Alumni aus Madagaskar

Im Bestreben um einen regen Austausch mit unserer Partneruniversität in Madagaskar, konnte die erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit von der wissenschaftlichen Kooperation auch auf die studentische Ebene und in der Lehre ausgeweitet werden. Regelmäßige Gastaufenthalte von Studierenden der University of Mahajanga an der Universität Koblenz-Landau bereichern die Universitätspartnerschaft.

Gefördert durch das EU-Programm Erasmus+ besuchten im Sommersemester 2018 erstmals sechs Studierende der University of Mahajanga die englischsprachigen Kurse des Masterstudienganges „BioGeoWissenschaften“ mit Schwerpunkt Tropenökologie in Koblenz. Die erfolgreich abgeschlossenen Module werden an der Heimatuniversität anerkannt.

Einige unserer Alumni möchten gerne ihre persönlichen Erfahrungen am Campus Koblenz teilen und über ihren weiteren Werdegang berichten. Um die Authentizität zu wahren, sind die persönlichen Berichte nicht ins Deutsche übersetzt.

 

Promotionsstudium am Institut für Integrierte Naturwissenschaften - Abteilung Biologie

Promotion im Wintersemester 2018/2019

Since 2001 I have been working with Impatiens as part of the collaboration between the Parc Botanique and Zoologique of Tsimbazaza (PBZT) and the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany, initiated by the Neuchâtel University. Being the first specialist of Impatiens, Prof. Dr. Eberhard Fischer has kindly accepted to be my advisor all along my studies and work, that I summarize below:

  • My field work and Laboratory work on herbarium material between 2000 and 2002 were supported by the University of Neuchatel Switzerland and between 2004-2010 by the University of Koblenz-Landau & DAAD as well as the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris (2007).
  • Between 2002 to 2018 fourteen articles on taxonomy and phylogeny of Impatiens in Madagascar and Comoros Islands were published, fruits of Collaboration between the University of Koblenz-Landau and PBZT where I worked.
  • In 2004 the field work in Ranomafana and Tsitola was conducted in collaboration with the PBZT and the University of Koblenz-Landau.
  • In 2008 and 2009 the study was conducted in collaboration with the Sud Expert Plant/IRD project.
  • 2016-2018 : I became coordinator of cooperation between the University of Mahajanga, Madagascar and the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany.
    • 2017 : Meeting of staff from the University of Koblenz-Landau and the high responsable at Mahajanga University in Madagascar.
    • 2018 : The ERASMUS+ program at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany gave the opportunity to six students from the University of Mahajanga, Madagascar to follow one semester of the Master’s courses “BioGeoSciences” at the University of Koblenz-Landau.
    • 2018 : The Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment at the University of Mahajanga, Prof. Jean François Rajaonarison, and myself visited the University of Koblenz-Landau to meet our partners and to discuss, evaluate and monitor the collaboration under the ERASMUS+ program and its financial support.
    • 2019: In February 2019 I traveled to Koblenz, to stay one week and to defend my PhD on Balsaminaceae in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands: Systematics, Evolution, and Biogeography
    • I am grateful to Prof. Dr. Eberhard Fischer and the University of Koblenz-Landau Germany for advice and financial support all along my work and studies. I am indebted to the ERASMUS+ program and the colleagues at the University of Koblenz-Landau, without whom I would not have been able to defend my doctoral thesis..
    • On behalf of the University of Mahajanga, Madagascar I express our heartful thanks for the fruitful collaboration with the University of Koblenz-Landau under the ERASMUS+ program and its financial support which gave the opportunity for nine Malagasy students to get an experience on studying abroad and for the mobility of its two staffs so far.

 

Dr. Marie Elisette Rahelivololona

Coordinator for ERASMUS+ and the cooperation between the University of Mahajanga and the University of Koblenz-Landau

Teacher and Researcher at Faculté des Sciences de Technologie et de l' Environnement,  University of Mahajanga

Hajaniaina Rasoloarison

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

Kontakt:

I am managing both my scientific career and my PhD project

I was one of the students selected by the University of Mahajanga, Madagascar to spend a semester abroad at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany in 2018. Before I came to Germany,

I have worked in various national and international nature conservation projects with researchers and graduate students in the tropical rainforest and dry forest of Madagascar. The main focus was on the implementation of a rapid assessment program.

