What department are you from and what are you trying to find out with your research?
I am at KBM (Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science) and I am studying the dietary influences in gut microbiota using mice as a model. They are fantastic and the cutest “pet” I ever had.
Where are you from and where else have you lived?
I am from Portugal, where I took my bachelor. After that, I moved to Bergen to take my master and ended up staying there for 5 years until I got this PhD position at NMBU. It means I lived a quarter of my live in Norway, a place that I really like and where I want to stay for the next years for sure.
What is your favorite thing about NMBU/favorite thing about Norway in general?
I like the quietness of Ås to work. The campus is really cozy and it is the first time I am studying/working in a University campus like this. I decided to stay in Norway not only because I like it a lot, but also because there is still investment in science. Despite some limitations the opportunities are much better than back home. I am glad with the choice I have made. At the same time, I felt integrated quite fast, even without speaking Norwegian fluently.
The weather is not the best, but I lived in Bergen, so… now I can see summer at least once a year ;) The landscape is beautiful and there is infinite opportunities to do different things here.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
For the little spare time I have, mostly on the weekends, I like to go out to just walk or run. In general, I appreciate a lot the time I spend with my friends. I practice Capoeira here at Ås and it is a good way to exercise and meet new people at the same time.
In the Winter, I like to do cross country skiing and snowboarding and I love the Norwegian concept of cabin trips. I like to cook and try new ingredients and recipes. I often invite my friends for dinner, and occasionally I like to try a new restaurant.
When I have time and some spare money I like to travel and when the weather is not so welcome to be outside, I always have some TV series to watch. Nevertheless, as the Norwegians say: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”.
What can SoDoC do to improve life for PhD candidates at NMBU?
Besides all the social activities, which are important to meet new people and make new friends, SoDoC is a link between PhD and Postdoc students and other entities of the University. Every PhD and Postdoc student is welcome to participate in our meetings to expose a situation or ask questions. We want to be one more source of information, clarification, help and some experience. Moreover, to show that no one is alone in the stressful life of an academic environment.