"I am a little botanist from a big city, Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, Kristina says. Plants have fascinated me from an early age; I loved exploring their diversity even before I knew what the word diversity meant. Some of my favorite activities as a child included picking and drying flowers and leaves and observing how nature worked. Later on, thanks to my grandparents, I learnt how to grow and harvest crops, but the idea to look on each plant under a magnifying glass has always been tempting to me.
Eventually, my interests and love of biology led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Biotechnology. During my university years I was involved in many activities, including European Voluntary Projects, workshops, conferences and research project in the field of plant physiology and photosynthesis. Besides that, I did few internships in labs in Switzerland and Germany. I really enjoyed working in the lab and variety of experiences it has to offer.
However, one day I realized that I wish to move science from the lab to the field. This led me to the decision to pursue my Masters in International Horticulture. Horticulture is indeed a discipline, which brings science outdoors. The Master course I took was really diverse. We had a great variety of subjects, which were concerned with crop production, breeding, protection, economics and marketing.
I spent a study period at three partner universities: University of Bologna, Technical University of Munich, and the University of Life Sciences in Vienna. This did not only provide me with an incredible academic experience and knowledge, but also a great international environment in which we all were developing and interacting. I did my Master Thesis at the University of Bologna, Italy in the field of fruit biotechnology and recently graduated with honors from the master program.
I first learned about YPARDs existence this summer, while participating at WFSC summer school organized at ETH Zürich. I am really grateful for the knowledge I have acquired during this excellent program. But I am particularly grateful for all the people I have met there; among them were Rahel Wyss from Switzerland and Jiaqi Huang from China, who introduced me to YPARD, its values and projects. It was at this moment that I thought that it would be very important to establish YPARD platform in Ukraine.
Taking into account that our economy is highly dependent on agriculture, I believe it is necessary to promote YPARD here, in Ukraine, among young people and create a network amongst them. Additionally, this platform is a great place for sharing knowledge and learning from each others best practices.
I enjoy making a difference; therefore I am honored to become a YPARD representative for my country. I look forward to contributing to the YPARD mission in Ukraine and worldwide, and to encourage Ukrainian youth come together and participate in the development of the agricultural sector in our country. People should be aware that agriculture has an effect on all of us. After all, no matter where you live or who you are, we all have to be nourished and healthy."