For my master biology, I have done my thesis at the NIOO. My supervisors there were Tess van de Voorde and Martijn Bezemer. Wim van der Putten was my examiner. Together they have provided me with critical feedback from which I have learnt a lot during the research and when I was writing my thesis.
During my time at the NIOO I have studied the effects biochars (a rest product of pyrolysis that can be used as soil amendment) made from different grassland species have on germination, growth and competition of grassland species. To do so, I have carried out a number of greenhouse experiments. Although it was hard work, I enjoyed working on my own experiments instead of the pre-designed experiments in courses.
The working atmosphere at the NIOO was very nice. Whenever I needed something during my experiments, there was always someone who was willing to explain how a machine worked, or tell me were I could find the person that could do the analysis, or provide me with the material I needed. Next to that, I especially liked the regular talks and discussions with the group. And, of course the scating with “koek en sopie” on the pond in front of the NIOO, was a lot of fun!