In May 2022 we celebrated the news that Aquaculture, Environment and Society (ACES) masters student Amalia Krupandan from Cape Town, South Africa, had become a published author for the first time! Amalia’s ACES dissertation was based on her own research topic: exploring South African off-shore aquaculture potential for Pacific oysters. You can read her paper here:

Amalia is at the end of her two-year masters programme with ACES which takes place in four European centres of aquaculture research excellence in Scotland, France, Crete and Netherlands. The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI are one of four academic partners where students spend a six month semester. The other centres include Nantes Université, Radboud University and University of Crete. ACES students can choose a centre from which to conduct their dissertation research in the final semester.

We caught up with Amalia to find out more about her aquaculture journey from ACES masters student to published author and her career plans for the future.

Picture of a very smiley Amalia holding her printed dissertation.

What inspired you for your dissertation topic?

Throughout our ACES courses the modelling topics really attracted me. However, it was important to me that I could apply my dissertation to my home country. There’s huge potential in South Africa for oyster aquaculture to contribute to sustainable livelihoods. 

What would you recommend other students do to increase their chances of having their dissertation published?

We always had the aim of publishing the study, so I kept this in mind during the conception and writing. I would say to future students that they should definitely push to have their work published. It would be a shame to have something you worked so hard on not being put out there. Don’t be scared to pitch any ideas you have and get in contact with people you want to work with. The dissertation module was my favourite part. I did my dissertation at the RSBE2 lab at Nantes Université.

How was the overall ACES experience for you and how did it contribute to your personal and professional development in the aquaculture industry?

Professionally, to work with so many leading experts in Scottish, Greek and French aquaculture was incredibly valuable. So was the variety of knowledge imparted (everything from genetics to governance). The best part was probably meeting my classmates who are all wonderful people.

What are your plans post ACES?

I’m now doing a PhD at the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling. My project is part of the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie EATFISH ITN, focusing on how decision support tools (like the model from my MSc study) can be used to support governance for sustainable aquaculture.

What attracted you to join the ACES masters programme?

I was emailed the advertisement by one of my South African professors, a week before the deadline! The opportunity to study a topic I am passionate about, at three different universities was something I couldn’t pass up.

Learn more about the programme, the latest on the programme’s Erasmus scholarships and how to apply via the link below. Self-funded applications welcome.

Recruiting now for Sept 2022!  Apply by 30th June, 2022.





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