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Associate Analysts


Katariina Mustasilta was a Senior Associate Analyst dealing with conflict research at the EUISS from May 2019 to February 2021. Her research applied both quantitative and qualitative methods to study the drivers of countries’ internal conflicts and how to prevent violent escalation, the dynamics of civil resistance, and local peace and conflict dynamics. She was the Editor of the EUISS Conflict Series.


Yana Popkostova was an Associate Analyst at EUISS from 2021-2023. Yana was responsible for the environmental security portfolio, and investigated the compound security challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradation, and ecosystems depletion, focusing on mechanisms to mitigate and prevent impacts on European security and foreign policy.

Yana is a geopolitics of energy expert. She has established record of engagement on geopolitical, governance and commodities volatility. Her work at the energy-climate-geopolitics nexus has been featured in edited volumes, expert publications, and high-level industry events.

Yana is the founder of the European Centre for Energy and Geopolitical Analysis, an Advisory Board Member of the World Energy & Meteorology Council, and a Trilemma expert at the World Energy Council.

Prior experience includes the European Parliament, the European Climate Foundation, and as an expert reviewer for the IPCC 1.5 ̊C report. She was an inaugural recipient of the EUI Policy Leaders Fellowship.

Yana holds a postgraduate degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Clara Portela was a Senior Associate Analyst at the EUISS from 2019 to June 2021, having previously served as a full-time faculty member in Political Science at the University of Valencia (Spain) and Singapore Management University (Singapore). Her research focuses on arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament, as well as on multilateral sanctions policies. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence and an MA from the Free University of Berlin, and she is the recipient of the THESEUS Award for Promising Research on European Integration. Clara Portela has been a Visiting Professor at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the College of Europe, and the University of Innsbruck, and has held visiting positions with the University of London’s Human Rights Consortium (UK), Carleton University (Canada), the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble (France), and Monash University (Australia).

Dr Amaia Sánchez-Cacicedo is the Non-resident Associate Analyst in charge of the South Asia portfolio at the EUISS. She contributes to the analysis of South Asian security and foreign policy, focusing especially on India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She monitors ongoing security developments in South Asia and relations with the EU.

Amaia is a graduate of Georgetown University and completed her PhD at the Politics and International Studies Department of the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her PhD research culminated in her first book "Building States, Building Peace: Global and Regional Involvement in Sri Lanka and Myanmar", Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Before joining the EUISS, Amaia was an adjunct professor at IE University in Madrid where she taught courses on peace and conflict resolution, as well as on the international relations of Asia. She also taught at SOAS and the University of Zurich and worked for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Costa Rica, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

Lukas Trakimavičius is an Associate Analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). He leads the portfolio on energy and environmental security. Lukas is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), based in Washington D.C. He also supports the World Energy Council’s efforts on the energy transition.

Before joining the EUISS, Lukas worked at the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, focusing on clean technologies, the energy transition, and the geopolitics of energy.

He also served at the Economic Security Policy Division of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working on energy security, energy diplomacy, and broader economic security issues in the CEE region. Before that, he held several positions at the Emerging Security Challenges (ESC) and Political Affairs and Security Policy (PASP) divisions at NATO HQ, where he worked on energy security, arms control, disarmament, and WMD non-proliferation matters.

Lukas holds a postgraduate degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).