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Green Talents

Three Brazilians are among the top awardees in Germany for sustainable development

Carreiras 237aDaniel BuenoSustainable development and academic internationalization are two current themes that have been merged into one global environment award. They can have a very positive effect on the careers of the awardees. This is what happened when three Brazilians won the Green Talents Award, administered by the German Federal Education and Research Ministry for their research projects in the fields of hydrology and soil science, renewable energy and agriculture. Among the 27 winners selected out of a total of 574 applicants from 91 countries, the three Brazilians were: Paulo Tarso Sanches de Oliveira, who was a post-doctorate intern at the São Carlos School of Engineering at USP  (EESC-USP); Larissa Marchiori Pacheco, who is working on her master’s degree at the USP School of Economics, Business Administration and Accounting in Ribeirão Preto (FEA-RP); and Paula de Carvalho Machado Araujo, a master’s degree student at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ).

Green Talents awardees receive two weeks of visits and interaction with researchers at German universities and institutions such as Fraunhofer Fokus, the Berlin Center of Competence for Water, the Ecologic Institute and companies such as Henkel and ThyssenKrupp Steel, to name a few.

Paulo Tarso is a FAPESP post-doctorate grant recipient for a project that is studying hydrological and soil erosion systems in the Brazilian Cerrado. “In addition to bringing international prestige, the Green Talents Award has contributed to expanding my network of contacts in Germany for potential research partnerships,” Tarso says. “Over a two-week period, I met with researchers in the area of hydrology at the universities of Stuttgart and Potsdam and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. These meetings were productive and resulted in collaboration on two new scientific articles.” Now Tarso plans to be a professor, but first he will take advantage of another benefit to being a Green Talent: a three-month stay in Germany in 2016 to study. “I think this partnership will likely continue and generate benefits for the research I am now conducting in Brazil.”

For Larissa Marchiori Pacheco, who plans to work as a researcher and professor, “the award was important in that it enhances the prestige of the work being done by researchers who are still in the early stages of their professional life.”  The award also offers partnership opportunities with German institutions for sharing knowledge. “The contact with researchers and professionals showed me the possibilities for working as a researcher and helped me identify my goals for the coming years,” she says. Pacheco is studying attitudes businesses have about natural resources and sustainable development from the perspective of green innovation.

Paula Araujo, the third Brazilian awardee, is pursuing her master’s degree in organic agriculture at UFRRJ and is working as a specialist at the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development in the Brazilian Amazon. She is a veterinarian and her study is in the field of cattle ranching with projects related to agro-ecological pasture management. “The one-on-one meetings with three experts in my field were the most important part of the award because I was able share my initiatives and experiences and obtain positive feedback from them,” Araujo says. “In addition, the contact opens up new partnership opportunities between the Mamirauá Institute, UFRRJ and other institutions in Germany.”