Since I joined the University of Koblenz-Landau, my field of interest has been focused entirely on the study of amphibian bioacoustics. Prof. Dr. Sinsch taught us bioacoustics and its importance in conservation biology. He is one of the leading scientists in amphibian bioacoustics worldwide.

Madagascar, like other tropical countries, is home to a variety of amphibians and reptiles, most of which are currently described. However, bioacoustics has been accepted by most scientists as one of the criteria for describing a new species. I have submitted my PhD research proposal, that will focus on the impact of climate change on amphibians and reptiles in the northern highlands of Madagascar, to various funders. Inspired by the study of bioacoustics, I have developed a standard method to record amphibian calling activity according to the seasons in order to determine their temporal variability.

I was also recently recruited by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Program Madagascar as a Scientific Assistant for the Sustainable Wildlife Management Program. The aim of this project is to reduce hunting of endemic species in the vicinity of the Makira Natural Park, currently Madagascar's largest terrestrial protected area.

My studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau were of great importance, especially my capacity building in the field of conservation biology. I now have an international profile in my field of scientific activity. I love my work.

 

Hajaniaina Rasoloarison

Scientific Assistant

Wildlife Conservation Society, Program Madagascar

Antso Raz

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

Kontakt:

Amazing experience

Before I came to Germany, I studied Wildlife Conservation in Fianarantsoa and for my master's degree I chose to study Zoology at the University of Mahajanga. For six years I have been representing an international NGO “Hope for Madagascar” to help international students who want to volunteer in Madagascar https://www.hopeformadagascar.org/. We build benches for schools, gazebos for kindergartens, and teach the locals how to use new, improved economic stoves. My work focused more on social development.

In 2018 I was one of the Malagasy students selected to participate in the first exchange program between the University of Mahajanga/Madagascar and the University of Koblenz-Landau. It was a great experience to spend this semester on the campus in Koblenz. Studying at the University of Koblenz-Landau helped me a lot to increase my knowledge of the environment, which is a huge area.

The Erasmus+ program gave us an opportunity to get an overview of being a student in Germany. Everything amazed us - not only the facilities they have, but also the way the teachers pass on their knowledge to the students. The university staff had already prepared our accommodation and we got help from amazing, local students through the Buddy-Program organized by the Welcome Center. One of our buddies took us for a mountain hiking and a classmate invited us to her house, where I rode a horse for the first time in my life.

Furthermore, we made new friends and discovered the German culture a little bit by participating in the events organized by the Welcome Center of the university.

After our studies in Koblenz I got the opportunity to gain experience in the field concerning my favorite animals, which are the lemurs. Actually I am volunteering at “Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership”: On the one hand I help in the communication between local graduate students and international volunteers and on the other hand I am monitoring two species of lemurs in the Andasibe-Analamazaotra Special Reserve, a protected area in the eastern part of Madagascar. We are studying the impacts of tourism on diademed sifaka and the dynamics of a black-and-white ruffed lemur population after the reintroduction of a few individuals.

 

Antso Razakafamantanantsoa

Volunteering project contact

Hope for Madagascar

Ando Harilalao Rakotomamonjy

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

I am a student from the University of Mahajanga – Madagascar and I will never forget my experience with ERASMUS+ in Germany.

Everything started when I received a scholarship as an exchange student for one semester (summer) at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany. Before that I had been working as a guide assistant in Anjajavy for 7 months. It was my first time to travel abroad and I felt very excited.

The ERASMUS+ program gave me the opportunity to learn the German language and to improve my English skills. I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity offered to me to participate in Erasmus+ because I find that I have learned something new from German culture.

After graduating with my master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Mahajanga, I focused more on the science of life and environment. In fact, I chose allergenic plants as my study topic for two years.

I also got the opportunity to follow a training in the “Anjajavy Lodge”, which is well known for its biodiversity. The experience was very enriching by the presence of spectacular endemic fauna and flora. The training mainly consisted of investigation of medicinal plants used by the local population.

Erasmus+ was an opportunity for me to get to know a new field. The Institute of Integrated Natural Sciences at the University of Koblenz-Landau plays an important role in biodiversity and conservation. Studying in the departments of Biology and Geography will be very helpful for my further work. By offering the adequate courses I am well prepared to face the challenges of doctoral studies. For this reason, I have planned to continue with my PhD next year.

