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Philip Abiolu is an IMAE student from Nigeria. He's part of the 2021-2023 cohort and he and decided to travel to Canada, and enrol at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to work on his dissertation project: Responses of macro-invertebrates in agricultural prairie soils to inorganic fertilizer application.

"Prairie soils are soils found in regions that are too dry to be a forest but also too wet to be a desert and are very fertile soils, due to high soil organic matter and macro-invertebrate activities, however, due to human population pressure and commercial agriculture, the use of inorganic fertilizers are at an all time high, which has placed direct stress on soil macro-invertebrates, so for my research, I aim to investigate and report the effect of varying concentrations of the active ingredients of these fertilizers on the survival, growth, feeding, and reproduction of Folsomia candida (Collembola or Springtails) and Enchytraeus crypticus (Pot worms)."

Luísa Fraga is an IMAE student from Portugal. She's part of the 2021-2023 cohort and chose to stay and develop her Master's dissertation at the University of Coimbra: 
Evaluating soil macrofauna using morphological and DNA metabarcoding approaches along a gradient of farming intensification.

"For my second year I chose to come back to the University of Coimbra. It has been definitely the right choice for me. I am focusing on biodiversity assessment tools of soil macroinvertebrate (traditional and molecular methods) with Dr. Luis Cunha. I was able to develop several abilities in all the parts that make an ecologist. I went to the field to collect data and then I processed it in the lab using several different tools, regarding computational capabilities, I have been working on bioinformatics and also statistics in R. It has been a great experience that I highly encourage everyone to follow!"

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