I conducted my Master thesis in Nematology, where I worked for both my major and minor thesis. For my major thesis, I worked in the LMA group on identifying fucosyltransferase genes of N. benthamiana, under Kim van Noort’s supervision. As for my minor thesis, I worked with both C. elegans and LMA groups to identify fukutin-related genes in C. elegans, under the supervision of Mark Sterken and Ruud Wilbers supervision.
The goal of both experiments was to find a gene that has not been well-characterized yet, so I encountered a lot of challenges throughout my experiments. Unexpected results came up regularly, and it was frustrating sometimes. Fortunately, the supervisors were very supportive and always available whenever I needed their help. Sometimes, when the supervisors did not have the answer to tackle the problem, anyone in Nematology who has the skill would not mind helping. The best thing I learned from my time in Nematology is that getting unexpected results proves that you are contributing in making the unknown known. And the fact that there is always someone who can help me with new techniques and learn from all the results from my experiments are very comforting for a student.
Moreover, the department itself feels really organized, but not too formal. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, which makes the working atmosphere really enjoyable. There were also thesis rings, where my written work would be peer-reviewed, which increased my scientific writing skills. Also, there were weekly group meetings to follow me up with results from your colleagues. All in all, it was a valuable learning experience to have and I am grateful that I chose Nematology to do my thesis.