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Thesis on animal welfare wins second prize at Leiden University award ceremony

Did you know that each year 18 billion animals die without making it to someone’s plate? Governance of Sustainability alumna Juliane Klaura has won the second prize for her thesis about the environmental impact of global food production. She won the prize at the university-wide master thesis award event, issued by the Leiden University Fund (LUF).

Each year 18 billion chickens, turkeys, pigs, sheep, goats, and cows either die or are killed without making it onto someone's plate, worldwide. Reducing these numbers would not only prevent unnecessary animal suffering but also contribute to the fight against climate change. This research by Juliane Klaura and supervised by Laura Scherer (FWN) and Gerard Breeman (FGGA), had already received a lot of international media attention. The thesis was published in November 2023 in the high-impact scientific journal Sustainable Production and Consumption, and was picked up by news sites and online communities soon after.

Juliane Klaura (right) at the award ceremony for best master's thesis

‘This is an urgent and major social problem’

The jury of the thesis award was ‘.. deeply impressed by Juliane's socially relevant research on animal welfare in relation to food loss and waste. She not only designed her research effectively, but also articulated it with great skill. The result has now been published in a leading scientific journal, and has also attracted media attention. Rightly so, as this is an urgent and major social problem. Together with the cum laude completion of her Master's degree in Governance of Sustainability, Juliane has more than earned the second prize.’  

Programme director of Governance of Sustainability Alexander van Oudenhoven, who put Juliane forward as a nominee, could not be more proud. ‘It is a well-written thesis, with clear scientific and societal impact. But Juliane also managed to account for and incorporate the importance of stakeholder values, of policy actors and consumers. Although the attention has taken her somewhat by surprise, the award is very well-deserved. I am so happy for Juliane, and would also like to congratulate her supervisors.’

The first prize was won by Charlotte van der Voort (Classics and Ancient Civilization, FGW) and the third prize by Bente Meijer (Public International Law, FdR). 

This news was announced during the annual alumni event for Leiden University, earlier in February. The master thesis award is made possible by the Fund Minerva Alumni of years ’57, ’61, ‘65 and ‘73.

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