Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science 2016 – 2017
My name is José Jáuregui, I am from Argentina and I was a student at Lincoln University from June 2016 until March 2017. During the first semester I did a postgraduate certificate in Applied Science, under the supervision of Professor Derrick Moot. I had met Derrick back in Argentina, while taking a postgraduate course as part of my PhD training. From the time I met him, I felt encouraged to visit the Field Research Centre to learn more about lucerne. After successfully applying for a NZ Aid Scholarship, my chance to do so finally came. During that time I collaborated mainly with lucerne experiments, working with Hung Ta, a PhD student. That was a very fruitful experience from which I learned how to measure shoot and root biomass, leaf appearance and phyllochron, as well as branching and other parameters of the crop. Learning all these techniques allowed me to better comprehend and understand the processes that influence lucerne (and other crops) growth.
After I finished my postgraduate certificate, I stayed 4 more months as a summer scholar, also under Derrick’s supervision. My work then was mainly focussed on analysing data from a lucerne experiment that evaluated different types of inoculation in combination with different autumn sowing dates and writing a paper about this. The patience and dedication of Derrick, as well as the useful insight of many other people working at the FRC such as Annamaria Mills were fundamental to achieve this goal. By the time I left NZ the paper was 95% completed!
But not everything was just work. I was fortunate enough to travel around New Zealand, particularly the South Island with my wife Guadalupe and my son Benicio. We visited numerous places: Akaroa, Kaikoura, Tasman and Marlborough regions, Lake Tekapo, Wanaka, Queenstown and many others. We were astonished by the breath-taking scenery and the beautiful roads in this country. We met amazing people from all over the world, many of which became good friends. This made our experience unique, and allowed us to understand many different cultures besides the Kiwi.
I am extremely grateful to everyone at the FRC for providing me with the opportunity to be involved in their research programme. I am particularly thankful to Derrick for encouraging me to come to NZ and for his help and guidance along this path. I go back to Argentina as a different person, with more knowledge and experience than before, and with a deeper understanding of the beautiful kiwi lifestyle.