Eco Trail sign

INFTA Germany hat das Privileg, auf das Fachwissen einer Reihe von national und international bekannten Persönlichkeiten im INFTA Advisory Board zählen zu können. Diese herausragenden Vertreter des öffentlichen Lebens, der Forschung, der Wirtschaft und des öffentlichen Gesundheitswesens unterstützen den internationalen Dachverband INFTA – und damit auch INFTA Germany – auf verschiedene Weise bei der Umsetzung unserer Ziele und Aufgaben. INFTA Germany ist dankbar für diese wichtige Unterstützung.

Die nachfolgend dargestellten Kurzprofile der Mitglieder des INFTA Advisory Board sind unmittelbar von den Webseiten des INFTA Dachverbandes (in englischer Sprache) übernommen.

Gregor von Bismarck
Gregor von Bismarck

Count Gregor von Bismarck is an esteemed environmental protagonist and the owner of the largest and most well-known forest in North Germany, the Sachsenwald, located at the outskirts of Hamburg. The Sachsenwald was given by Emperor Wilhelm I. to his Great-Great-Grandfather, Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s first Chancellor, in recognition for his political and social accomplishments for the country.

Gregor von Bismarck’s career encompassed a range of very diverse responsibilities, ranging from being a successful film producer and director (three of his feature movies made it to the renowned Cannes Film Festival) to being an equally successful inventor. If you like, take a look at some of his ideas here.

Next to the official responsibilities as representing the Bismarck noble family and raising his children multi-lingually at Friedrichsruh Castle, he is managing the financing and construction of six wood-burning renewable energy plants. Further, Gregor von Bismarck runs a forestry and real estate business next to various companies.

Still, being such an active executive and being in the political and social limelight, Gregor von Bismarck immediately took to the request of supporting INFTA as an Advisory Board member as he recognized the value and importance of fostering Forest Therapy as a Public health practice. In this context, it does not surprise to learn that in his very own Sachsenwald, Gregor von Bismarck offers the ingenious and unique option of the ‘Waldkorb‘ (forest basket) – an opportunity to stay in midst of tall fir trees, completely isolated from any distracting noise of people, being in the true sense of the word ‘under the sky’. What a comforting and relaxing way to spend a night in nature!

But our Advisory Board member is also instrumental in assisting INFTA in its research efforts: data collection during standardized Forest Therapy walks as part of a large-scale German research project will take place in the Sachsenwald. Hence, INFTA is very proud to have Gregor von Bismarck, the tireless advocate of healthy forests, nature and environment on its Advisory Board.

Samantha Dunn

Samantha Dunn is a long term public advocate in Australia for protecting its forests and natural places. Samantha has campaigned on forests for nearly two decades, passionate about environmental protection, including biodiversity, water security, climate change, air quality, tourism and recreation. She takes an active interest in community health and well-being and enjoys working closely with the community on a range of advocacy issues.

Her career has seen her serve three terms with Yarra Ranges Shire Council, a place of great natural beauty and home to the heavily forested closed water catchments that supply Melbourne’s water. She has also served one term as a Member of the Victorian Parliament as a Member of the Legislative Council for Eastern Metropolitan Region. In that time one of Samantha’s roles was to advocate for the protection of forests as Spokesperson for Forests.

Her vast knowledge of Victorian forests was evident in her participation in parliamentary inquiries including the Inquiry into VicForests Operations and the inquiry into Fire Season Preparedness. Her time as spokesperson for forests saw her develop a transition plan for the forestry sector. She has a thorough understanding of the complexities of the regulatory arrangements and issues affecting Victoria from both an industry and environmental perspective. She has also spearheaded extensive community engagement campaigns to protect Victoria’s native forests during her time in local government and the state parliament. Samantha has led many tours to the forests nearby Melbourne and has seen firsthand the positive impact a healthy and biodiverse forest has on the people who visit.

She has been on numerous advisory committees and groups including:

  • Victorian Parliament Environment and Planning Standing Committee
  • Victorian Parliament Economy and Infrastructure Standing Committee
  • Municipal Association of Victoria Strategic Environment Advisory Group
  • Wood and Water Project Reference Group
  • Yarra Ranges Environment Advisory Committee
  • Yarra Ranges Fire Management Committee
  • Yarra Ranges Tree Task Force

She is an experienced strategist, advocate and negotiator and dedicates much of her time inspiring others to love nature, especially our forests. Thus, INFTA is privileged to have Samantha as a relentless advocate for our forests, forest health and community well-being on its Advisory Board.

