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Science Alumni UZH

Student Scholarship 2023

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David Bugmann

Civil society organizations and the governments of cocoa's countries of origin criticize European chocolate manufacturers for focusing their sustainable cocoa programs too little on a living wage for producers. But there are important counterexamples, such as the industry initiative Tony's Open Chain, which NGOs describe as a sustainability pioneer in the cocoa sector. In my master's thesis in human geography, I investigate the mechanisms through which Tony's procurement policies affect cocoa farmers' incomes. For this purpose, I conduct semi-structured interviews with cocoa producers in Côte d'Ivoire in collaboration with the Centre Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique en Côte d'Ivoire (CSRS). The main goal of my work is to create practical knowledge for Tony's further efforts to achieve a living wage for cocoa farmers.

Keesha Martin Ming

Previous studies have touched on the influence of island-living on domesticated animals. For domestic horses (Equus caballus), analysis of the cranial morphology has shown signs of a shared cranial shape in European insular horse breeds. To increase our understanding of those results, samples from outside Europe must be included into the data set, to rule out a strong genetic background of these findings. Therefore, Keesha aims to investigate cranial morphological shape in horse breeds and archeological samples from the Japanese Archipelago. Additionally, Keesha will analyze the shape of 3D models of the inner ear and brain endocasts obtained by non-invasive CT imaging. Keesha expects to find a similar cranial shape of the Japanese horses to those found in Europe, which would support our notion of an island habitat influencing morphology in domestic horses. Furthermore, obtaining this morphological data provide a unique database to study intraspecific variation in domestic horse breeds, since previous results have hinted at variation in the shape of the inner ear and brain between domestic horse breeds.

Maurus Mathis

During my final year of bachelor’s studies in chemistry I decided to study one semester abroad at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since my exchange program allowed me to focus on practical lab work, I saw this as an excellent opportunity to do my bachelor’s thesis there. I conducted research in the group of Prof. Osamu Ishitani, who investigates the photocatalytic reduction of CO2. The goal of my research project was to combine the established photocatalytic CO2 reduction with an efficient and industrially applicable CO2 capturing technique.

Nicole Bischof

I am currently in my bachelor's degree program in the field of biomedicine. To broaden my horizons and to get a better insight into biomedicine, I will do an exchange to Korea University in Seoul in the upcoming fall semester. The natural sciences are a very international field. Therefore, I would like to prepare myself for working in international teams at an early stage in order to promote better collaboration.

Aline Genoud

I am using my fellowship for a three-month research project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panama, where I am setting up and conducting research with Dr. Sabrina Amador-Vargas on ant-acacia interactions, including behavior, evolution, and morphology. I will set up my own research project during this time and carry it out for the duration of the internship.