About myself

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BSc (Honour) Environmental Science (University of Stirling)

Research interests:

  • Agroecology
  • Plant – soil interactions
  • Human – Nature Interactions
  • Habitat Restoration

Some practical experiences:

  • 2016 – 2017 Bachelor Thesis in Agroecology: “The effects of insect frass created by Hermetia illucens on spring onion growth and soil fertility” supervised by Dr Richard Quilliam.
  • 2016 – 2017 Conservation volunteering at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, including tree care, wildlife surveys and dam construction for moorland conservation.
  • July 2015 Undergraduate Summer School of the British Ecological Society
    Insect and mammal (including bat) ecology and sampling techniques as well as discussing academic career options.
  • 06/2015 – 08/2015  Research Assistent through BES studentship “CO 2 assimilation by contrasting vegetation forms over a successional chronosequence following forest removal on blanket bogs” investigated by Renée Hermans.
  • 10/2014   Participation in Mountain Leader Training (Summer) in Aberfeldy (UK)1 Week Training about Group Management, Navigation (Night & Day), Risk Assessment, Emergency rope use, Weather evaluation, Flora & Fauna ID.
  • 07/2014 – 09/2014  2 month hands-on Permaculture Design Course in Forres (UK)Practical course about gardening and natural awareness. Plant ID , Study of Garden Ecosystem, Study of Soils, Sustainable Living.
  • 10/2012 – 04/2013 Internship for KFW Development bank at the Kavango Zambesi Trans- Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) in Botswana, Zambia and Namibia. Creating a tree ID list for Tourist information in Zambia, joining Ranger at patrol and helping with simple admin work.

The natural world has inspired me since early childhood, which I spent in the beautiful countryside of central Germany, a mosaic landscape composed of agricultural fields and orchards as well as deciduous forests. However, after having lived on a highland cattle farm stead in New Zealand for a whole year as well as having experienced farming in Namibia, Israel, Hawaii and throughout Europe, I am impressed in the numerous ways that agriculture can be applied to suit the many contrasting and also extreme environments, while still ensuring the conservation and promotion of biodiversity. Consequently, I strongly believe that agriculture currently presents one of our strongest relations to nature and has a big potential to either conserve or degrade nature.

As well as looking into issues revolving around global food security, I am interested in the coexistence of agriculture and ecosystems, for example by promoting the existence of top predators, birds and insects in a mosaic dominated landscape. I believe that an increased understanding of this relationship may not only  help us to preserve existing natural habiats, which are often isolated and in need of connectivity but also may help us to improve sustainable agricultural practices, for example by using ecologcial principles, such as polycultures, for pest control.

In 2016 I spent one semester at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where I explored sustainable agricultural as well as conservation biology in a local context. Hawaii is at the forefront of trying to establish a local food system, thus increasing the island’s food sovereignty. This can be seen through lots of innovation in the sustainable agriculture and food production sector.

While studying in Stirling I also was a director of the Riverside Bakery in Stirling, Scotland, a community owned bakery that aims to make organic sourdough-bread available to the local community and also helped to co-ordinate the Community garden at the University of Stirling, which is based on permaculture principles and tries to enable students to grow their own organic food.

In 2017 I spent one semester at the University of Coimbra, where I learnt to speak and write Portuguese. This will enable me to communicate more effectively with many farming communities worldwide, which is especially important in the context of Agroecology.

My current goals include the general study of insect and bird ecology, but with a particular focus on agroecosystems, in order to allow for evaluation of the effectivness of different agricultural practises in preserving biodiversity.