Alumnus testimonial

Fabian Kemps Verhage - Research Assistant

After graduation from his master’s in Climate studies, Fabian started working as a Research Assistant at CGIAR. Based mainly in their office in Wageningen, he worked on the international research programme ‘Climate Change Agriculture & Food Security’. His task was to support the management unit with funding requests, and reporting and communicating about the projects within this research programme. After this, he started a traineeship at the Dutch foundation, the Nationale Denktank (in English: National Think Tank).

I liked to focus on the impact of climate change on agriculture at a global level

Could you please tell us how your interests directed you to do a master’s in Climate studies?
“I started my MSc Climate Studies because I like to work on social and global topics. By learning about climate change, which is going to be a big problem in the future, I hoped to be able to help people that are directly affected by climate change, and farmers in particular. I followed a quite general bachelor’s, and by choosing the MSc Climate Studies I wanted to expand my technological knowledge. The specific in-depth knowledge I have obtained in my master’s was useful for me to get a job quickly after my graduation.”

How was your experience studying at WUR and do you have any advice for the new students?
“Within the MSc Climate Studies, you have many possibilities and options. I think it is very important that you start the study with a specific aim or question, so you can select your courses accordingly and fully make use of all the possibilities. I liked to focus on the impact of climate change on agriculture at a global level. I selected the thesis track ‘Crop and Weed Ecology’ and for my thesis, I went to Brazil to investigate the effect of climate change on coffee production. I wrote a nice publication about it! My wish to go to Brazil could be realised by asking professors at Wageningen University for their contact persons at Brazilian universities. Overall, during my master’s, I could do what I intended to do, and this was facilitated by the study.”

What is your current job?
“At the moment, I am still doing my traineeship at Nationale Denktank. With 20 young academics, we work on a specific social theme: we are analysing the problems related to the implementation of the circular economy. We are receiving good support from the partners of this foundation: municipalities, companies and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.”

How did your studies prepare you for where you are now?
“I can use the scientific knowledge obtained during the master’s and also get a better understanding of what is happening in practice by visiting stakeholders. Our final aim is to come up with solutions that can be implemented to stimulate the circular economy.”

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