I came into contact with the Nematology chair group by following the practical version of the Host-Parasite Interactions course. Over the course of four weeks, I participated in research activities during which I gained hands-on experience in working with plant-parasitic nematodes. In this manner, I also learned about the amazing strategies that these nematodes employ to parasitize host plant roots. This sparked my interest to conduct my MSc thesis at the Laboratory of Nematology.
During my thesis project I investigated the localization dynamics of the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin during the formation of cyst nematode feeding sites using confocal microscopy. Together with my supervisor, I also set out to establish a new live-imaging method to study infected Arabidopsis thaliana roots in an attempt to carry out a close examination of the processes that underlie nematode feeding site formation. Much to my appreciation, I was able to provide my creative input during the development of this method, which demonstrates the freedom I had throughout my thesis.
What also struck me about the Nematology chair group is that fellow team members think along with you and provide suggestions when facing troubles with your experiments. In a general sense, such a pleasant ambience was also apparent outside the lab. As a result, I truly enjoyed my time at the Laboratory of Nematology and have come to realize how much I have learned over the course of the months I spent there.