First double-degree graduate in Biological Resources M.Sc.

Julia de los Ángeles Cerezo Martínez is the first student to earn a double degree in Biological Resources M.Sc. at HSRW and in Advanced Techniques in Agricultural and Food Research and Development at the Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT). This makes her the first graduate of the double degree programme since it was established in 2019.

A partnership between two universities in Germany and Spain allows motivated students to earn not one, but two master’s degrees simultaneously. Thanks to significant commonalities in content and objectives between the two degree programmes, the double degree programme was arranged such that students’ overall duration of study is one semester longer and the final two semesters of study are spent at the other partner university abroad.

The double degree programme’s first graduate, Julia de los Ángeles Cerezo Martínez, successfully defended her thesis in September 2021. Her research was focused on aquaponics and methods for cultivating strawberries and fish (tilapia) in the same space. Aquaponics is the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture to create a sustainable system for farming both vegetables and fish. Hydroponics in turn is a method of growing plants without soil, using a liquid rich in nutrients and minerals instead. “I wanted two master’s degrees to improve my career and research opportunities abroad and to learn a third language,” explains Julia de los Ángeles Cerezo Martínez.

Professor Dr Matthias Kleinke of HSRW supervised her thesis together with a colleague in Spain and travelled to Cartagena for her thesis defence: “The double degree programme has been a great success and we would like to invite even more students from Cartagena to sign up and visit us at our university in Germany.” Kleinke is confident that there are also students at HSRW interested in the opportunity to study in Cartagena—not only because of the beautiful weather, but also the great opportunities for research.