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IMAE Alumni Feedback

Hello, former IMAE! Leave us some feedback on your adventures as a Master in Applied Ecology!

Amani Mabano, Rwanda (IMAE 2016-18)

PhD Student at the University of Barcelona, Spain

"I finished my IMAE in 2018 and began my PhD in 2019. IMAE opened doors for me, it was easy to obtain a PhD opportunity. The message to current IMAE students is that IMAE should not be put in the pool of other generic master´s programmes. IMAE is a visa to a better future career, for someone who is ready to seize opportunities."

Marija Milanovic, Serbia (IMAE 2014-16)

Postdoc at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) & Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research UFZ, Germany

"I finished IMAE in 2016, and started my PhD at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2017. After graduating from my PhD I started working as a postdoc in January 2021. "

Aurelie Muckenhirn, France (IMAE 2016-18)

Staff Biologist in a Private Consulting Company, San Francisco, California, USA

"Completed an internship with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service consisting of wildlife surveys (primarily shorebird nest productivity monitoring). Afterwards, I started working at my current company as a staff biologist in consulting. I conduct endangered species surveys, habitat assessments, enforce environmental compliance and regulations, work on documentation for environmental compliance."

Jennifer Thompson, USA (IMAE 2016-18)

Assistant Specialist Researcher at UC Berkeley, USA

"I finished IMAE in 2018 and then returned home to the USA. I began a job at UC Berkeley in spring 2019 after a 6 month job search and it's been the most amazing experience! I am a researcher/project coordinator/lab manager at a Soils & Agroecology lab. I manage a large interdisciplinary project of 20+ professors and students that looks at the interplay between agricultural laws and economics, farmer management decisions, on farm biodiversity, and ecosystem services. I work with farmers, in the field, and in the lab so it's a very dynamic job. My job is ending soon so I will actually be returning to Germany to start my PhD at ZALF where I will continue to work in sustainable agriculture! IMAE definitely helped me look at the world in new light and think about environmental problems in a different way than I did before starting. My master's thesis working in agriculture definitely helped start a new career path for me. My advice for new IMAE students is if you want to get into research, academics really aren't enough. You need to gain practical lab/field experience outside of classes. This can be done during your master's thesis but I would also highly recommend helping with research during as many semesters as possible if you don't already have this experience!"

Ginevra Bellini, Italy (IMAE 2019-17)

PhD student at Kiel University, Germany

"I finished in 2019 and started my current position in January 2020. Make the most out of this incredible opportunity, create connection with colleagues and faculty members."

Audrey Delhomme (IMAE 2019-17)

"I finished IMAE in 2017 and then worked for 3 years in community-based marine conservation in Madagascar; one year with the NGO Blue Ventures on the field and two years at the national level with a malagasy network, MIHARI. I ended my contract not that long ago and I am currently looking for a new job opportunity. Be curious, take initiatives, embrace all of the opportunities around you and get passionate!"

Marie-Morgane Rouyer,  France (IMAE 2019-17)

Early-stage research fellow at French National Centre for Scientific Research, Montpellier, France

"I finished IMAE in September 2019 and then started a two-year position as an early-stage research fellow in January 2020. I am now part of a European project called Inspire4Nature that is training young researchers to work at the science-policy interface of international biodiversity conservation. IMAE was critical in helping getting me this position. It still hasn't been very long since I graduated so my professional journey is just starting, but I do feel I am now equipped with the tools and knowledge to work in biodiversity conservation, which is what I want my career to be focused on. Enjoy this program to the fullest! IMAE was an incredible part of my life, academically and personally. I think we all feel incredibly lucky to have been part of this adventure and I hope you will too! PS: always feel free to reach out to me :)"

David Bennett, United Kingdom (IMAE 2017-19)

PhD student at Kiel University, Germany

"I finished IMAE in 2019. After that, I spent the covid year working in a supermarket, volunteering online (for example with IUCN) and working on research publications. I then started a PhD in Kiel on November 26th 2020. It was an utterly incredible experience, both life and career changing. Good luck for your studies."

