Markus Hermann talks about his research stay at IMDEA Water

Published On: October 21, 2021

Markus Hermann, a PhD student from Wageningen University & Research, recently completed his research stay at IMDEA Water

Markus Hermann, a PhD student from Wageningen University & Research, recently completed his research stay at IMDEA Water, which he began last April.

Markus collaborates in ECORISK2050, a pan-European project funded by the European Union in the framework of the H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Action – Innovative Training Networks. We will analyse and address risks of chemicals of emerging concern in water, focusing on scenarios up to 2050.

Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your background?

My name is Markus and I am a PhD student at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. Specifically, at the Chemical Stress Ecology research group and the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management section. I come from southwestern Germany, from the Black Forest region and the Alps, near France and Switzerland. I studied Environmental Science/Geo-Ecology in Germany (Tübingen University) and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science in Sweden (Stockholm University), with various research stays abroad, including Chile, Egypt, or Indonesia.

What does your research consist of?

Given my interest in research with multiple stressors, I work with test systems that recreate aquatic ecosystems. These can be small and simplified (microcosms) or large and complex (mesocosms). With these special test systems and machinery kits, we can investigate the interactions between multiple stressors, such as the effects of climate change and pesticides used in agriculture to ensure the future of aquatic ecosystems.

Why did you choose IMDEA Water? How long did you stay?

My project focuses on investigating whether there are differences between the effects of these stressors in different ecoregions (Central and Southern Europe). I came to IMDEA Agua to perform the same experiment that we had already carried out successfully the previous year in the Netherlands with an even larger experimental design. I have been here for 7 months, from April to October, to be able to rule out any natural heat waves that could interfere with the field experiment we conducted in spring.

To what extent has this stay helped with your research? Have you collaborated with other researchers at IMDEA Water?

This research stay has not only helped complete my PhD research, but it will also contribute to the outcome of the ECORISK2050 project. Apart from working with the ECOTOX group at IMDEA Water, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with other research groups like the microbiological contamination group or the water analysis laboratory. It is great to see that several researchers will benefit from this great outdoor study through future publications.

On a personal level, it has been a very rewarding experience, we put together an incredible team, we experimented and tackled new challenges. Moreover, I think we all enjoyed it and learnt from each other. I can truly say that not only did I make new connections with researchers, but I also found many lifelong friends who I will surely meet again. I also think of all the cultural experiences I have had in Spain. I believe that for all this, and in general, this research stay has been of great importance in my career.

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