Three talented female PhD candidates of Wageningen University are awarded with the Storm-van der Chijs Stipend 2015. This prize is awarded by the Fund in her name that encourages and supports female scientists to pursue their study and career in science. The stipend is worth 1,500 euro, to be used for further international profiling by visiting an academic conference or institute abroad.
The three women are PhD candidates Ingrid van de Leemput and Hannah van Zanten from the Netherlands and Maryna Strokal from Ukraine. These winners are chosen among sixteen nominations of women from six countries. The awarding ceremony took place on Friday 16th of October in the Impulse Building on Wageningen Campus.
Researching tipping points, Ingrid van de Leemput, PhD student of prof. Marten Scheffer of Aquatic Ecology, studies nitrogen microbial pathways in aquatic ecology. Her research can be used to predict phenomena such as the viability of coral reefs and psychiatric disorders. Her work stands out in its interdisciplinarity and the link between science and society.
Maryna Strokal, PhD student of prof. Carolien Kroeze of Environmental Systems Analysis, received the stipend for making agriculture more sustainable in regard to nutrient losses. She redesigned a model to counter water pollution in China by examining human activities on land and in river basins (the Global Nutrient Export from WaterSheds model).
The research of Hannah van Zanten, PhD student of prof. Imke de Boer of Animal Production Systems, crosses the boundaries of animal, plant and environmental sciences. She addresses the feed-food competition by looking into opportunities to use waste-fed insects as livestock feed.
Jury member Anke Niehof, emeritus professor of Sociology of Consumers and Households, represented the Rector in the ceremony. She stated that she is proud that these women perform their PhD at Wageningen University. “We hope they will be role models for other women embarking on a PhD in Wageningen and – when teaching – perhaps also for female MSc students who are considering an academic career”.
The Wageningen University professors nominated enterprising women who combine innovative scientific work with creating and sustaining national and international professional networks. “All sixteen nominees are able to look creatively beyond the boundaries of their own discipline. They all show an active awareness of the societal impacts of and social issues relating to their research,” prof. Niehof explained.