My name is Hilde Coolman and together with my supervisor Paula Harkes I worked on a project concerning the microbial community in the rhizosphere. The aim of my thesis was to examine the differences in rhizosphere community between organic and conventional farming.
We went to experimental farm ‘de Vredepeel’ to sample rhizospheres of fresh pea plants on organic and conventional managed fields. Later in the laboratory we extracted DNA and RNA from this soil samples and then performed qPCR’s. The courses I chose in my BSc program did not include a lot of lab work, so it was nice that I got the opportunity to obtain more lab skills during my thesis. Besides increasing my lab experience I also learned a lot about scientific writing. The thesis rings, where you get feedback on your own writing, and give feedback on others, were very useful to me. Overall, I really liked the combination of field work, lab work and writing in my thesis.
The thesis rings, weekly work discussions with the biodiversity group and a close collaboration with my supervisor and the lab technicians made it possible for me to deliver a good thesis. Further, nematology is a close and well-organised chair group. Everyone takes coffee breaks at the same time and other activities are organised after working hours, this creates a nice ambiance. All these aspects made me have a great time at the nematology department.
Hilde Coolman 2017