Marta Montoro, Spain
Marta Montoro has always wanted to work in agriculture. At the same time, she found insects fascinating. In Denmark, she found not only the perfect PhD for her interests but also a country with a long history of agricultural innovation. When a position as a Field Biologist opened up, Marta joined FaunaPhotonics’ sustainable vision.
“I came to Denmark in 2012. After having spent a year in Finland during my Bachelor’s, I wanted to go abroad again for my Master’s. A friend of mine was living in Copenhagen at the time and recommended the city to me. I looked at the Master’s programs offered in different countries, and I loved the MSc in Agricultural Development at KU. I applied and got in. It was an upside that the Master’s was free for EU citizens, and I was told that if I could get a study job as, for example, a student assistant, I would be able to support myself. So I did that, and it worked out very well.”
“As a student, I was surprised by how the classes were taught and how much participation was encouraged. After my Master’s, I moved to Switzerland to work in CABI, an agricultural research centre, but my PhD brought me back to Copenhagen. That’s when I found FaunaPhotonics.”
A job with both innovative office time and practical work outdoors
“I work in FaunaPhotonics as a Field Biologist. Since I started my Master’s at KU, I had been working on agricultural pest control. I wanted to continue working in that sector and find sustainable solutions for agriculture. I visited FaunaPhotonics while I was doing my PhD and was shown their technology for insect monitoring. I realized it would be a great match to work with them. After I finished my PhD, I got in contact and a few months later a position for Field Biologist opened up and I could join the team."
“At FaunaPhotonics we monitor insects with a sensor of infrared light. I am part of several projects, and my tasks vary depending on the season as it happens with agricultural jobs. During the winter I train the sensors to recognize specific insect species. My focus is on coming up with different set ups to make the insects fly, which I really enjoy. Once spring arrives, so does field work. I join the biology team for field collection of insects as well as for insect monitoring with our sensors in different cropping systems. The work is exciting, and we have projects in different countries, so I get to work with a wide range of crops and pests.”
Horizontal hierarchies and inspiring atmospheres
“In my experience at FaunaPhotonics, Danish companies have quite a horizontal hierarchy where it feels like all employees have a voice and there’s space for all to come up with new projects and ideas. The company culture is international. Many young professionals are working together which create an inspiring atmosphere, and people are generally engaged and motivated with their projects.”
“I think Denmark has a lot to offer in terms of job possibilities, and I appreciate the working culture where the emphasis is on work-life balance. One of the things I like the most about Denmark is the basis of the welfare system. On the other hand, I would mention the language. Danish is hard to learn, at least for a native Spanish speaker, which makes integration a bit harder. And almost everybody else speaks perfect English, so it is difficult to get to practice your Danish.”
Denmark is full of opportunities for young tech talents
“In the last couple of years, the Danish tech scene has been growing and there are many opportunities for young people with new ideas. It is exciting as a biologist to be able to be involved in it. So even if you don’t have the background in tech you can still be part of the innovative scene in Denmark and I would recommend considering moving to Denmark.”