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Global Changer Alumni

Alexandra Charmoli 2020/2021

I wanted to change my care/er path to focus on sustainability during a time when the work is so vital. The MSc in Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy offered the perfect opportunity with its focus on transdisciplinary studies that paired science with policymaking. The Masters engages students with professors and lecturers that are at the forefront of environmental science. I also fostered a strong network with my cohort, creating lasting relationship with people in similar fields. The Global Change programme gave me the opportunity to work as an energy policymaker, a career that is fulfilling my passion for decarbonisation and connects science with policy.

(opens in a new window)Alexandra's profile

Conor Ó Beoláin

Conor Ó Beoláin 2020/2021

 "I chose this MSc in Global Change programme because in my mind it offered the best of both the world of global change science as well as the associated governance and policy implications. I already had a background in earth and ocean sciences but I had a keen interest in the social aspects and challenges of these areas. The international component of studying abroad in Germany was an added bonus for me, and one which made the choice of applying for this programme, easy. Personally, I found the internship period as well as the semester at JLU in Gießen to be the most rewarding experiences, but the whole course duration was made infinitely better by the care and expertise provided by all the module instructors in UCD and JLU. This programme opened up both my eyes to issues I had not even heard of and also opened doors to career paths I thought I would never do. I currently am in Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt where I am working towards my PhD."

Katarina Chernyuk 2020/2021

"There are so many good things about the Global Change masters, but the most important is that I am beginning my absolute dream PhD at UCC in October and I owe it to the Global Change MSc course. My work will be in exploring strategies for restoring Atlantic Oak forests and will involve working with rural communities and landowners. Thanks to the Global Change MSc, not only did I have the transdisciplinary experience that my PhD supervisors were looking for, but also I believe that my internship experience during the masters really gave me a boost as well. I got to intern with Mossy Earth, a rewilding and reforestation company based in the UK that gave me experience with European reforestation efforts but also taught me how to engage and work with multiple actors as I reached out to various environmental groups in Ireland and initiated communication between them and Mossy Earth. As someone from an environmental science background, I figured that a master's with a focus on the interplay between science and policy along with an internship and a learning abroad component would be a great next step. Despite not getting to go to Germany due to Covid and lectures being online, I wouldn't change a thing about my choice of masters and I'm really grateful to have been a part of it. All the lecturers and especially my supervisors; Florence, Christoph and Regina were great and amazingly accommodating during a tough time and the level of care and guidance I received throughout the entire course was exemplary. The Global Change masters really helped put me head and shoulders above where I thought I'd be and put me on my dream path."


Yana Bersunukayeva 2017/18

" Having completed my undergraduate degree in environmental science I have gained an invaluable practical approach to the subject however, I wanted to gain knowledge in the policy aspect of environment. This Masters program was an ideal solution to fill in my knowledge gap in environmental policy and law while also providing me with an opportunity to study abroad in Giessen, Germany. Additionally, as part of the Master’s, I have chosen to undertake my 2-month internship as an environmental scientist with RPS, an engineering consultancy firm.  The internship provided me with a working knowledge of carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (EIARs) and introduced me to an environmental consulting environment. The internship position with RPS has enabled me to secure a position with Roughan and O’Donovan consulting engineers for a position of Graduate Environmental Scientist upon completion of the Masters degree."


Sean Schmitz, 2016/17

"Since the beginning of 2018, I have been working at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany as a research associate. The story of how I got here, though, is perhaps as uniquely intertwined with the Global Change program as it can get. It began with the internship portion of the program, which I completed at the IASS in the first few months of 2017. It was through another Global Change alumni, Rebecca Kutzner, that I even heard about the institute in the first place, as she had been working there for a few years by then. A polite email and a skype call later and I had myself an internship. Luckily it went well enough that I was able to come back to the IASS later that year to write my thesis within the same project, Climate Change and Air Pollution (ClimPol). By the end of the thesis, it became clear to me that what is often lacking in science is not resources to conduct the research, but rather the researchers to do it. For that exact reason, I began my current position in the project to continue what I had started with my thesis. To put it bluntly, I wouldn’t be where I am without the Global Change program. It provided me with both the opportunities and the connections to allow me to succeed, for which I will always be grateful."


