Lena is a PhD candidate at the Environmental Systems Analysis group at Wageningen University. Her research focuses on nitrogen losses from agriculture and also the effects of nitrogen deposition on forests.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what did you study?
“My bachelor in International Land and Water Management focussed on farming in tropical countries, but I also took a minor in climate change. Because of my growing interest in the link between agriculture, climate and the environment, I started the MSc Climate Studies.”
How was your experience during your master’s studies at WUR?
“It was nice to experience that the classroom was very international: we were with 25 students and more than 12 nationalities from 5 different continents! In my second year, I wrote my thesis on possibilities for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, at consultancy Ecofys in Cologne, Germany.”
How did your studies prepare you for your PhD?
“During my master’s, I was selected for the SENSE honours programme and therefore instead of the internship, I wrote a PhD proposal. With this proposal, I received an NWO scholarship. Now I am in the fourth year of my PhD. I use models to investigate the effects of nitrogen losses in agriculture. I also investigate whether nitrogen deposition on forests leads to additional carbon sequestration. Besides research, my job involves educational tasks. I enjoy this combination of activities and it is nice that I get to teach courses that I took myself during my master’s.”