Students 2013 - 2015

Agroecology class 2013 at Fokhol farm


Here is a list of our current students, who, in their own words describe their interests, reasons for studying Agroecology and thesis plans.

Valentin Barberoux (Belgium)

Hei! I am 22 years old, from Brussels, Belgium. I have a Bachelor in Agronomy from the Free University of Brussels (ULB). Last year, I travelled for nine months in South-America, working on organic farms in Chile, Argentina (both 

I would like to help spread a more smøkal (small scale local and organic) vision in our current food system. I am also very interested in teaching young (or less young) people about alternative ways of farming, and try to participate as I can to a change towards this famous smøkal farming.temperate mixed farms) and in Brazil (cacao farm).



Kirsti Berg (Norway)

My motivation for studying agroecology:

On the isle of Leka, off the coast of Nord-Trøndelag, lies a farm. I have family connections to this place and think it is both beautiful and challenging. The farm came up for sale last year and I have made a bid for it.

I got the idea that this would be a beautiful apple farm, fenced in with hedges and trees against the storms. Within a few years and approx. 2 million NOK invested (plus the buying price), it could be turned from a milk farm to an apple farm and a park-like landscape.

A lot of problems arise for anybody that would try to do something like this. All the logistic systems in this part of the country are designed to support grassland and milk production. Even more challenging, the whole mind-set in the community seems to be linked to the same limitations.

Many will say I am too old to take on such a challenge. Rather on the contrary, I think many years of experience from change processes in a number of different client organizations, both private and public, will be very helpful. My earlier education includes a MSc in Informatics and a MBA, but I think the agroecology study has given me the necessary perspective to take on the challenge. Evenif I should not get the opportunity to buy the farm, I know that the agroecology study has changed my perspective and will be of great value in the years to come. 

Whether I will be able to by the farm or not, I would very much like to study farming in small communities and especially contribute to new farming strategies in such places.

Elin Bergerud (Norway)
I grew up on a mountain farm in Norway, where I spent most of my spare time helping out with the everyday work. I hold two bachelor degrees; one in Political Science and Human Rights, and one in European Studies. I have previously been working as an intern for the European Milk Board in Brussels, and I am currently the Norwegian representative in the Coordinating Committee of the European Coordination Vìa Campesina.

I am very interested in agricultural policy and would like to work with agriculture in an international environment before I take over the family farm and become a farmer.

Adèle Boissau (France)

I am completing an engineering degree in agronomy, environment and food science at Purpan University in Toulouse, France). I have diverse fieldwork experiences: in farms in France (large conventional dairy farm) and Scotland (large organic sheep farm in the Highlands), and in the French organic network, where I worked a couple of months for Agribiodrôme in Drôme, France).

I already have a good overview of different ways of farming in Europe, but I would like to know more about other parts of the world. I want to keep working with farmers toward a more sustainable agriculture. Now that I know such practices do exist and are feasible, I want to spread them and show people that another way of farming is possible, one that is not only environmentally and socially sustainable, but also economically viable.

Christopher Bradburn (New Zealand)

I was about to begin my studies in Oenology back in New Zealand after working in the wine industry. My path changed when I came to Europe some years ago and began studying International Relations and Political Economy. From there I found a deeper love for agriculture. 

Agroecology fits beautifully as an all encompassing study of food and farming systems.

My dream is to own a piece of land one day, to learn and live from a smaller connected ecological system. I see a farm as a creative medium on which to express my ideas and values closer to nature.

Flavie Canelle (France)

I come from an agricultural engineering school in France where I studied for three years. After having seen a conventional way of approaching a farm, focused on its production, I wanted to have a broader perspective. I decided to apply for the MSc in Agroecology to experience a different way of learning and acquire useful knowledge about how to convert our model of society into a sustainable way of living (communication skills, tools to make people reflect about the current situation...). 
    The structure of the diploma open up for plenty of opportunities to discover agriculture in different parts of the world, and to have a better view of farming linked with the culture of the country.
    After working with an organisation or institution to improve farm networks or food supplies for example, I think I will want to come back to the core of the food system for me: the farm.