Claire McVeigh 2015/16

"I am currently in the second year of my PhD in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University, Belfast, where I am researching weathering of bedrock in blanket bogs and the potential influence of this on atmospheric carbon levels. The multidisciplinary nature of the MSc in Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy allowed me to gain an understanding of a wider range of topics than a straightforward environmental science course, including environmental law, economics, and communication of scientific information. In addition, the placement portion of the course allowed me to see what a job in research was really like, which encouraged me to undertake PhD research. The programme not only gave me a solid knowledge base in environmental and ecosystem science from which to begin my own research, but also an understanding of the political and economic factors that can influence environmental policy and the importance of effectively communicating scientific information."

Nidia Loureiro, Angola, MSc Global Change graduate 2016, is helping Angola's many challenges not least climatic data thanks to the SASSCAL network


Martin Sunnus, 2013/14

"I work at the “Regierungspräsidium Tübingen”, which is a government authority in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. My job is to reduce air pollution. I deal mostly with emissions from road traffic in urban areas. During the MSc Global Change programme I acquired the scientific skills needed to evaluate data pertaining to air quality and develop practical solutions according to the level of pollution. Additionally, I gained a deep understanding of the political and administrative frameworks that are both the basis and the boundaries for my work."

Elena Barth 2014/15

uring my undergraduate studies in Environmental Management I learned a lot about ecosystem science and project management. However, I felt that my education lacked an important part on policy processes if I wanted to make my plans of working in international cooperation come true. This is why I chose the master´s course Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy. It gave me the possibility to deepen my understanding of international environmental policy and science communication. For my thesis I went to Colombia and investigated on a coral reef restoration project in the Caribbean. The knowledge I had gained during the master´s course enabled me to do research not only on the ecological dimension of coral reef loss, but to also highlight social-economic and political aspects of the issue. 

Currently, I am working as an intern for Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German federal agency for international cooperation. I support the team of Blue Solutions, a project that is dedicated to the protection and conservation of the world´s marine and coastal biodiversity.


Rebecca Kutzner, Germany, 2013/2014.

"After graduating with a bachelor degree in Geoscience 2012, where I learned about past climates and inter-connections within the earth system, I wanted to gain more insight into current ecosystems and their regulation. In 2014 I graduated from the MSc program “Global Change: Ecosystem Science and Policy” which taught me a variety of skills regarding ecosystems and their interaction with the ground and atmosphere. I gained knowledge of political as well as economical mechanisms, dominating decision making processes, also concerning various ecosystems. That knowledge as well as those skills were and are very useful in my different work environments since then. During my time (2014-2018) at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e. V. in Potsdam, Germany, I was able to extend the gained skills of my MSc degree, like the statistical program ‘R’, while working in the science-policy-interface with cities and German ministries regarding air quality issues. Continuing my research at the Université Paris-Est à Créteil in France, the learned skills of different programs during my master courses like MATLAB as well as statistical analysis are never to be underestimated."

Aggrey Ntakimanye, Uganda, MSc Global Change graduate 2014. Currently advising the Uganda Government and working as a forestry consultant, Uganda

The MS in Global Change had the best “packaging” that suited my career aspirations and interests. The most stimulating and valuable aspect of the course was the work placement, where I learned work-related skills through excellent professional mentoring. Also, living in both Ireland and Germany was enriching both on a professional and a personal level.

MSc Global Change

School of Biology & Environmental Science University College Dublin Dublin, Ireland Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Heinrich-Buff-Ring 17 35392 Gießen Germany
T: +353 (0) 17162253 | E: globalchange@ucd.ie