Early on during her undergraduate studies at Lincoln University, she discovered that her interests lay in biosecurity and bioprotection.
In 2018, she completed her Bachelor of Science (with an individual major focused on pest management).
Now she’s back to extend her knowledge with a Master of Pest Management (majoring in Plant Pest Management).
Marissa kick-started her Lincoln homecoming as a summer scholar during the 2020-2021 season.
“I thought it would be a great way to get back into study after taking a break for two years,” she says.
“I was awarded a project that involved evaluating the potential threat posed by the root-knot, nematode, to the New Zealand tomato industry. It was an extremely rewarding experience.”
She worked with Manjula Kularathna, a lecturer in the Department of Pest Management and Conservation, during the summer scholarship programme before beginning her Master’s degree this year.
“I always wanted to come back to Lincoln to complete my postgraduate study because of the unique and hands-on approach to learning,” Marissa says.
“I also enjoy how approachable and knowledgeable the lecturers are and the support they provide.”
She feels there are a lot of things to love about Lincoln, some of which include “the student community, the focus on the environment and sustainability, the fantastic lecturers and tutors and the rural backdrop to our learning”.
“After graduating with my Master’s degree, I hope to get a job helping to protect New Zealand from established and potential threats to our environment.”
The Master of Pest Management will stand Marissa in excellent stead, as it aims to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen the country’s biosecurity system.