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 microbial interactions with plant-hosts in botany, particularly the better understanding of microbial interaction in relation to environmental changes that can tackle global issues. Through my PhD studies, I hope to explore the symbiotic relations and patterns of the biogeochemical and ecological cycle, expanded on my previous research on the “Phytoplankton and microbial interaction in aquatic system.” 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 botany 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 plant and microbiology. In addition, the most intriguing asset that I wish to explore is to collaborate with many other institutions at UBC.
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 plant biologists, microbiologists and computer scientists in a broad range of fields, working in both laboratory-based and field-based research.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Above all, the ocean is right by campus. I researched about marine microorganisms during my master's degree, and I realized the proximity to sampling sites is very important in my field.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My best advice is to work your hard and attend as many conferences, research symposiums, poster sessions as possible! We are always presenting our work to a diverse range of people. Having the ability to communicate effectively is very important, and there are so many conferences available at UBC that can be taken advantage of (not to mention prize money!).
In addition to my work, I am excited about exploring new areas, and recently enjoy photography trips. More information about me is available at www.myjungsoopark.com