For my Master’s project I wanted to be a part of the PaNDiv experiment because of its focus on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which is a topic that has been my prior interest for all of my studies. Having written my Bachelor’s thesis on cribellate spider silk and its properties, it was an interesting choice for me to look into the collected spiders from PaNDiv for my Master’s. My objective is to assess spider abundance and investigate the relationship between the latter and various ecological factors, such as plant growth rate, plant community structure, elevated nitrogen concentration and presence of fungicide. My current procedure comprises of the identification of the collected spiders and recording of their body mass, number of webs and arthropod predation rates.
For my studies I chose an interdisciplinary curriculum. I think it is vital for future developments to understand other parties’ interests. Courses in environmental law, economic value of environmental goods, monetarisation of ecosystem services and sustainable agriculture allowed me to acquire a broader and more interlinked knowledge, which will hopefully come in handy for my future work. I would like to pursue a position in which I can operate at a junction between ecological, economic, legislative, and social interests and become part of a better future.
Project: PaNDiv Experiment