Elija is head of IFU’s Graduate Office and MICMoR Research School that provide talent management, career support and counselling for IFU’s doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.
Her professional experience includes more than 10 years in higher education and research management and 8 years as a trainer and coach for early career scientists. Further training in the field of career and person-centred counselling complement her experience. She contributes to a number of working groups on career development and talent management, e.g. Helmholtz coordinators network, Helmholtz focus group, UniWIND working group.
After studying biology at the University of Tübingen, Elija was awarded a PhD at RWTH Aachen with research on seed dispersal by frugivorous animals and ecological consequences for tree populations and bird communities in a South African forest. She led a subproject within the BMBF funded joint project BIOTA in Eastern Africa in which she investigated plant-animal-interactions and how these are influenced by forest fragmentation and human disturbance.