Date: 2022-10-10

#StudentSuccess - Leone Akhmeteli

I became an SDSU-Graduate in May 2022. Since I was very young, I have loved the outdoors and became aware of our changing climate early on. As I liked wildlife so much in high school, I decided that I would find my dream career in Ecology or Environmental Science. As a result, I ended up in STEM, majoring in Chemistry at SDSU Georgia. Soon after enrolling, I decided to do a Master’s in Ecology. However, unfortunately, I found out that most Ecology programs required a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, not Chemistry. Despite this challenge, I still applied to many universities. Since my SDSU degree covered a lot of additional concepts outside of Chemistry, and I got good recommendations from my professors. I was accepted to Evolution, Ecology, and Systematics, a 2-year Master’s program at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, which I consider my greatest academic accomplishment so far.

Today I am still on my way to becoming an ecologist. With the worsening of the ecological situation in developing countries, it is crucial to have skilled environmental specialists to reduce the effects of climate change. Georgia has plenty of ecologically important endemic species, such as the Caucasian Grouse, Caucasian Salamander, and much more. Due to the lack of awareness and scarcity of ecological experts in the country, these species are becoming critically endangered. My future plan is to complete my studies and use every skill I have acquired throughout the years to contribute to biodiversity conservation in Georgia.