"The Master's programme in Marine Sciences has taught me to tackle complex issues"
Alumnus Ilja Kocken
"For my PhD at Utrecht University, I am studying the climate of the past and the initial development of the Antarctic ice sheet (about 34 million years ago). Palaeoceanography is a complex field that requires a good understanding of the physics, chemistry, biology, and geology that are integrally linked to the marine system. The Master's programme in Marine Sciences has taught me to tackle complex issues, by first covering all these relevant fields in-depth and then by connecting the dots in major research projects. Not a day goes by when I do not have to consider the interplay between the biology, ocean currents, and chemistry involved in the measurements I make of clumped isotopes of carbonate microfossils."
"I WAS GIVEN MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO CONDUCT RESEARCH AT DIFFERENT INSTITUTES IN THE NETHERLANDS AND ABROAD DURING MY STUDIES."
Alumna Vera Rullens
"Throughout the Master’s programme in Marine Sciences I was given many opportunities to conduct research at different institutes in the Netherlands and abroad. These research experiences were incredible on their own, and they also helped me get the PhD position of my dreams: after finishing my Master’s I was offered a PhD position at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. My PhD focuses on all the things shellfish do that are beneficial to humans. They are not only useful as a source of food and shell material, but they also serve in ways that may not be immediately obvious, but that are important for human decision making, such as improving water quality and nutrient cycling. My PhD consists of a combination of fieldwork, lab work and modelling to get a better understanding of how these services are delivered from an ecological perspective. This summer, I will be setting up my first experiment in the Tauranga estuary to examine the effect of shellfish beds on water column turbidity, nutrient cycling and denitrification potential in the sediment. As my PhD is part of the Sustainable Seas, National Science Challenge in New Zealand, I have been involved in other projects too, such as setting up a nationwide experiment looking at the effects of nutrient enrichment and turbidity on the functioning of benthic ecosystems. Consequently, I have seen some beautiful places in New Zealand, while meeting new people involved in the challenge."