Edgar Cifuentes, Colombia (IMAE 2016-18)

PhD student at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

"I finished IMAE in 2018 and then I travelled, volunteered and worked in two publications while writing a proposal for applying to a PhD in the University of Cambridge where I am at the moment. Enjoy and learn a lot, there is a bright future and be optimistic."

Sate Ahmad, Bangladesh (IMAE 2014-16)

Postdoctoral Research Associate at Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Rostock, Germany

"I have finished IMAE in 2016. My professional career entails: Doctoral research on hydrology of fen peatlands; Postdoctoral research on nutrient dynamics in coastal wetlands; Master thesis under IMAE was on evapotranspiration in treed and open fen peatlands. IMAE experience depends on one's expectation and how much one can make of the opportunities given and on the trajectories taken. However, my experience was mixed, but unforgettable. One of the best experiences of my life, full of fun, but some crucial moments of hardship. But experience also depends on whether the person is fully funded /scholarship or has to pay for it. But in any case, there is not doubt that IMAE led me to where I am today."

Bichitra Paul, Bangladesh (IMAE 2017-19)

PhD student at University of Copenhage, Denmark

"I finished IMAE in 2019 with my thesis on Molecular Plant Physiology, and then I got accepted into a PhD position in the International Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (iMED) Program at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, which  is an interdisciplinary Marie Curie Horizon 2020 COFUND initiative. I started working on my project on Metabolic Rearrangements in Liver Cancer in February 2020 and I hope to graduate by 2023 with a doctorate degree. I am originally from Bangladesh, and I can say that applying to IMAE was one of the best decisions I took in my life. Not only has the travelling to exciting,new places given me lifelong memories, but also the very international environment which we were exposed to gave us lifelong friends. Academically speaking, this is an interdisciplinary program which  gave us the opportunity to dabble in and be educated on a wide range of disciplines. I came from a very different background in Biochemistry during my Bachelor's, and in IMAE I was able to fully appreciate the importance of interdisciplinarity in order to make any real change in the world. As a non-EU, shifting to a new country every few months came with its own set of challenges , but now that I look back I would not have it any other way.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who aspires to have a holistic view on ecology - encompassing the scientific, social, legislative as well as humanitarian aspects. I wish all the current and future students of IMAE all the very best, and would like to say that if you want to reach out on anything regarding IMAE, I shall be happy to provide my input."

Diego Guevara Torres,  Peru (IMAE 2015-17)

PhD student at the University of Adelaide, Australia

"I finished IMAE in 2017 and then came back to Peru to continue working as a consultant, conducting biodiversity and environmental impact assessments. I also returned to my role as a bird banding coordinator in Lima and had the opportunity to conduct research projects on the conservation of biodiversity in Lima and the Amazon. Outside Peru, I returned to Australia on two occasions to keep working on conservation projects at the South Australian wetlands. In the meantime, I applied for a PhD at the University of Adelaide. Now, I find myself working on the restoration and monitoring of South Australian temperate grasslands. Get the most of your experience as an IMAE student. Explore and learn as much as you can. The sky's the limit. And if you are interested in studying or doing research in Australia or Peru, I am happy to give you a hand."

Elise Quigley,  Ireland) (IMAE 2017-19)

PhD student at the University of Vigo, Spain (secondment at the University of Coimbra)

"I finished my IMAE program in the fall of 2019 and since then I took some personal time to myself and found a local job at a very vibrant and lively restaurant where I made great lifelong friends. However, in that time I was still slowly pursuing my next academic/professional venture. Corona really did not make things easier and pushed my schedule back a year but I finally found a perfect PhD program that is commissioned by the European Union and offers a great stepping stone towards many paths paved with endless networking and possibilities. IMAE definitely provides you with the bearings to take on almost any obstacle. It is unique from other master's because it offers a wide spectrum of instruction in a wide variety of educational settings. Every country is different, every curriculum and schedule is varying, and of course no teacher teaches the same. This set up gives you a keen adaptation towards change and variability in any situation, which is a given in life."

