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Biological Sciences: General Biology (track)
Portrait student Alrike Dreissen

My view on this track...

I was happy with the flexibility of the program. I am interested in ecology and animal behaviour and this track gave the opportunity to shape my program in a way that focussed on these fields. I followed courses at the VU and UvA to prepare me for the research projects that are a big aspect of the master. This fit me well, since I experienced since my bachelor that I learn most from working on my own projects. In between the projects I followed courses on different aspects of ecology to broaden my knowledge.

My first research project...

was at the VU in a research group. The project focussed on the bat-moth arms race, on how moths developed defence mechanisms as adaptations to bats. Specifically, I studied if moths’ scales functioned as acoustic camouflage against echolocation. I was able to explore various questions within this topic that held my interest and I learned so much from being in the academic research environment.

For the second project...

I joined the research and advice consultancy Bureau Waardenburg to study the effect of ground-mounted solar parks on bats. Doing a research project in this environment gave me so much useful information and experience for non-academic research. I learned a lot from setting up the project, connecting with solar companies and working with people that emphasize the practicality and applicability of research.

All during my masters...

I was so glad just knowing that there were so many interesting and fun things I could do to fill my program, and that I had the freedom to choose the ones that suited me best. The combination of courses and both projects taught me a great variety of useful skills and it helped inspire me for what I want to do after my masters.