Martine Janet van de Weg
Martine van de Weg talks about the wide range of experiences she had at Edinburgh from learning the lambada in the Peruvian jungle to dancing at a ceilidh, all while studying her Masters and PhD.
Martine Janet van de Weg
PhD Geography & MRes in Global Environmental Change
|Year of Graduation||
2011 & 2006
Your time at the University
Initially, I had only planned to stay in Edinburgh for one year to attend the MRes (Master of Research) in Global Environmental Change. I was excited, as I knew there was very interesting research happening in the School of Geosciences, and I was looking forward to spending time in Scotland as well. However, it didn’t quite go to plan as, during my first weeks in the city, I realised that a year in Edinburgh would be too short. I decided to apply for a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Geography, which allowed me to further my studies and extend my stay.
I had so many wonderful experiences during my PhD years it is hard to single out ‘the best memory’. I very fondly remember the ceilidh at a post-graduate Geosciences conference, as well as my fieldwork in the cloud forests of Peru. Here, my assistants tried to teach me the lambada at night, after working in the forest all day. I just remember my PhD years as lots of fun and lots of interesting research. Doing a PhD isn’t easy, but the great atmosphere we had in the department makes me look back on a very happy time.
Doing a PhD isn’t easy, but the great atmosphere we had in the department makes me look back on a very happy time.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
After my PhD work in the warmth of the tropics, I first moved to the US to study the effects of climate change on Arctic tundras, and later to Amsterdam to study global patterns of CO2 and water fluxes. Currently, I am based in Dundee, running my own climate change consultancy.
Despite leaving Edinburgh over 5 years ago, it still plays a part in my life. I love coming back to visit friends who have stayed in the city and for work meetings. I feel my post-graduate time in Edinburgh definitely shaped my scientific thinking and helped me establish a strong network as a researcher. In addition, being an international student at the University gave me a global outlook on both my career and life itself.
Being an international student at the University gave me a global outlook on both my career and life itself.
I think most students that come to Edinburgh will find out how to have a good time there, as it’s hard not to enjoy yourself in a city that has so much to offer. My advice would be to appreciate the network you’ll make during your time there, and don’t be afraid to use it afterwards.