When the time came for me to find a research subject for my bachelor thesis, I did some reflection on my past years, to find which teacher I could remember having good conversations with. Hans Helder, my supervisor who I met during the Foodweb Ecology course, was the first person appearing in my thoughts. Also, the subject should fit my major Ecology and Biodiversity, and should of course match my interests. It worked out perfectly.
For the last three months, I’ve been working on a pilot research which explored the use of a molecular method (qPCR) as a bio-indication tool by nematode assemblage detection. The aim is that by using this tool, a quick and reliable assessment of the ecological status of Dutch water bodies. This is especially interesting for the groups that have responsibility for the quality of the freshwaters, the Dutch district water boards and municipalities. Through The Netherlands we travelled, my supervisors and me, to obtain sediment samples from different sites. The use of this molecular method for this assessment is entirely new, so I was happy we found indications for usable families that were distinct between sites of different quality. The result is usable, meaning a nice end product for this pilot. This research will be continued.
During my thesis period at the Laboratory of Nematology, I was surrounded by great people in a nice working atmosphere. I have learned a lot, especially by Paul’s schooling on expert lab skills. At Nematology there’s always somebody here to help you out if you need anything. It could be somebody’s birthday, someone leaving or whatever – sudden pie or cake appearance was not rare. Some very good cooks also inhabit this work floor, as I experienced during the Christmas lunch. Thinking back of my time here will definitely put a smile on my face. All the best to the people here at Nematology, hope to see you around!