Ximena Calderon is from Ecuador, and a native speaker of Spanish. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at the Technical University of Loja, and then she went to another part of the world to continue her education at Tomsk State University as a postgraduate.
With a guarantee of quality
“I was looking for a Master's program that would be the most complete in terms of diverse areas of knowledge and contain the courses I needed” - says Ximena. “But even more important for me was the presence of professionals with experience in designing and developing research projects and conservation plans in the community. These are the main research tools that interest me.”
Ximena chose the international Master's program in Biodiversity that was recently opened at TSU. This Master’s program is in English and directed by the Italian researcher Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, who has a great deal of experience in biodiversity and ecology.
“I took his course on ecology and biodiversity on Coursera, and I really liked it. The content of the program seemed rich and diverse...”
From Ecuador to the Arctic
Before beginning her Master’s studies, Ximena was collaborating on different projects focused on sustainable development and environmental issues in her region. But after her experience at the Charles Darwin Research Foundation in Galapagos, where she worked with the ecology and behavior of land birds, she decided to enter this exciting field.
Here at TSU, she analyzes the results of Arctic research.
“We are completing a database about the different Arctic researchers in recent years. We study their different approaches to analysis, in particular. At the same time, we have a real interest in studying the snow leopard. Snow leopards are found in 12 countries—including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia—but their population is declining. We have special interest in studying their behavior and ecology to implement conservation strategies here in Russia.”
Moreover, Ximena wants to work in the Altai. She hopes to visit the TSU research station there and take part in an international summer school that the university conducts every year.
Stereotypes are not confirmed
The Siberian frosts did not frighten the Master’s student, although in Ecuador the temperature does not drop below +8. And she really likes Tomsk.
“It seems to me a safe city. We have a stereotype that Russians are closed and unresponsive people. But this is not so. People here are always kind.”