As a third year Plant Science student I did my bachelor thesis at the nematology department. For 4 months I worked on the venom allergen-like proteins (VAPs) project with Jose Lozano and Geert Smant as my supervisors.
In the beginning you always first need to read articles and write a thesis proposal. Although this is not as interesting as the actual research, it is useful to get familiar with the topic. To perform my experiments I also needed methods which were not used before at the nematology department. The articles and help of my supervisors really helped me to find these suitable methods. Although I found out during my experiments that some methods did not lead to the results as described in the articles, luckily enough I used more than one method to compare my results.
For one of my methods I needed a very sensitive device which was not present at our department and which was also pretty expensive. After my supervisors found a department with the device, I could try it out and I really liked the experiment. Most of the time you need to perform a gel electrophoresis or other techniques with only data as an output, but with this method you could see the reaction occur overtime. I was surprised to find out that a treatment with a 1000x dilution still gives sufficient results, but my measurements proved me that even small amounts can lead to nice reactions and results.
My final data showed other results than expected and further investigations will be needed. Maybe other new thesis students will come and help the Nematology department to find out the reason(s). I am still very curious what the final result(s) of this project will be.
Finally I want to complement the department: the work atmosphere in the department is really great. Everyone is very helpful as many other students also mentioned in their testimonial.