Every summer, IIASA turns into a buzzing hub of knowledge seekers, and this year is no different! The AFE FLAM team welcomed three interns and three YSSP fellows this summer and we took a moment to chat with Rasheed, Adrian, Laura, and Lawrence about their experiences and goals.

Rasheed © Pavel Kiparisov

Rasheed Akinleye Hammed

Rasheed Akinleye Hammed and Gbenga Lawrence Alawode are both intern students from the University of Eastern Finland working towards a MSc in European Forestry. Under the guidance of Drs. Andrey Krasovskiy and Florian Kraxner, they're exploring the drivers of wildland fires in Spain as well as land use and land cover dynamics in Lower Austria.

Diving a bit into their backgrounds: Rasheed’s journey includes a BSc in Forestry and Wildlife Management from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria and an MSc in Environmental Management at Bath Spa University, UK. Lawrence graduated from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with a focus on Forest Resources Management. Rasheed is all about sustainable forest management, while Lawrence is geeking out on spatial analysis and remote sensing.


Lawrence © Pavel Kiparisov

Gbenga Lawrence Alawode

As for our YSSP fellows, Laura Montoya-Perez is from the National Autonomous University of Mexico while Adrian Dwiputra comes from the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions at the National University of Singapore. Laura has a MSc in Botanics and her enthusiasm for fire ecology, forest management, and spatial analysis inspired her PhD on the impacts of fire on forest ecosystems. Her research was further enriched during her YSSP tenure under the guidance of Drs. Krasovskiy, Kraxner, and Laso Bayas.

Adrian, on the other hand, is currently working on his PhD thesis titled “Remote ecological monitoring of high-carbon or biodiversity conservation landscapes in Southeast Asia.” He's got Drs.  Ping Yowargana and Andrey Krasovskiy guiding him for his YSSP experience working on a project titled "Improving Tropical Forest Fire Modelling Using Graph Theory Application." Before this, he received a Master's in Geography from the University of British Columbia. He is interested in landscape ecology and using remote sensing and other tools to help manage natural resources better.

Laura and Santiago © Laura Montoya

Laura and Santiago Montoya

Knowing more about them, it is clear they are all at IIASA for the learning opportunity and a desire to make impactful contributions to their respective fields. Rasheed sees it as a wonderful opportunity to level up in forest fire science. Adrian, having seen wildfires up close in his homeland, wants to be part of the change. Laura sees science and a wonderful place like IIASA, a fascinating combination. Lawrence? He aims to sharpen his fire modelling skills.

But IIASA is not all work and no play! Beyond professional opportunities, IIASA offers something intangible but equally compelling. Adrian loves the institute's calm and peaceful ambiance, while Lawrence gives a thumbs up to its welcoming work environment. For Laura and Rasheed, they enjoy the chance to collaborate with top researchers and the international interaction.

Adrian © Adrian Dwiputra

Adrian Dwiputra

Outside the office, Lawrence loves his tunes and some alone time. Laura loves cooking and spending time with her family including their baby fur cat. Rasheed's into making friends, football, and a good movie night. As for Adrian, he's nailing it in the gaming world: when he's not researching, he’s crushing it in Age of Empires II

To sum it up, IIASA’s shaping up their summer with a mix of pro-level learning and some good times. It’s about making a mark in their field, but also soaking up the positive vibes of the IIASA community. In conclusion to their summer experience, they have presented the results of their projects in IIASA last week. After their summer at IIASA, Rasheed and Lawrence will continue their Master’s studies in Spain, while Adrian and Laura will push ahead with their PhDs.


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