Paula Victoria Capodistrias (Argentina)

My name is Paula Victoria Capodistrias. I was Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina 34 years ago and after spending some time in the United States, England, and Peru, I settled in Norway, where I have been living for the last six years.  I took my Bachelor in International Development and Environment and I am taking my MSc inAgroecology here.

My interest in agroecology started during my bachelor studies. After a few months, I became more interested in development issues that involved topics such as food security, food sovereignty, food systems, food production and social movements. Once I learned more about what agroecology was, I realized that a lot of my previous work and personal experiences also related to agroecology: Living in an permacultural eco-village in the hills of Ecuador, practicing natural medicine and homesteading, working in restaurants, volunteering in NGO’s, and supporting social movements.

My goal participating in this program is to combine my previous personal work, and academic experiences, towards a contribution to a better global food system, environment and society.

Laura Cazaux (France)

I have the equivalence of a bachelor from an engineering school in agronomy, food sciences, and environment at ISARA-Lyon. During these three years, I did two internships in goat farms: one in an extensive farm of Angora goats to collect the wool, and the other in an intensive dairy goat farm. This fieldwork gave me the opportunity to compare the two systems of farming.

I am particularly interested in working in cooperation with farmers or rural communities help them to develop sustainable farming practises. I am also interested in the role of the state and civil society as driving forces toward sustainable farming and food systems.

Josè Domingues Costa (Portugal)
I was raised in a village in the centre of Portugal where pastures and small vegetable farms meet the wine-making Bairrada region. I studied economics and worked in management consulting for two years. Afterwards, I worked both for private companies and NGOs in the US, Swaziland, and Mozambique, mostly developing business plans for agriculture and agribusiness projects.

I was drawn to the MSc in Agroecology at NMBU because of its systemic perspective and also the flexibility regarding study paths. I am particularly interested in learning more about ecosystems and sustainable farming,  to help design more pleasant, ecological, and productive landscapes, both in rural and urban settings.

Valentine Debray (France)

I have a bachelor in agriculture, agronomy, and food science and I am completing my engineering degree at the Agriculture Institute of Lyon (ISARA). I have done internships in two different farms: a chicken farm in the South West of France and an organic goat farm in the French Alps. I wanted to specialize in agroecology.

I am particularly interested in the social aspects of farming and food systems. I am concerned about food security and  would like to work with NGOs in developing countries to improve agri-food systems.

Stine E. Eriksen (Norway)
Eva Karachristianidis (Norway)
I have a bachelor degree in the field of Nature, Health and Environment, with an emphasis on Pollution and Environment, from Telemark University College, and a few subjects from the University of Bergen. In addition to my degree I have taken courses in Landscape Planning at Sogn og Fjordane University College. 

I am interested in the interactions between humans and our surroundings, our actions and views on them, our relationship with other organisms, our views on and management of waste, and the role of a plant-based diet in the change towards a more sustainable society. 

Besides summer jobs at restaurants and the occasional sprouting-experiment and tomato growing, I have had little previous experience with food and farming systems, and I am looking forward to learning more about them, as they are such vital parts of our lives.

Laurent Moussier (France)

I am 24 years old and I come from south of France. I like Agroecology although most of my work experiences were in conventional agriculture: I worked for KWS-UK, a seed breeding company (Cambridgeshire, UK) as hand-worker and harvest assistant. I also worked for a network of farmers in Geneva, and that was more interesting according to my wishers regarding to my future job: because I was studying the differences between plow and no-tillage and also driving a survey on this topic for the farmers. I also carried out beekeeping with a beekeeper nearly each summer for seven years.

During my studies for my technical diploma I did an internship in an Agricultural Cooperative, where I recorded fields of seeds production (corn, wheat and sunflower).

My personal activities are the clarinet; in the brass band of Lille (I have played the clarinet for fifteen years. I am also a volunteer for the Festival Berlioz in La Côte-Saint-André and I practice footing in club, bike and go hiking in mountain. I do ski and cross country skiing during the winter season. And last but not least I am involved in two associations for the defense of citizen's rights (Amnesty International, Solidarity with People).

