Fellowship experience - Dibyendu Chatterjee

Fellowship report by Dibyendu Chatterjee

I have started my career as a scientist in the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and my first posting was in a beautiful mountainous state of India in North Eastern Hill, Nagaland. My foreign travel started with a beautiful mountainous country to the northern side of the United Kingdom, Scotland, as similar to the first station of my career. As my present service at ICAR National Rice Research Institute offers me an opportunity to work with Mark and his colleagues (Nick, Matt, Julia, Mars) at Cuttack, so I visited a place (NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh) with many familiar faces and with a motivating working atmosphere. The topic of my training was “Testing a new micrometeorological approach for non-invasive ammonia flux measurement in field plots” and the period of my stay in Edinburgh was May-June, which coincide with late spring and summer with amazing blooming flowers.

With Prof Mark Sutton (left) and With Dr. Carole Helfter (right)

The First Day

I landed at Edinburgh at night around 10:30 PM. Just 14 hrs back I was in Delhi, where the temperature was round 44°C. It was 4°C at Edinburgh Airport on that day. In such cold and windy environment, I was really overwhelmed by the warm welcome of Mr. Alan Naylor and Mrs. Jan Naylor, the landlord and landlady of my stay at Rullion Road, Penicuik, Edinburgh at the airport. Dr. R. Mahender Kumar, my colleague from Indian Institute of Rice Research was also accompanying them. The next morning, Jan briefed me about the bus route and the location of NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate. Jan dropped me at CEH by her car and she took me via Penicuik town showing me the supermarkets, Lidl and Tesco. I was astonished to see the many Indian Restaurants over there and surprised by knowing that the Scottish people like Indian food. After reaching CEH, I met Mark, Carole, Nick and they showed me the library where I had my work station. I found a good company in the library (Arthur, Aniket, Amita, Charu, Nikoleta, Emilly, Nicole, Sammy, Andrew, Irfan and Deborah) and never felt bored.

My friend, hairy hoo!

I represented a country in which more than 1500 languages are spoken. Learning new languages is always fun and interesting for us. In Gaelic language, cow is ‘coo’, lake is ‘loch’ and so on. While roaming around the CEH campus we (me, Amita and Aniket) discovered three friendly horses in a confinement. These horses liked us so much and whenever we called them they appeared to eat green grasses from us. We named them HAIRY HOOs (just mimicking hairy coo).


Scientific knowledge shared

I got training on data analysis of Eddy Covariance System from Carole and Nick. The main objective of this training was to learn the post processing of raw data using Eddypro software to get cleaned data. This learning was further substantiated by another 3-day course at Forest Research Northern Research Station, Roslin by LI-COR. I visited Easter Bush eddy covariance field site with Nick. The site is a grassland grazed by a flock of sheep. The site is equipped with an eddy covariance station and quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer for measuring N2O, CO2 and H2O fluxes. I also visited to Auchencorth Moss and Whim Bog Moss site. Besides, I got an opportunity to learn about ALPHA, AMANDA and FIDES modelling. Learning R also made me competent in doing many new statistical analyses with beautiful presentation of data.

Easter Bush field site (1); Forest Research Northern Research Station (2);
ALPHA and DELTA sampling site (3); Whim Bog Moss site (4).

It’s party time

I tasted uncounted number of delicacies and drinks in Edinburgh and Paris: the famous Scottish haggis, Greek mushrooms, French cheese, French Poisson with peas, Northern Ireland’s cheese potato, Scottish Earl Grey tea, Scottish short bread, French deserts, Japanese sushi, English Fish and Chips and many more.

Enjoying Scottish and French delicasies


Weekend Tours- Edinburgh, Glasglow, London and Highlands

I used almost all weekends to visit beautiful cities, historical buildings, museums, the sea beach, lokhs, glens and mountains. I was stunned by the splendid Scottish Parliament and happy to see this important building was also open for the public view. Trekking in the Arthur’s Seat, walking in the Portobello beach, travelling in London tube, watching 4D picture at Madame Tussauds, viewing Royal Parade at Buckingham Palace, visiting British Museum, Scottish National Museum and Scottish National Gallery delighted and enthralled me like anything.

Scottish Parliament (1); A hairy coo (2);
Edinburgh castle (3); London bridge (4)

Des expériences uniques à paris

I got an opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Paris. I visited the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) to learn FIDES modelling from Benjamin and his team. Let me share an interesting story. We (me, Nick and Amita) arrived at the Plasir-Grignon rail station in the evening. It was raining, and we were feeling hungry; therefore, we entered in a French restaurant. After a short initial struggle in language, we were able to order food using google translate as all the restaurant staff were French speaking (to some extend understand Spanish), menu card was written in French. However, our struggle was successful when we taste a super-duper delicious food over there. We received a warm welcome from Benjamin, Polina and their colleagues. At the weekend, we roamed in Paris: visited the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and the Musee du Louve.

Double decker train (1); Eiffel Tower (2);
Notre Dame (3); With the Mona Lisa at The Louvre Museum (4).


While jotting down memories, I feel nostalgic to share my beautiful experiences in Paris and Edinburgh. From a professional point of view this visit was worthy, and it will help me in my professional career.

Au revoir / Good bye,

Dibyendu Chatterjee

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