Hi everyone! My name is Samer Nasser, I am from Antwerp, Belgium, and I am very glad to introduce myself as the latest addition to this interesting group of PhD students. I just finished my master’s degree this summer at the University of Antwerp. Unlike most of the ESRs, my studies were in the field of electronics and ICT engineering technology. Nevertheless, I will be working on a very hybrid topic that combines hardware, software, hydrology, and biology. Although the latter two subjects are little known to me, I am very excited to dive into this new world of climate science. When starting my academic career and discovering my passion for technology, I also came to find that my interests are very multifaceted and that I would really like to end up with a multidisciplinary job where I can keep on stimulating my curiosity and expanding my field of expertise. Since climate change is also one of the topics that is of great importance to me, I think I really might have found my dream job.

More specifically, my research will start with developing an automated soil sampler for measuring subsoil nutrient flows. The sampling system will not only measure hydraulic conductivity, but it will also take many different environmental parameters into account such as precipitation, CO2- and NO-concentration, moisture level, etc. The combination of these data will give us a better insight into the carbon and nitrogen cycling processes in sub-arctic environments and will hopefully allow me to build a model to predict nutrient leaching rates along the temperature gradients at the ForHot site in Iceland.

Taking on this challenge, also implied that I needed to move to a new country. After living in Antwerp for as long as I’ve known, I have now moved to Aalborg, Denmark to be able to work with Dansk Miljørådgivning A/S, where I have already spent my first two months working as a consultant on state-of-the-art automated sampling solutions. Both on a personal and professional level, this has been a very exciting and instructive experience, which has also really helped me prepare for the journey that is ahead of me.

I am very much looking forward to being part of this diverse project and to getting to know my fellow ESRs all over Europe!