As a master Plant Sciences student, I specialised myself in plant phytopathology and entomology. I am fascinated by the interaction between plants and soil microorganisms. During the course Host-Parasite Interactions, I learned that there were possibilities to work on this topic at the laboratory of Nematology. This is how I started my thesis which lasted for a year.
In June (2019), I started my thesis about the impact of cover crops on the resident and active soil microbial communities in organic and conventional agricultural systems. My project was part of a large new research project which was going to be carried out at the Wageningen University Research station in Vredepeel. This gave me the opportunity to experience the entire research process: visiting the agricultural fields, taking soil samples, performing lab work and creating and running scripts in order to extract relevant information from a dataset. I really enjoyed working at the Nematology chair group as they provided me with a lot of freedom, encouraged me to improve myself and to learn new skills. I took this opportunity to work as a student assistant during my thesis period and learned myself how to program in R. Programming was something I was able to work on a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although I wasn’t able to work side by side, I could still continue programming as everyone was willing to help. Looking back at my time at Nematology, I liked the relaxed atmosphere during the (physical and online) meetings, coffee breaks, lunches and of course the famous lab outing, Sinterklaas and Christmas celebration. I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to be a member of this team. I would certainly recommend doing your thesis as part of this group.