For my thesis project at nematology I was fortunate to be able to do it together with a great team. My project involved the creation of an artificial greenhouse ecosystem and testing the influence of increasing soil predator biodiversity together with nitrogen addition on the plant biomass of C. sativa.
Together with 2 other students, we had the opportunity to create a big project which allowed us to perform many different experiments, with very interesting results! Our supervisor, Stefan, gave us a lot of experimental freedom and responsibility, which taught us to set-up the experiment from scratch. In the course of this thesis I learned a lot of new techniques regarding molecular ecology and managing a project while simultaneously contributing to a very interesting field of research. In this project I mostly focussed on the soil microbiome part. The main challenge for me was to connect all the different types of data, link them to literature and finally create one coherent story which explained the observations. Next to interesting thesis work, the people of nematology were good company, it was ‘gezellig’ as we say in Dutch. What struck for me was that people during lunch breaks did not only talk about the work they were doing, but that they also told a lot of stories from their lives and held interesting discussions other than science. Nearly everyone was up for a chat if they had the time for it, and people were always eager to help if you needed anything. This also made repetitive lab tasks (they are always there) more enjoyable since there were always people around to chat with. Overall the thesis at NEM was a good time, and I do not overexaggerate when I say that it was the best time of my studies so far. If you are looking for a department for a thesis which has a lot of expertise in store, and has good company, then look no further.
- Joshua Both, MSc Biotechnology