Hi, I am Aarzoo Kohra and I am doing my master’s in plant sciences. In September 2020, I started my thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology. I had already decided with my supervisor Stefan Geisen about doing my thesis with him back in period 3.
At first, I was bit worried about the beginning of my thesis and the experimental setup amidst the pandemic. However, after discussing with my supervisor, I realized that I would be able to perform laboratory work, which made me really happy. I did my thesis on the topic “Biodiversity mediated suppression of Root feeding nematodes in tomato”. I tried to find out the soil biodiversity role for aboveground tomato plant growth via suppression of root feeding nematodes. I used protists as my models, to check the effect of their diversity along with the biodiversity composed of bacterial and fungal community. Throughout my experiment, I was lucky to work with other two students as we shared same basis of experiment with different goals. Due to pandemic, it was a bit hard for my supervisor to visit us regularly from Germany, but he helped constantly through online meetings. From weekly informal meetings conducted by Hans to the thesis ring meetings, my thesis went better with every passing moment. I ended up with better social contact and lots of improvement in my writing work.
During my thesis, I learnt the importance of having a proper schedule with the booking system especially during this pandemic and arranging things beforehand for the end analysis. I also learnt about various ways of handling data even in less time and not panicking even if the results are not in your favor, as they are still something. I am really thankful to Sven (lab technician) who constantly helped me whenever I needed and guided me a lot. I have really learnt a lot of skills, for which I am really grateful. I would love to recommend fellow readers to do their thesis at Department of Nematology.