Back to top


Stefano Sarris

Organization: Utrecht University:  Copernicus Institute for a Sustainable Development
DATES:  5/15/2015 - 8/18/2015

In Stefano's own words

How I contributed:  During the internship I worked on two projects.  1) A research project to better understand plant plasticity traits, and the overall biodiversity change as a result of NP enhancement in agricultural fields.  The research focused on agricultural fields that have been brought into conservation at different years in the historic past.  Samples were taken and species diversity was measured along a nutrient gradient in each field.  The results of this study can benefit the agricultural industry as it can give advise for plant plasticity responses to nutrient enhancement, and it can benefit conservation stakeholders as it can inform how nutrient enhancement will have an impact on the biodiversity in conservation sites over a temporal scale.  2)  Research project to better understand short term, and long term plant responses to rising atmospheric CO2.  The results of the study can inform forest managers and the academic society how forests are expected to change with rising CO2.

What I felt most challenged by:  Overcoming a hand injury while being in the Philippines.  I ended up going to the Netherlands, being diagnosed with a broken hand, and having to undergo a hand surgery.

What I enjoyed most:  Performing research in the Netherlands, living in the Netherlands.

Would I recommend this experience? Absolutely.  First, interning in the Netherlands is a peaceful and enjoyable experience.  The Netherlands is a safe country and it can give a good insight in European culture.  It is relatively easy and cheap to travel to other countries within Europe from the Netherlands.  Almost everyone speaks English in the Netherlands.