Born and bred in Dorsten, my early years were imprinted by the freedom of childhood and the curiosity to explore. Eagerly I listened to geography lessons at school or discovered the outdoors in my free time. Playing basketball was what then filled my teenage years and which I am still very passionate about.
At the age of 19, I began to expose myself to the world: I studied Physical Geography and Soil Science, learned at ifp Journalism School in Munich, and immersed myself in intercultural experiences; both domestically and internationally. My twenties were irrevocably shaped by the international flavour of these experiences - at university but particularly whilst living, studying, and working abroad in England, Mongolia, and New Zealand.
It was back then that I realised societies and ecosystems experiencing rapid and - potentially - irreversible changes. In fact, I became aware that these changes demand creative, compassionate, and curiosity-driven ideas that e.g., incorporate indigenous knowledge and no longer disrespect the laws of the natural world.
Digging in the "dirt" - doing what I enjoy most
Studying Physical Geography (BSc), Landscape & Soil Sciences (MSc) at Leibniz Universität Hannover, and Glaciology in Salford (ERASMUS) introduced me to academia, neatly structured and schematic. Not completely disinclined by how science seemed to work, I accepted a PhD position at the University of Waikato in Aotearoa (2017-2020). I was eager to learn more about greenhouse gases, intensive pastoral farming, and climate/environmental change - the 'why' and the 'how'.
With the PhD done and dusted, I started work at the Tasman District Council (NZ) where I became the only advising soil scientist from June 2021 to December 2022. I learned swimming in the deep end and, as such, was responsible for an 80,000 ha comprising soil mapping campaign. I initiated a revision of the Council's soil monitoring strategy and since science communication was treated poorly, I too became involved in creating videos for the public and internal stakeholders alike.
Installing a cooling system for a quantum cascade laser using sub-soil temperature gradients
Since 2008, I have been very fortunate to collect a broad range of journalistic experiences: from writing for local newspapers and attending a three-year apprenticeship at ifp journalism school in Munich to publishing in GEOlino, a popular science magazine for children. In 2019, I wrote my - thus far - most important piece of work which was for the New Zealand Soils Portal in cooperation with Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. And now? This website is the next step on my way to becoming more visible as a researcher, journalist, and science communicator. I am craving more!
Being an environmental scientist is, for me, deeply connected with exposing myself to nature. This is the only way I can feel her breathing, understand her ways of internal functioning and realise the interconnectivity of life overall. On my explorations around the world, I gained some practical skills in the outdoors. Those are hiking ability in mountainous to sub-alpine terrain, first aid and pre-hospital care training, surf lifesaving qualifications following German and New Zealand standards, rock, tree and a little bit of ice climbing, snow craft, kite buggy driving, paragliding and riding on the back of wild Mongolian horses.
Life in a yurt - capturing the moment
Freedom rider on the back of a Mongolian horse