Student - July 25, 2018

YOU on campus: My research and I

Text:
Liza van Kapel

During the summer, the campus is quiet but not completely deserted. Hidden in a darkened office all the way in the back of the Gaia building, Selçuk Aksay (31) is working on his PhD research on the development of badlands. ‘I actually like the quiet on the campus now.’

© Liza van Kapel

The last few months have been anything but quiet for Selçuk. Due to both teaching and research, he spent the spring in Germany, France, Spain, Turkey and England. ‘I quite enjoyed those hectic months, but it is also really good to catch up with my research now. Timing is great, because there are less meetings, no people interrupting me, no teaching tasks. Now it is just my research and I.’

Selçuk is focusing on the development of badlands, very degraded land surfaces, in western Turkey. ‘I really like the multidisciplinary nature of my research: it associates tectonic geomorphology, volcanism and climate change to examine the surface dynamics leading to the development of badlands through the use of multiple techniques.’

Istanbul, Zurich, Wageningen
For his research, Selçuk has been in Wageningen for a year now, after having lived and studied in Zurich and his home town Istanbul. And it is quite a change: ‘I love living in large cities, with all the diversity amongst people and the different interactions I have. I miss that vibe here; Wageningen feels rather small.’ However, the small scale of Wageningen also has its advantages: ‘I do enjoy the nature and its quiet. It is actually a really good inspiration for the paintings that I make in my spare time. They are totally different than the paintings I made in the neat and organised Zurich: my work reflects the environment that I live in.’

I personally don’t think that the 'Wageningen mountain' is even a hill, it is just a change in relief
Selçuk Aksay

Apart from painting, he also enjoys the surroundings for cycling: ‘It’s really nice around here, especially towards Utrecht. I used my mountain bike in Switzerland, but that is not always possible here. I personally don’t think that the “Wageningen mountain” is even a hill, it is just a change in relief’, he says laughing. Selçuk might go on a holiday to Switzerland in October and reunite with “his mountains” there. But first, the research continues in England: ‘Working through the summer is not as bad as it seems.’


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