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Mona Minde: My first month as a PhD candidate

My first month as a PhD candidate has passed, and it has been quite a busy month. When arriving at the University of Stavanger my first day I was very excited to finally start my PhD, and as I am from Stavanger and have been a student at UiS, finding my way around campus was not my biggest challenge.

  • Mona Minde, selfie
    Me, trying to take a selfie on my first day as a PhD candidate ...
  • Mona Minde, office
    Getting a desk and a proper chair in the office has been a longer process. Together with my office-companion Nina Egeland, who also works with the centre, we had some very cozy weeks sharing one desk in the office.
  • Strategy seminar, Hjelmeland
    The gathering at Hjelmeland was a great opportunity to learn more about the other researchers work, and to get to know people better, while enjoying a great evening with good entertainment and food. During the two days we got a good chance to build relations between the PhD-candidates and the Postdocs, which I think may lead to some good cross-disciplinary cooperation.
  • SEM, chalk
    These days I am spending a lot of time at the SEM studying dissolution in chalk, and I have some very nice coccoliths to look at. Chalk is an extremely interesting material to work with at high magnifications and I am often quite amazed how beautiful structures nature is able to build.

Getting a desk and a proper chair in the office has been a longer process. Together with my office-companion Nina Egeland, who also works with the centre, we had some very cozy weeks sharing one desk in the office.

Now things are all in place and we can put all our effort into research. Most of the time so far, I have spent making a plan for and presenting my future research. First at the team building event at Hjelmeland spa. The gathering at Hjelmeland was a great opportunity to learn more about the other researchers work, and to get to know people better, while enjoying a great evening with good entertainment and food. During the two days we got a good chance to build relations between the PhD-candidates and the Postdocs, which I think may lead to some good cross-disciplinary cooperation.

Not only did I present my PhD plans at Hjelmeland, I also presented them at the site visit from the Research Council of Norway, Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, and The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. I addition I joined the opening of the new lab building at UiS, presenting the previous work I have done with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). So, I got a lot of training in talking in front of an audience, but now the research has really started! I have many exciting projects ahead of me and I am really looking forward to start working with them!

These days I am spending a lot of time at the SEM studying dissolution in chalk, and I have some very nice coccoliths to look at. Chalk is an extremely interesting material to work with at high magnifications and I am often quite amazed how beautiful structures nature is able to build. 

Not only are these micrometer small coccoliths made by nature, they are also preserved for over 65 million years under layers of rock!

Back to my coccoliths!

Mona