 

Ando Harilalao Rakotomamonjy

Velojaona Audlin Ramiandra

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

Kontakt:

I graduated from the University of Mahajanga at the Department of Zoology, and I am about to finish my doctoral thesis. I work with the herpetofauna and my theses is focused on the morphotype and the biogeography of the long noised chameleons in western Madagascar. The collaboration between the University of Mahajanga and the University of Koblenz-Landau gave me the great opportunity to go abroad and continue my studies as an international ERASMUS student. During my studies at the University of Koblenz-Landau, I enjoyed myself, was satisfied with the accommodation, the friendly students, the teachers and the instructive and helpful administration staff.

In fact, after this exchange I gained a lot of knowledge which is very helpful for my further career and the tasks at my home university, e.g.: Assistance in the teaching of academic writing and scientific English at undergraduate and master's level, responsibility for the zoological laboratory and fieldwork within the zoology department, access to many different projects such as: NABU, MRPA (Managed Resource Protected Areas), OPWALL (Operation Wallace) and DBCAM (Development and Biodiversity Conservation Action of Madagascar).

Studying at the University of Koblenz-Landau has not only given my career at my home university a better future, but has also broadened my relationship to other international students and improved my self-confidence to be aware of my duties and responsibilities in Madagascar compared to other countries.

 

Velojaona Audlin Ramiandra

Irina Randrianjafy

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

Kontakt:

I am a student in “Biodiversity and Conservation” at the University of Mahajanga, Madagascar.  My studies focus on Melissopalynology, which is about the relationship between honeybees and flowering plants by observing the pollen content in honey.

My academic training at the University of Koblenz-Landau helped me to further improve the scientific knowledge I have acquired in my home country. Especially the exchange between foreign students has given me a lot of experience and encouraged me to learn more about how to conserve biodiversity.

First of all, I learned several methods in Geoecology, soil and water conservation, including more measures to conserve the soil, especially by using the particular software “ArcGIS”. Moreover, the course about bioacoustics of Amphibians provided me with new knowledge, with which we could identify amphibian species through their vocalization. In addition, the basic determination key of Angiosperms helped me to classify them for my further studies. Two additional courses were taken by us, academic writing and presenting and a German course.

It is my wish to use these experiences to conduct my studies about pollen of melliferous plants (palynology area) for my doctoral thesis.

 

Irinomenjanahary Randrianjafy

University of Mahajanga, Madagascar

Léjà Rakotonirina

Masterstudium BioGeoWissenschaften

Sommersemester 2018, Erasmus+

I recently completed my master's degree in Ecology of Primates at the University of Mahajanga - Madagascar. However, my experience as a master student in the Erasmus+ program at the University of Koblenz-Landau in the BioGeoSciences program was once again fascinating.  

I have always been an animal lover, that is why I have chosen to study Primates. My master's thesis deals with the biodiversity conservation, the biology and the behavior of Indri indri (one of the endemic species of Madagascar’s Lemurs). The title of my thesis is: Contribution of the dominance between females in Indri indri in the tropical forest of Maromizaha, East of Madagascar. That is also the reason why I wanted to learn about bioacoustic assessment of Anurans diversity at the University of Koblenz-Landau. Since my short stay of six months at the University of Koblenz-Landau, studying bioacoustics of Anurans allows me to focalize more on my following project as a PhD student.

Before the experience at the University of Koblenz-Landau, I had a blurred idea of what I can do to continue my studies. But after Koblenz, everything was clear, especially what I would focus on later in my doctoral thesis. My passion for animals, especially for primate research, is very big and I now have a great vision to continue working on my doctoral thesis, not only to better understand but also to consider the role of Primates.

Before I spent time in Germany, I had never traveled from Madagascar, so I had no idea what people would be like abroad. However, my experience in Koblenz allowed me to get to know other cultures and others spaces. Not to mention that German people are very kind, helpful and social.

Well, in one word, participating in the Erasmus+ program at the University of Koblenz-Landau was just a good way to better continue my project with my doctoral thesis as a carrier. Of course, when my little son has found his feet…. :-).

 

Léjà Rakotonirina