Hi, I am Mariana Colaço Gaspar. I am 23 years old and am finishing my Masters in Pharmaceutical sciences in the University of Lisbon. I had a bilingual education with a great impact on both German and Portuguese cultures. Due to the fact that I went to the German School of Lisbon, my native languages are Portuguese and German.

I came to Wageningen through BRISK2 programme to conclude a research project for a university course I had started in LNEG Lisbon in extracting and analysing carotenes from microalgae. My project consisted of comparing some different pre-treatment options to disrupt the microalgae in order to be able to extract in the most simple and efficient way their carotenoids. The second step was to analyse the carotenoid content, present in both microalgae analysed, Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus.

My stay in the Netherlands was the most amazing experience I could have asked for. I had the opportunity to get to know a new country with a very different culture from the ones I was used to and another way of thinking. In WUR I came in contact with many different and new techniques for me. It gave me the possibility to learn a lot with many of the best specialists of each area. My many goals to accomplish in just two weeks came to conclusion due to the help of a very kind, always ready to help multidisciplinary and complete team.

Due to the cutting-edge technology and the great conditions present in Wageningen, I was able to get the results I was looking for.

In just so little time, I was really able to learn very much. It enriched me as a person and professionally and I am very thankful for being able to have had this amazing experience. I really do hope that I will be able to come back in the future.