Student Activities

GCE Alumni (12): PhD at the Professorship of Ecological Services

The Elite Network of Bavaria master’s programme “Global Change Ecology” (GCE) started in 2006 at the University of Bayreuth. Since then, several GCE students have already completed their master´s degree. Interested to know about the career development and lives of our alumni, we started the GCE Alumni series of interviews last year. Here we cover inspiring stories and the motivation behind these special people who were and will always be a part of our GCE family.
Our twelfth interviewee is Ervin Kosatica, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and started to study GCE in 2013

Why did you decide to study GCE?
GCE was the only study program that I found which combined multiple different topics pertaining to sustainability. I have always enjoyed learning about a broad range of subjects and GCE offered exactly that.

What did you like most about GCE?
Like I said previously, the broad range of subjects is what I liked about GCE the most. However, I was always drawn to the Societal Change modules since they included ways in which we might steer away from the unsustainable path our global civilization is currently on. In terms of the study program itself, I particularly liked the teaching and examination format. It encouraged critical thinking and practical work, rather than the outdated rote learning and repetition of information. This is especially relevant in today’s world where information can be accessed in a matter of seconds using a smartphone and an internet connection while the ability to critically process that information is much more important.

How has your career continued after GCE?
After essentially a year of looking for a job I applied for a PhD at the Professorship of Ecological Services with Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner as the supervisor. And for the past three years this has been my job. My contract has finished in February 2021, but I am still continuing to work on the PhD.

What is your current position? What are your tasks?
Currently I am partly employed as a GCE lecturer teaching the course M16 Modeling Ecosystem Functions with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). And the rest of my time is split between working on the PhD and caring for my newborn son together with my wife.

How has GCE supported your career?
GCE enabled me to do two internships, one at IPBES and one at UNCCD where I also worked as a consultant. I found these experiences at the UN extremely valuable and enjoyed them very much. GCE has also given me the opportunity to further my career by doing a PhD, as well as allowing me to give something back to GCE by becoming one of the lecturers.

What do you recommend to the current GCE students?
I would say, make the most out of the variety of courses offered by GCE. It is a rare opportunity since the vast majority of study programs force you to specialize in a single narrow field while GCE gives you the option for specialization, as well as a broader perspective.

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