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Geert Van Biesen - Environmental Science

{Geert Van Biesen}
Geert Van Biesen

Geert Van Biesen is from Beveren, a town close to Antwerp in Belgium. While working as a lab technician he completed a degree in environmental science via distance education at the Open University of the Netherlands. His honours thesis was on toxicity identification and evaluation of waste waters with the Microtox test.

"I am in the Environmental Science programme (M.Sc.). I am at the Ocean Sciences Centre, where I work with Dr. C. Parrish. We set up a small cod farm in Labrador and studied the dispersal of organic waste from the farm, using lipids as biomarkers. We also determined fatty acid profiles of cod to see if we could distinguish between in- and offshore cod.

"Graduate Studies seemed to be a nice change after 12 years of working! I actually got my undergraduate degree the year before I came to MUN and somehow I never felt like that would be the end of it. I really wanted to work in a research environment, which I did at the time, but not in the position or the field (environmental chemistry) that I preferred. So pursuing a graduate degree was a logical step.

" Memorial University is one of the few universities offering a graduate degree in environmental science, at an affordable price, where the emphasis is on integrating different disciplines. I am mostly interested in the integration of chemistry and biology.

Memorial has the perfect size: it is not too big so you are not just a number, and not too small so there are plenty of research areas you can choose from.

"I have just finished my M.Sc. thesis and I got accepted in the chemistry department to do a PhD, so it seems like I will be sticking around here for a couple more years.

"When I walk around in St. John's, I never have the impression of being in a city (which is a good thing!), yet it has all the amenities you can think of. It only takes a 10-minute drive to get out on some of the beautiful East Coast Trails. In the evening, you can usually find me at the gym in Field House. I really enjoy going hiking, camping and biking during the summer. As long as I can exercise, it's all good to me! On a Friday or Saturday night, there is a good chance you will find me somewhere on George Street.

{Memorial University of Newfoundland}