediate past Executive Director of the World Diamond Council, an international organization charged with representing the diamond pipeline at the UN-mandated Kimberley Process forum.  A GIA graduate gemologist with an MBA from the University of Southern California, Patricia is fluent in Portuguese and has additional education including courses in jewelry design, geology and mineralogy. Patricia’s career highlights include cataloging the entire National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution; developing a world-class museum collection for the Gemological Institute of America; and broadening industry relations and market exposure for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. Passionate about responsible sourcing, Patricia's knowledge has also been tapped into by jewelry aficionado former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for assistance with Albright's pin exhibition and book, “Read My Pins, Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box”.


Mehmet Altingoz

Mehmet Altingoz, an environmental engineer by training, received his master’s degree in the Water Policy and Science program at Oregon State University in 2017. Since then, he has been studying his doctoral degree in the Water Science and Policy program in the University of Delaware. Working with Dr. Saleem H. Ali, he focuses on how countries in severe conflict can cooperate over the water resources they share with each other. His study seeks to offer ways in which regional water security could be established in these troubled conditions. Altingoz has conducted extensive research, been involved in numerous scientific activities, and has teaching experience. After obtaining his Ph.D., he aims to pursue a career, where he continues working on bridging water science and policies to address societal needs.