Fellowship experience - Amresh Chaudhary

Fellowship report by Amresh Chaudhary

Three months might not seem like a long time, but thinking back to everything did at the University of Aberdeen, seems to be a very beautiful journey of my life. I was selected for a three-month fellowship starting from 02/02/2018 to 02/05/2018 on the topic of "Development of a model of C and N transformation during anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis” under the guidance of Prof. Jo Smith at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen. I reached Aberdeen on 2nd Feb 2018 and Dr. Dali Nayak received me at the airport. I am very grateful to Prof. Jo Smith and Dr. Dali Nayak for their help and affection during my stay at Aberdeen.

In front of the entrance gate of University of Aberdeen

With My mentors, Prof. Jo Smith and Dr.Dali Nayak

Research work and training

At the very first meeting, I had a thorough discussion with my mentors Prof. Jo Smith and Dr. Dali about my research work and an outline of research work was formulated. Initially, for a month, I had reviewed research papers related to anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis and developed an in-depth understanding of these processes. For developing a better understanding of modelling environmental processes, I had attended a course "Ecological and environmental modelling". It was a really nice course which gave me an opportunity to learn and apply the gained knowledge in my own project work. I am grateful to prof. Jo for introducing me to that course. I had also attended courses like “An Introduction to R” and “An Introduction to Statistics in R”. These courses were taught by Alex Douglas and Thomas Cornulier. Both of them are amazing teachers and in only 8 days, I had learnt a lot about R software and using it as a statistical tool. I successfully developed the model of C and N transformation during the anaerobic digestion with the guidance from my mentors and a publication is in progress out of it.

With Thomas Cornulier (centre) and Alex Douglas (right end) during introduction to R course

With the members of Environmental modelling group at the University of Aberdeen

Personal reflections

I have utilized my weekends and breaks to enjoy the scenic beauty of Scotland. I can’t imagine I will ever have another opportunity to do so much travelling in such a short period as part of my career. I have developed an inner attachment with every place I have travelled and it will stay forever in my memories. I have a special attachment for Aberdeen and my favorite places includes Esplanade beach, Seaton Park and Duthie Park. The scenic beauty of Dunnattor castle was mesmerizing.

Enjoying snow in the campus of University of Aberdeen

At the Maritime Museum in Aberdeen

I have also visited Edinburgh, the inspiring capital of Scotland and enjoyed the real essence of being in Scotland in the form of live music, food and looking around the historic places and meeting friendly people. I met prof. Dave Reay and Prof. Mark Sutton at thev University of Edinburgh and CEH, respectively, along with my friend, Ashim Datta. As the time passed, new places were included in my travelling list: Glasgow, Inverness, London and many places near Aberdeenshire.

With Prof. Dave Reay and my friend, Ashim Datta at University of Edinburgh

Enjoying traditional bagpipe music near Edinburgh Castle

I feel very grateful to Dr. Dinesh Kumar, Division of Agronomy, ICAR-IARI, Mr. Ram Kumar, former NEWS India-UK Fellow and Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director, of NRRI for inspiring me to apply for this fellowship. I would like to acknowledge my PhD supervisor, Dr. B.S. Dwivedi, head of the Division of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, ICAR-IARI for his constant support and motivation. I would like to thanks Prof. N. Raghuram, Andrea Móring, Prof. Dave Reay for their constant help and care towards me. I would like to extend my gratitude to my friends Vince, Jack, Rita, Khadiza, Jenifer, Katie and Munmi for sharing light moments and a cup of coffee with me.

Finally, I would like to say thanks to Prof. Jo Smith and the whole NEWS India-UK group for providing me a life-changing experience through this fellowship. The new skills gained during this fellowship will be definitely beneficial for my future endeavours. I believe my experiences as a NEWS India-UK fellow were enriching and bore testament to the noble mission of the fellowship. I feel humbled and privileged to be a part of the NEWS India-UK project.

Amresh Chadhary

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