Role: HQP Scholar
Primary Faculty Advisor: James Longstaffe
Project: Impacts of Organic and Inorganic Amendments on Chemical Behavior of Phosphorus in a Complex Soil System
Department: School of Environmental Sciences, OAC
What inspired you to pursue your current degree?
My inquisitive mind has always driven me to look for solutions to problems. The way things are going globally with climate change, I strongly believe sustainable agriculture can help achieve a green economy. That being said, I want to be an active stakeholder in this revolutionary change.
What about your research area excites you?
That I get to do exciting things in the lab and produce a high-quality result.
What challenges do you find in your research, and how do you try to overcome them?
As part of my research objectives, I am required to grow some crops in the greenhouse. I have gathered that this sometimes doesn’t go as planned. Continuous communication with faculty that have done similar research and also consulting related pieces of literature gives a good guide on how to do this successfully. So, fingers crossed.
How would you describe your research and the implications of your project?
My research aims to understand how we can use “waste” to grow crops sustainably. My research is going to direct a new understanding of organic waste reactions in the soil, especially the reactions of the phosphorus component of this waste. In addition, I will also look at the potential of this waste to improve soil health. Overall, this project will give an idea of the potential impact of these organic waste agronomically and environmentally.
What do you see as your next steps after completing your degree?
I intend to continue contributing to research on sustainable agriculture.
What role has the HQP scholarship played in your academic journey so far?
The course has opened my eye to the wide gap that exists between agricultural research and efficient knowledge mobilization. I have also had the opportunity to understand how research translates into policies at a higher level. After all, the importance of research is lost if that information is not translated into actionable steps. On the other hand, the course has helped me refine my soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and organizational skills. This I know would be very useful in my career journey. Finally, getting this scholarship has helped relieve some financial burdens.
What are three of your favourite activities outside the lab?
Spending time with my family, cooking and binge-watching movies.
What is one important thing you have learned during the pandemic?
The realization that we are still living and we need to keep going while appreciating the little things. Secondly, improvisation might actually birth a better innovation. I find out that I keep on improvising to make progress during this period, and that has made me a better person at solving problems.