Prof Dr Namyun Kil

Namyun Kil is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, WI, USA. He teaches various courses, including nature-based therapy, inclusive recreation program administration, medical language, and diagnostic groups in therapeutic recreation. His current research interests are in health and well-being benefits (e.g., forest and nature therapy, mindfulness, nature connectedness, place attachment) for diverse individuals with and without physical and mental disabilities/illness. Also, he is interested in measurement and evaluation in therapeutic recreation and GIS applications to health and well-being promotion. He has published peer-reviewed articles and made professional presentations (e.g., about nature and forest therapy) at international, national, and state level conferences.

Further to this, he is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and will soon be a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. He is currently facilitating guided forest therapy walks to the Public with and without physical and mental disabilities.

Prof Dr Andreas Michalsen

Andreas Michalsen, MD, PhD, is a Professor and Director of the Department of Integrative and Internal Medicine at the Immanuel Albertinen Hospital, Berlin and Chair of Clinical Integrative Medicine, Charité-University Medical School, Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Michalsen is a specialist doctor in cardiology and internal medicine. Due to his vast medical experience, he puts particular emphasis on treating patients with nutritional medicine, fasting and mind-body medicine. He is widely published and lectures internationally in the field of naturopathy and complementary medicine. His bestseller, “The Nature Cure”, has been translated in dozens of languages. Andreas Michalsen also co-edited the International Handbook of Forest Therapy (2019) which set a milestone in advancing Forest Therapy as a recognized, evidence-based Public Health practice.

INFTA is very proud and grateful to have gained the invaluable support and endorsement of Andreas Michalsen cooperating with him and his team in the area of Forest Therapy and Forest Medicine.

Prof. Dr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki
Dr Yoshifumi Miyazaki

Yoshifumi Miyazaki, PhD, is a Grand Fellow and former Professor of the Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, at Chiba University, Japan.

Yoshifumi Miyazaki obtained his PhD from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University in 1985. He was Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, for nearly a decade and Head of Laboratory of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Japan for about fifteen years. Yoshifumi Miyazaki published – next to hundreds of research articles in English and Japanese – a number of international bestsellers, such as “Shinrin-yoku – The Japanese way for health and relaxation“. His efforts greatly helped to advance Forest Therapy as a Public health practice.

Thanks to the invaluable research efforts of Yoshifumi Miyazaki and his team, public attention in Japan rediscovered the medical and health benefits of Japanese forests. In the best of Japanese traditions, this was recognized by the visit of (then) Crown Prince Naruhito (now: Emperor Naruhito) and his wife Masako (now: Her Imperial Highness) to Yoshifumi Miyaziki’s experimental labs at Chiba University in 2016.

INFTA is very privileged and honoured to count on the vast research expertise and personal support of Yoshifumi Miyazaki in the area of Forest Therapy and Shinrin-yoku (森林浴).

John Munro

John Munro is the founder and head instructor of Long White Cloud Qigong in New Zealand. He has been responsible for the syllabus development and preparation of training support materials, home study courses and workshop content.

John began his Qigong training in the year 2000 when he studied for diplomas in Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Since then he has been active in clinical work, teaching and ongoing research, nationally and internationally.

John has acquired a range of qualifications:

  • Diploma in Chi Kung (Qigong)
  • Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Certificate in Remedial Massage
  • Certificate in Chinese Reflexology
  • Certificate in Personal Training
  • Certified NLP Practitioner
Prof Dr Byeongsang Oh

Byeongsang Oh, MD, PhD, is a Clinical Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, a Research Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and an Adjunct Professor at University Technology Sydney.

Dr Oh is involved in the development of integrative oncology clinical medicine bridging the gap between Western medicine and complementary medicine with interest in cancer survivor-ship at Sydney Medical School and Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal North Shore Hospital. Dr Oh has conducted numerous TCM clinical trials and is well-published in the area of oncology and Forest Therapy. He has practised acupuncture and other complementary medicine for over 15 years, specialising in cancer care.

