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Connecting the dots

Daša Majcen, InnoRenew CoE researcher; Main area of research: carbon stored in wood products

  • Where were you living in childhood and where do you live now?

I was born in Celje, where I spent my early childhood. Later I lived in Ljubljana and Nova Gorica, where I studied.

  • What have you studied and what were the motives for your decision?

Since early age, I found the irreversible harm humans cause to the environment upsetting and wanted to be a part of the solution. I started my Environmental science course in the University of Nova Gorica and finished it in Delft, The Netherlands. I liked the Erasmus exchange semester so much, that I stayed there and did my final thesis, and afterwards undertook the PhD at the same university (Delft University of Technology).

  • How would you describe your work to someone outside your field?

My core work involves a lot of reading of scientific papers, policy reports and evaluations, searching for information and data. Digesting all the mentioned components into a form, which provides clear and useful feedback related to key environmental challenges of modern society. The last part is usually done via preparing scientific papers, conference contributions or policy reports.

Besides that, there is also other important activities, such as preparing applications for funding, networking within the science/policy community to receive feedback on my research and provide feedback on others’ work. Outreach with the general society is also important, via social media, but also via events for schools and the general population where my work can be disseminated.

  • What does your typical working day look like?

Coffee – work – lunch – coffee – work. On a normal day, I do desk work on my computer, but there are also many meetings with colleagues with whom I collaborate. At the end of the day I do the rat race to pick the children from the kindergarten in time!

  • What makes you excited about your work?

The feeling that I provide valuable information for developing societal policies towards a direction in which future nature as well as future generations do not have to compromise their livelihoods because of the flawed decision making and resource management carried out by predecessors.

  • And what is the biggest challenge at your work?

Connecting the dots: Finding the data and fitting the digested information into a form which accurately addresses one or several contemporary environmental challenges.

  • Which scientist or scientific achievement are you fascinated by and why?

I find the most fascinating the advancements in medicine in the last century, from antibiotics to gene therapies.

  • Tell us about the work of art (books, music, movies, theatre, dance, visual arts) that has a special place in your life.

Hundertwasser’s architectural works.

  • What have you read, listened to, or watched lately?

My children 😊 I managed to watch ‘Maid’ months ago and enjoyed it.

  • Which place on the Slovene coast do you like the most?

Krajinski park Strunjan.

  • What makes you enthusiastic?

A campervan road trip!

  • Characterize your life’s guidance or an important realization (or epiphany) you have experienced.

Don’t dream about it, do it 😊

  • What does the charm of wood mean to you?

A little piece of nature reminding us of its importance and glory.