Jungsoo Park

Microbial interactions with photosynthetic hosts
Laura Parfrey
Korea, Republic of
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

My decision to pursue a graduate degree is rooted both in my longtime interest in the study of microbial ecology, and in my future career goals. Pursuing a graduate degree, especially at UBC, will allow me to attain an expertise in the study of host-microbe interactions in botany, particularly the better understanding of ecological functioning based on holobiont concept in relation to environmental changes that can tackle global issues. Through my PhD studies, I hope to explore complex, but fascinating microbial research associated seaweed species that play a critical role in primary production and ecosystem functioning by providing food and shelter to many organisms. I aspire to make use of my doctoral studies by paying forward the success of my own growth as a student, teacher and scholar.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC because of the strength of the PhD program. With faculty members doing research in multiple areas, I feel the program at UBC will expose me to a diversity of subdisciplines within the field of ecology and microbiology. The most intriguing asset that I wish to explore is to collaborate with many other researchers and students at UBC. In addition, studying at UBC campus provides utmost opportunity for students to explore gorgeous ocean and nature! Why not?

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

I was excited by the highly interdisciplinary nature of the botany program, where I have the opportunity to interact with zoologists, microbiologists and computer scientists in a broad range of fields, working in both laboratory-based and field-based research. I believe that this is an important asset to research in modern science.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

Above all, the ocean is right by campus! I used to study marine ecology during my master's degree in South Korea, the accessibility to sampling sites may facilitate my future research. And, here in Vancouver spring and autumn time is quite long, but no extreme winter or summer, which makes me feel I’m in heaven. But it is not really surprising because I knew life in Vancouver is awesome.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

My best advice is to enjoy your work. It is very true that graduate students are stressed out during their degree all over the world. But I am sure that UBC in Vancouver is the right place for us to enjoy our research and interacting people from diverse backgrounds. UBC certainly provides very unique environment by embracing global people at the same place.


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