Dr. Oh is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) & Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO), the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and is registered as a Chinese medicine practitioner with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA). He is currently training several experienced practitioners in this field who may also treat patients.​ Dr. Oh has a personal interest and passion in Forest Therapy and Qigong and INFTA is very privileged to draw on his advice.

Phill Roos
Prof Dr Phillip B Roös

Phillip Roös is an academic and architect, designer, artist, writer and philosopher. His work spans a transdisciplinary discourse in the convergence of design, science, art, philosophy and environmental research. Deeply embedded in ecological consciousness, he investigates our innate affiliation to Nature – biophilia – through analyzing the phenomena of living structures. His practice is positioned at the intersections of rigorous academic scholarship and applied real-world projects.

As a transdisciplinary practitioner, he investigates questions of human consciousness as well as global social and environmental issues. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Architecture at the School of Architecture and Built Environment and is the Director of the Deakin Biophilia Research Lab, Deakin University. He is known internationally as a leader in environmental design and planning, and more recently for his work in biophilic design. In professional practice he has been working as an architect, planner, design professional and technical advisor for over 35 years on an extensive range of large-scale projects in Europe, Africa and Australasia.

His work covers a wide range of projects from small precincts to large-scale urban and regional developments, including major infrastructure projects, university campuses and research, health, custodial, defence, commercial, and residential built environments. His research interests are centred on the human-nature relationship, ecopsychology, Indigenous Knowledge, and the identification of optimised design and planning processes based on a regenerative-adaptive pattern language system.

Through many years of experience, he has developed a valuable understanding of how people relate to their built and natural environments, and he reflects this knowledge in every research project he undertakes. Thus, INFTA is proud to count on the support of Phill, particularly in planning, designing and building Forest Therapy Centers and Forest Therapy trails.

Prof Dr Sheng-Yang Wang

Sheng-Yang (David) Wang is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Forestry at National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan.

He is a biochemist, scholar and investigator and in his capacity as Dean coordinating the International College of Innovation and Industry Liaison at his university. Additionally, as its Director he supervises the Bachelor Program of Biotechnology. Moreover, David is Chairman of the Chinese Society of Forestry (Taiwan).

ImageAs a Member of the prestigious Academia Sinica, he is one of most revered academics in his country. There David serves as an Investigator at the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center in Taipeh.

Within the Department of Forestry at David runs the Laboratory of Tree Metabolomics and Natural Medicine Development. As such he has published dozens of articles about the biochemical and biophysiological properties of phytoncides (or terpenes). Phytoncides are the volatile organic substances emitted from trees and plants which constitute an important part of their own immune system. As we have learned that phytoncides are also very beneficial for human health, for example, in bringing down blood pressure and pulse rates or by enhancing the production of so-called ‘natural killer’ cells which are important for fighting cancer and tumor cells, David is at the forefront of this highly relevant research.

Most recently, David has contributed with an article on the effectiveness of phytoncides to the International Handbook of Forest Therapy compiled by INFTA (Kotte, D., Li, Q, Shin, W.S. & Michalsen, A. (eds.) (2019). International Handbook of Forest Therapy. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Cambridge Scholars Publishing).

INFTA is honored to have David on its Advisory Board and works actively on several aspects of further collaboration with David, the Chinese Society of Forestry (Taiwan) and National Chung-Hsing University.

Owen Wiseman
Dr Owen Wiseman
Owen Wiseman, ND, is the founder of HealthWISE Consulting, a multi-interest organization focused on supporting the health of Canadians through direct patient care and helping business clients invest in the wellness of employees with programs that work.
With a knack for making meaningful connections, Owen has had a long history of guiding and helping others transform their health. He currently serves as a Medical Advisor to an international photo-pharmaceutical company focused on harnessing the clinical impacts of herbal medicine in a safe and effective manner. In this, he provides thought leadership and presents it to key stakeholders and opinion leaders as part of a broader medical education strategy.
With a passion for promoting equitable access to Nature and Forest Therapy across North America, he oversees the Science & Nature (S&N) project. S&N is meant to distill nature-based research and make it accessible to everyone in an easy-to-read format. Through this work, he also serves on a variety of advisory committees, including:


INFTA is very fortunate to count on Owen as an experienced communicator and strategist who thrives on developing people and businesses for a better and more sustainable Public health.