Prashanta Raut (Nepal)

I grew up in the mountains of Nepal, where agriculture is a way of life. People there do not have big farms, but every household has a piece of land where they grow a variety of grains, some vegetables and also keep some livestock. Since I spent my childhood in this rural setting, I have always been enthusiastic about nature and ecology. It was for this reason that I decided on my career in the field of agriculture and development. I studied agronomy and soil science in my under graduate studies at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science and after I graduated, I had the opportunity to work on a food security project in the Far Western region of Nepal. Working with farmers taught me a lot of things that I would not have learned at the university. This experience also provided me with a vision for the future and helped me realize my ultimate career goal. I intend to work with small farmers in Nepal to help them improve their livelihood and build more secure and productive communities. I believe that, this MSc Agroecology will help me reach these goals.

Karin E. Rude (Germany)

I graduated from the University in Eberwalde, Germany, with a BSc in International Forest Ecosystem Management. I have some international experience working for organizations in resource management in Bolivia and New Zealand. After my studies I worked six years in multi-use management of a private forest area in Southern Andalucia, Spain. I am interested in agroforestry, silvopastoral systems, and agroecology, as a part of sustainable resource management.

Michael Ryan (United States)

Hey! My name is Michael. I grew up in a small town called Harvard in Massachusetts. I graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Natural Resource Planning.  After my bachelor’s I spent seven months wwoofing in Europe. During my travels I worked on various farms in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Some of my interests include permaculture, cooking and drinking with friends, and soccer.  I now reside on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts. I worked one year with the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, a conservation organization located on the island, doing endangered species monitoring, trail maintenance, and tree inventory.  Right before deciding to pursue an MSc in Agroecology in Norway I worked in landscape construction and design.

Katalina Sanchez Gonzales (Switzerland and Colombia)

I am an agronomist and graduated from the University of Córdoba, Spain. After working five months on a biofuel project for rural electrification in Mail, she decided to explore the field of Agroecology as a way to relate all the issues she is concerned about: food security, food sovereignty, rural development, agro-ecosystems and inter alia.


Henrik Lid Scharff (Norway)

I have an academic background as an engineer with a MBA, and I have several years of professional experience in organisation development, business, and management in technology-intense private companies both in Norway and internationally. Four of these years I worked within renewable energy and recycling.

I would like to explore ways of combining my technical and business understanding with sustainable food production and/or resource management, either locally or internationally.

Jenna Smith (United States)

A Colorado-native at heart, I hold a degree in Global Environmental Studies, part of which involved a semester in Madagascar where I collaborated with coffee farmers to explore potentials for diversification and agroforestry. I have since worked in non-profits and clean tech start-ups, covering topics ranging from sustainability in higher education to geo-mapping solar potential for distributed energy generation. After spending the majority of my time dreaming about food and gardening, I realized I should probably just go back to school and study it! Right now, I am particularly interested in edible landscapes, urban food initiatives, and the socioeconomic and cultural forces behind sustainable food consumption.


Matthieu Thabard (France)

I have completed a bachelor degree in agriculture, agronomy, environment and food industry in, ESA, Angers, France. I have diversified experience from working on a farm, since my father has a cereal-oilseed-protein-crops and vegetable farm. In addition, my internships on both conventional farms, organic dairy farms, and with a large French seed breeder, helped me to get an overview of farming systems.

Now I want to broaden this knowledge to the entire food system. My goal for the future is to help different stakeholders implement win-win strategies toward more sustainable ways of producing, selling, and consuming food.

Léa Vereecke (France)

I did the equivalent of a bachelor degree at ISARA in Lyon, France. The topic of this bachelor is agronomy, environment, and food industry. During the three years I spent at ISARA I had the opportunity of doing an internship two times. I chose to discover agriculture in Poland, going to a huge farm with grain and cows. The second time I stayed in France and worked in a poultry farm where I discovered chicken breeding and kiwi crops.

I am interested in alternative ways of farming and particularly in crops-weeds-soil interactions. In addition to agronomic issues, I am also interested in agricultural economics and policy, and their influence on changes in agriculture.

Published 4. December 2009 - 16:00 - Updated 12. January 2017 - 10:23