Fellowship experience - Altaf Ahmad

Fellowship report by Altaf Ahmad

I have been offered a NEWS senior fellowship by Prof. Adam Price to work on “Assessment of root phenotyping” at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland (UK) for two months. I joined the University on 25th May, 2017 and left on 25th July, 2017. From the bottom of my heart with an avalanche of emotions of gratitude and sincerity, I would like to praise Prof. Adam for his guidance and caring nature. I could not forget those two months spent with Prof. Adam and his excellent team. We did not only a lot of research work but also we had a lot of fun. It was a really great time.

At seventh floor of The Sir Duncan Rice library of University of Aberdeen

On the research side, I learned the establishment of rhizotron system. Rhizotron is a device for non-destructively observing plant roots over time. Prof. Adam’s group developed a very simple, and low cost rhizotron system for the assessment of root phenotyping. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Triona (Ph.D. student with Prof. Adam) who showed me the establishment of rhizotron system and assessment of root phenotyping, step-by-step.

rhizotron system

Prof. Adam also provided me the opportunity to learn the use of Bio-Linux (a bioinformatics workstation platform based on the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Linux operating system that can run over 250 bioinformatics tools) for GWAS analysis. I received also much help and appreciation from Dr. Tony Travis who always listened to me patiently and was always ready to help. Tony taught me thoroughly the use of Bio-Linux for GWAS analysis. So, in this short span of two months, I had the opportunity to learn two entirely new things, which will definitely help me in my future research programme on nitrogen use efficiency.

With Tony and his partner at the Community Center, Alford

On the fun side, every weekend was full of enjoyment. On the first weekend, Prof. Adam arranged a very nice dinner at an Indian restaurant and showed me many places in the city. On the next weekend, he arranged a walk at Coyles of Muick. The Coyles of Muick is the undulating range of hills on the western side of Lower Glen Muick. On 22nd June, Prof. Adam organized a cricket match, Cricket-2017, which was a friendly match of the faculty members and students. On one of the weekends, Tony invited me to his home. We visited the Glenfiddich distillery and enjoyed Scottish dance and Scottish food at Community Centre of Alford. On one of the weekends, I visited west-coat highland with Jeet, Sisir and Shekey, and stayed there for three days. Those three days are unforgettable. On the last weekend, I visited London. It was a magnificent tour.

A walk at Coyles of Muick with Adam and lab members

Cricket -2017 at King’s field

At Newburgh beach (Seal colony)

At the Natural History Museum, London

There are no words to describe my honest gratitude to Adam, Tony, Roshi, Munmi, Partha, Jeet, Laura, Triona, Sushmita, Sisir and Sheky for their constant support, and making my stay colourful.  I will always remember the time spend with them. Scotland is beautiful with its diverse and dramatic landscape and natural resources. I found the Scottish people warm, fun-loving, very friendly, caring and generous.

Dinner (Biryani) with Jeet, Sisir and Shekey

Thank you, Adam!

Altaf Ahmad

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