Ecotoxicology and lab work

by Karen Hoang ’20

I took ‘Ecotoxicology,’ which was a Masters course that was taught in English. The class itself was very straightforward with lectures, a test, and a group presentation. The lab component of the course actually took place later in the year, but Prof. Juliane Filser was kind enough to organize a lab assistant position for me so that I could still take the course for full credit. I helped 3 different researchers with their respective projects and I got to use various equipment and facilities around Uni Bremen. I counted tiny insects, prepared soil samples, and conducted literature reviews.
The project that I worked on the most was with Dr. Moira McKee. At the Biologischer Garten (biological garden), we maintained preexisting macrocosms and planned/installed aquatic microcosms (think of it as a tiny simulation of a lake/pond but in a bucket).  Some of my favorite times in Bremen were taking those short sunny walks over to the Bio Garten with a basket of equipment, recording data and observations I collected in the quiet garden I often had to myself. The times that I did run into people there, they were very kind; one grower even gifted me a large plant! I sometimes had lunch with the Ecotoxicology lab team, had coffee and ice cream breaks, and I enjoyed practicing German with them.

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