Ernest first heard of the master Plant Sciences through the Paul Speijer Scholarship Foundation, a foundation that gives scholarships to African students studying Plant Sciences in Wageningen.
“I first heard about Wageningen University through a friend’s facebook message. I had studied Botany during my bachelor in my home country. I wanted to study more deeply to the point of applying the knowledge to solve practical problems in the area of boosting food production and food quality. Plant Sciences offers practical research and that study fits my career choice. Wageningen University therefore offered the avenue for realizing this, so I decided to come here by God’s provision through the scholarship from Anne van den Ban Fonds.”
In his study program, Ernest specializes on Plant Breeding. “I like the study program I chose. Students are able to choose their own courses, which makes the program very flexible. Therefore, I could choose courses in improved breeding of crop varieties, the basis for boosting food production and quality, which fits my career choice. I really like the course Plant Biotechnology, because it offered me the opportunity to learn the current trends in biotechnology and to genetically modify the model plant tobacco. Currently, I am doing my thesis, and I am practically applying the things I learned during the courses and I am also learning new things.”
Living in Wageningen is totally different from living in Ernest’s home country, Nigeria. “Living in Wageningen is like living in all the continents of the world at the same time. There are lots of international faces, cultures, colours, languages and so on. Furthermore, main differences with my home country are the weather, which is erratic, the seasons and day lengths, which are not steady, the fact that everybody is fond of the sun and that everybody uses a bicycle.”
Next to his studies, Ernest likes to make music. “I am part of different gospel musical groups in Amazing Grace Parish in Wageningen, and International Christian Fellowship.”
In the future, Ernest would like to do a PhD. “I would like to work on a topic that has to do with improving crop species for a higher yield in stressed conditions.”