I did my MSc Thesis at the laboratory of Nematology, supervised by Sonja Warmerdam and Geert Smant. The aim of my project was to functionally characterize an unknown F-box protein. We observed that a downregulation of the gene coding for this protein significantly increased Arabidopsis susceptibility to the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita.
Moreover, this gene seemed to interfere with a certain hormonal pathway and to influence root growth. The topic was definitively fascinating. I could dive into the study of the mechanisms regulating both plant-pathogen interaction and plant development.
I really appreciate the freedom I was given by my supervisors in conducting my research project. Sometimes it was challenging, but it helped me to become more independent. However, I was never left alone. Every Monday we had a meeting where I would present my results and where we would discuss about the next steps or about some issues I was having with my experiments.
During my six months at Nematology I learned a lot about many aspects of doing research.
I also really enjoyed the working environment. I felt welcomed from the first day. The atmosphere is relaxed, there are coffee brakes where you can chat with people and events to which most of the research group participates (e.g., lab outings, Christmas lunch etc.).
I would totally advise to do a Thesis at the laboratory of Nematology, it allows you to grow as a scientist in a friendly environment.