Scholar Crista Stubb studies role of mangroves to combat Climate Change

20. April 2021
scholar Crista Stubb
Mangrove ecosystems are very important to the people living in coastal regions in Nicaragua. Scholar Crista Stubb reports about the importance of her MA studies and her experiences while studying in Austria.

Mangrove ecosystems provide a wide range of environmental services including habitats for aquatic and terrestrial species, which contribute to local food security and act as natural barriers to storms and storm surges. In addition, mangroves ecosystems are natural carbon sinks, a cheap, easy, and secure way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it, thus contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation. My home country Nicaragua is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, mainly caused by inadequate production activities (fisheries, livestock and agriculture etc). In the face of climate change it is therefore imperative to quantify the size of carbon stock in mangroves.

My master's thesis entitled „Carbon sequestration in soils of mangrove forest in Laguna de Perlas, Nicaragua “, supervised by Univ.-Prof. Stephan Glatzel, aimed at determining the amount of carbon stored in mangrove soil. It was the first study of its kind conducted on mangrove soils in the municipality of Laguna de Perlas, South Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Results obtained serve as a baseline for the development of projects related to mangroves conservation as to exert ecosystems function.

The APPEAR scholarship opened doors for me to pursue higher education abroad. This experience enabled me to get out my comfort zone and acclimate myself to a completely new environment, which helped me to discover my strengths and weaknesses and how to improve them while being more open-minded, responsible and self-confident. It helped me to build relationships with people from all over the globe and to develop a greater respect for different cultures. The interdisciplinary master´s program ¨Environmental Science¨ at the ¨university of Vienna¨, equipped me with a full spectrum of knowledge, to contribute to knowledge dissemination and capacity building at my Alma matter the Bluefields Indian & Caribbean University (BICU).

During my studies biking along the Danube with friends was one of the best experiences, where I got to relax myself and explore beautiful Vienna. Attending different public events in Vienna was an awesome experience, especially the music festivals along the Danube.

My future plan is to pursue a PhD, specializing in the area of wetland management as these are important ecosystems that play an important role in tacking climate change and strengthen coastal ecosystems and community’s resilience to climate variability.

Crista Solangie Stubb Cuthbert has been employed as an environmental technician at the Institute of Biodiversity & Environmental Studies (IBEA) of the Bluefields Indian & Caribbean University (BICU) on the southern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, since 2020, as well as a lecturer. Since 2016 she has worked as an environmental consultant. She holds a master´s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Vienna, Vienna Austria, and a bachelor degree in Ecology of Natural Resources from the BICU University. She is also participating in the project “La humanidad y la naturaleza, el planeta un ser vivo” on the elaboration of educational contents for students on the topic of carbon sequestration as a climate change mitigation strategy; and a member of the South Caribbean Coast Alliance (ACCSaCC) on change climate.