Germany’s federal Ministry of Education and Research has named 25 Green Talents for 2020, chosen from an international field of scholars in the early stages of careers in sustainability sciences. This year’s winners collectively represent 24 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America, including two Canadian researchers.
Dr. Alexandra Cassivi, a PhD in civil engineering and postdoctoral researcher at Université Laval, and Curtis Rollins, a PhD student in agricultural and resource economics at the University of Western Australia, were selected by a jury of prestigious German scientists and sustainability specialists, who assessed 589 applicants from 87 countries.
Cassivi’s research focuses on access to drinking water, hygiene and environmental health, combining the disciplines of humanities, health and engineering. She is investigating how accessibility and seasonal variations in water supply affect community health and well-being in order to develop evidence-based guidance for engineers who design and evaluate water supply infrastructure in low-resource environments.
Rollins is studying the drivers of environmentally friendly behaviour, drawing on economics, sociology and psychology to investigate how Canadian and Australian households adopt renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. He is collaborating with researchers in North America, Europe and Asia to analyze the best combination of measures that governments can implement to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced biodiversity.
This is the 12th year of the Green Talents competition, culminating at Germany’s annual Green Talents International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development, which provides a forum for sharing global research from a range of scientific disciplines. However, for 2020, that event will be virtual with the 25 award winners invited to German research institutions, universities and sustainability project sites via remote access technology.
University of Hamburg; my Boo (a company that builds bamboo bikes); the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel; the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR); the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT Rostock); the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD; and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are all on the agenda for virtual visits. By 2021, it’s expected the award winners will be able to travel to Germany to claim their fully funded research stay at an institution of their choice.