Lola Baker,  Australia (IMAE 2018-20)

Research Assistant at the ArborMetrics, Cairns, Australia

"I finished IMAE in 2020 and then started an internship with CSIRO, a leading research institute in Australia. In this role, I participated in a Climate Change in World Heritage project in particular engaging with Indigenous stakeholders to gain their insights into the topic. I helped host workshops and write the workshop report. After that I started an internship with Terrain Natural Resource Management, where I participated in a project working with landholders to achieve projects that would improve or create habitat and corridors for the Southern Cassowary. I am now working for a new organisation called ArborMetrics where we are using Terrestrial Laser Scanning technology to create 3D imagery of trees and forests as an improved method of forest monitoring. We also aim to use this technology to measure carbon, as an incentive to protect or revegetate forests. I am also currently working on my Master thesis to hopefully publish. The IMAE program is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons in your intellectual, professional and personal life. I would not hesitate to recommend this opportunity."

Mahmoud Nady,  Egypt (IMAE 2013-15)

Research Assistant at the Bonn University, Germany

"I finished my IMEA journey in 2105, I worked back in Egypt as a teaching assistant of Ecology in two universities. Later I moved to Wageningen University for my PhD and I do it in collaboration with ZEF, Bonn University. I gained many awards and prizes in the last five years such as DAAD short visit, Alexandre Von Humboldt young leaders program and others. IMAE was the spark where everything started after. For Ecologist, nothing better than IMEA as a spark for a successful carrier. "

Louisa Mamalis,  UK (IMAE 2016-18)

PhD Student at the University of York, UK

"I finished IMAE in 2018. I worked as an ecological consultant in the UK for 1.5 years and then started my PhD in September 2020.  "

Lina López Ricaurte,  Colombia (IMAE 2014-16)

PhD student at the Estación Biológica de Doñana, Spain

"I finished IMAE in 2016 and then I did a one-year traineeship at “Tour du Valat: Institut de recherche pour la conservation des zones humides méditerranéennes”, in the Camargue National Park, France. As part of the Species Conservation Department, I worked in various aspects of movement ecology, population dynamics, and conservation biology using the Eurasian spoonbill as a study model. To deepen my research interest on movement ecology  and try to understand what are the causes of animal movement, and subsequently, the cues to develop appropriate animal conservation measures, I started a PhD funded by The ”la Caixa” - INPhINIT fellowship programme at Spanish Research Centres of Excellence. Combining bio-logging data with atmospheric models and field observations, my PhD project aims to analyse the effect of different factors (e.g. season, sex, ecological barriers and weather conditions) influencing post-breeding movement strategies of the long-distance partially migratory Lesser Kestrels (Falco naumanni, which showed recent alarming population declines in Spain).

In my opinion, the IMAE master's programme allowed me to find a more accurate niche of research. I also formed professional bonds with excellent professors and met people from all over the world, who after six years later are still some of my closest friends. In my personal opinion, to study abroad is priceless, and I don't regret the student loans I borrowed for the IMAE. That said,  if I could do it all over again I would, because this masters changed my perspective on what I thought I wanted to do with my life.

María del Carmen R. Bermúdez,  Mexico (IMAE 2016-18)

PhD candidate at the The University of Sheffield, UK

"I finished IMAE in 2018 and right after I stared a fully funded PhD position at the Department of Landscape Architecture of The University of Sheffield, which is highly ranked in the UK and worldwide. This Master will give you the tools to explore the world and bring a positive contribution in the environmental, social and conservation field. I will also help uou to create a great network of other researchers and practitioners interested in the same topic and from around the world, plus a nice IMAE family.  "

Alban Mazars Simon,  France (IMAE 2016-18)

Marine scientist at a NGO in Indonesia

"I finished in 2019, went to work in the south of France in a wildlife care centre and then moved to Reunion island to work on coral conservation. Over there, I came in contact with "The Sea people", an NGO that uses innovative and low-cost ways to restore coral reef habitats. Currently, I am working on mapping 500ha of the Dampier strait in west Papua using drones. It allows us to follow more closely the evolution of reef health and concentrate ours resources where it would be the most effective. IMAE is one of the best experiences I ever had. We learn, made lifelong friends all while exploring the world for its beauty. It gives all the tools to be a great scientist, a competent and caring person. I know that currently, the future most not look so bright. It is harder to find projects, to travel to other horizons. But you mustn't give up! You will always end up somewhere you can make your difference. "