Foto: Ansgar Walk

New biology fellowship up and running: Linnaeus

Finally, the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology has a central hub here at UiT! Run by students, for students. Utropia went to find out what ‘Linnaeus’ is all about.

‘Linnaeus’ (after the father of modern biological nomenclature) aims to connect biologists from across all academic year groups and disciplines, in order to create an integrative community of international and Norwegian students. Run by a small committee, the society plans to organise regular events for all its members, including a New Year’s ball, talks by guest speakers and much more. They’ve already organised an exciting opening party that was well-attended by bachelor and master students alike. UiT has never before seen a society exclusively for biologists, so Utropia caught up with the director Guro Lovise Hole Fisktjønmo, to find out more:

What are the benefits of bringing the biology department together?

The biology students are spread all over campus, so most don’t know many people outside of the specific courses they are taking. This is the first time these students will have a social platform to meet others from different academic year groups and different fields of study. It’s also a great opportunity to get a taste of the research environment via more experienced students. This will hopefully be extremely helpful for those who plan to write a bachelor or master thesis here at UiT. Of course, it’s essential that students have like-minded people to turn to as the workload intensifies, but we also hope Linnaeus will act as an information sharing hub, spreading the word about exciting internship opportunities here in Norway as well as abroad.

Where do you see Linnaeus heading in the future?

Hopefully, we will be able to grow and establish ourselves as a community that makes all biology students feel welcome and included. Linnaeus is primarily a social platform, but we also want to contribute to the academic aspect of student life, with fun lectures as well as excursions including cabin stays, hikes and boat trips. We’d also like to collaborate with other societies to hold larger events. Even within the same building, there is still much segregation between departments, and it would be great to overcome this. Tromsø and the surrounding area has much to offer, and it’s a lot of fun to share it with likeminded people!

Becoming a member of Linnaeus entitles you to life-time affiliation with the society and will put you on the guest list for all of their events, as well as allowing you to vote in the annual meeting. It’s wonderful that the biology faculty finally has a central hub to unite its students and hear more about what they want from their departments. Utropia is really looking forward to hearing more about Linnaeus’ activities and wishes them all the best for the future!

Ansgar Walk
Ansgar Walk

Text: Sophie Scotter