Jana (Magie) Junker

PhD Student

About me

I just started my PhD at Cardiff University in collaboration with WWT in October 2022. I have a background in developmental psychology with a BSc in Psychology and a MSc in Early Childhood Research.

For the past three years, I have been working as a research assistant in an interdisciplinary project on the relationship between children and nature all around the world. Working with more than 25 communities in 16 countries, we investigated what attitudes children hold about nature and in particular animals, how they change over time and how they differ across cultures. Our long-term goal was the development of culture-sensitive educational programmes that promote a sustainable relationship between humans and their environment.

In my opinion, conservation of our natural environment is one of the most pressing issues of this time, so I’m happy to further investigate how both humans and nature can benefit from a good human-nature connection in this project.

My project

My main aim for my PhD project is to evaluate the Generation Wild programme developed by the WWT for children from disadvantaged communities. The aim of this programme is to increase children’s nature connection and hopefully thereby increase their physical and mental well-being as well as their willingness to show pro-environmental behaviours.

I plan to employ a mixed methods approach to investigate how participating in Generation Wild affects the children. Particularly, I would like to include participatory methods that include the children’s own perspective in the evaluation as well as more standardized quantitative measurements to see which of the multiple activities in the programme best contribute to the desired goals of nature connectedness, well-being and environmental care and action.

Experience and interests

  • Designing child friendly studies with a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Statistical analysis in R
  • Methods evaluation and quality assurance
  • Working in diverse teams
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