Mercedes VALDERRAMA-VERNAZA, Dipl in Biology (Colombia)

Mercedes Valderrama-Vernaza

Colombian scientist Mercedes Valderrama-Vernaza earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the Universidad Industrial de Santander in Bucaramanga in Colombia.

Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia

Research focus: Ecosystem research and sustainable land use

Ms Valderrama-Vernaza is especially interested in interdisciplinary ecosystem research and the relationship between man and nature. She actively promotes the protection of endangered species and the environment. This convinced the jury to choose her for the “Green Talents Forum.” What impressed the jury even more was how she put her activism into practice by performing scientific field research on the ecology of endangered species in Colombian nature preserves. A prominent example of this was her investigation of the conflict between the Andean Bear and cattle rearing in the high Colombian mountains.

Due to her research focus, Ms Valderrama-Vernaza is particularly interested in visiting the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig as well as the Research Centre for Agriculture and the Environment (ZLU) at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen. The jury was intrigued by her motivation in applying what she will learn about sustainable resource management and land use during the Green Talents Forum to her work when she returns to Colombia. This is a prime example of how the Green Talents Forum does contribute to an effective knowledge transfer between countries in important research areas.

“Germany has many recognised scientific institutions that work towards the development of sustainable strategies from interdisciplinary fields,” says Ms Valderrama-Vernaza. “Participating in the Green Talents Forum will be a great opportunity for me.”