Archiv für den Monat: Januar 2017

GAME 2016 – Experiences in a scientific exchange program

Ein interessanter Bericht von Dea Fauzia Lestari, Master-Studentin aus Indonesien, die im Rahmen eines Austausch-Projektes in Deutschland zur maritimen Umwelt geforscht hat. AIDA Cruises hat das Projekt unterstützt, und Dea Fauzia Lestari berichtet in Englisch über ihre Forschungsarbeiten.

Von Dea Fauzia Lestari, Indonesien


“I’d like to share a couple of the hundreds of experiences I had while in Germany for GAME 2016 research exchange.

My name is Dea Fauzia Lestari, currently I’m completing a Master’s degree in Marine Science of Bogor Agricultural University at Indonesia. I joined GAME (Global Approach by Modular Experiment) which was conducted by GEOMAR, Kiel. This research exchange was followed by 10 participants from different universities around the world, such as Germany, Portugal, Spain, Indonesia, Japan, and Chile.

We had 10 months for our program, we spent 4 months in Kiel, Germany (March, October – December 2016) and 6 months in our own countries (April – September 2016). We had many activities during GAME program. For example we visited Geltinger Birk and a fossil beach area in Maasholm. We learned about the importance of protected areas for animals and its relation to human life. Additionally in the fossil beach we learned how to recognize fossil shapes of marine organism which could be found on the flaky rock. Another activity was a one day excursion with Alkor, one of GEOMAR research vessels, it was a very memorable experience. We joined benthos sampling in the Baltic Sea with benthic researchers of the institute.  As young researchers we also got the chance to spend the night at a light house in the Wadden Sea area, a UNESCO world heritage site. During the fieldtrip we observed organisms and phenomena that occurred in the very large intertidal zone.

The main activity of the program was a laboratory experiment using marine filter feeder. We worked together with one foreign partner student. My partner came from Spain, so I did not work alone on the lab. In Indonesia we used Asian green mussel Perna viridis and we took it from Banten Bay, Indonesia. We tested interaction effects of different temperature and microplastic levels (as stressor) on physiological effect. This research is important to investigate the phenomena on the environment which become trending topic like global warming and microplastic pollution. The result showed different responses for each stressor. Perna viridis was highly reactive to heat stress and microplastic on respiration rate but not for the interaction of both stressor. High temperature also influenced the survival rate of this mussel species.

It is not so easy to work together with many different people, different brains, and different characters. But in this program we learned how to make a good team work and respected each other to get to the same main purpose. Many days were used for discussions and data analysis of our experiment result. We were also required to be able to convey and communicate our research results to the public such as in presentations and scientific papers. Hence we got the training about how to have a good presentation and write a scientific journal. After getting the training we presented the research result in Bogor Agricultural University and several universities in Germany such as Kiel, Bremen, Rostock, Oldenburg, and Hamburg University. Additionally, the presentations have been conducted in Toxicology Institute of Kiel, GEOMAR, and school kids.


We also had the opportunity to present our result in front of our sponsor. In this event I meet the Chief Sustainability Officer of AIDA Cruises as my sponsor. I appreciated this company because it is a company who cares for science and environment issues. This company continually supports the GAME program from year to year. This support is needed by young researchers like me to keep working on science and have the opportunity to work abroad.

After my own experience, I now believe that research exchange programs can develop human resources and are the most powerful way to see another world from science perspective.“

War without rules: Syria’s White Helmets between recognition and bitter reality

By Monika Griefahn

As a way of sending out a message against the war in Syria the Right Livelihood Award Foundation this year gave one of its four Right Livelihood Awards – also often referred to as the Alternative Nobel Prizes – to the Syrian White Helmets. What courageous people! In this war, which has been raging for several years and in which all rules seem to have been thrown overboard, the White Helmets rescue those who have been injured or buried alive from destroyed buildings and from the debris of their lives. Watching footage of their work gives me goose bumps. And then, only one day after the awards were announced, a large portion of their equipment was destroyed in the relentless bombing in Aleppo. I am helpless with rage.

The White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, are a group of around 3,000 volunteers who have been risking their lives since 2013 in order to save others. They’ve been able to save tens of thousands of people from the rubble of war, regardless of their religion or their political views. They also attempt to reconstruct damaged infrastructure and to educate people about safety measures so that they learn how to better protect themselves. The war turned tailors, teachers and merchants alike into fire fighters and emergency relief workers. Many of them have been killed in the most recent fighting. We mourn for them all!

It is good to know that even in times of such dramatic circumstances as we currently witness them in Syria humanity can persevere. It’s good that the barbarism of others won’t rub off on those who believe in the good. I hope that being honoured with an Alternative Nobel Prize will help the White Helmets in Syria to not lose their courage.

Ahmad al-Youssef is a member of the Syrian Civil Defence. He travelled to Stockholm for the awards ceremony and, at the end of November, also spoke before the newly founded parliamentary group „Alternative Nobel Prize“ in the German Bundestag. Afterwards, the MP Michael Brand read al-Youssef’s speech before the parliament. Many thanks for that.

Ahmad al-Youssef’s speech:

„My name is Ahmad al-Youssef. I am from Syria and I am here to represent the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as White Helmets, the only organisation dedicated to rescuing civilians who are victims of the daily bombings in Syria. We have approximately 3,000 volunteers spread across 120 bases who have decided to put their lives on the line in order to save human lives in one of the most dangerous places on earth where the morals of the world have disappeared in the face of barbarism and the organised crime that is being perpetrated against not only the Syrian people but against all of mankind. To be completely frank, I am at a complete loss – I am standing helplessly before you as well as before my relatives in Syria – and especially before those in the eastern region of Ghuta near Damascus as well as in Aleppo. Aleppo, where the world is watching today how people are being slaughtered, and where the world is watching how entire cities are being destroyed.

To be honest I hesitated before agreeing to come here. I remember my comrades, my 150 comrades of the Civil Defence, who, when performing their work attempting to save human lives, were killed themselves. I have spoken to many of them and I have left them behind. They are looking death in the eye and I don’t know what message I should take back to them.

We appreciate greatly the fact that you have decided to bestow this award upon us. We are thankful for all awards because they are messages of solidarity that give us hope. We are also thankful for the ambulances and fire engines that you send us and that help us rescue civilians before they’re bombed by Syrian and Russian planes. At the same time I feel embarrassed to accept these awards while our relatives in Syria are being killed on a daily basis.

At this very moment while I am speaking to you civilians in eastern Aleppo are being made homeless. They escape from catastrophe. They walk through rubble looking for shelter. Meanwhile the injured are bleeding to death in the face of the doctors‘ inability to offer them medications or treatment after Syrian and Russian planes have destroyed all hospitals and clinics. Image for once how dramatic this situation is. What’s happening in Syria is an indescribable and unbelievable horror, and the incapability of the world to initiate steps in order to end all this is just as unbelievable! What will come of all this, the tragedies, the pain and the hatred is also unbelievable.

We carry the message of life to our people and into the world. Where are our partners? Who is prepared to aid us in Syria in the face of death and to accompany us on the path of life? Stand by us, ladies and gentlemen! Stand by us! Stand by humanity!“


Speech of Michael Brand in the German parliament.

More about the Syrian White Helmets.