Nieuws - 13 oktober 2011

‘I did want to go first'

Who? Annelein Meisner and her partner Daan Blok
What? They received their PhDs on the same day
Where from? He from the university, she from the Dutch Institute for Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), but both in Wageningen
Why? To make it extra special.

Annelein Meisner
Why graduate together?
‘We both happened to apply for the same doctoral research post and we were both appointed. I was mainly in Heteren, by the way, as the NIOO only moved to Wageningen recently. We finished almost at the same time, and my supervisor Wim van Putten arranged for us to graduate on the same day. Otherwise you go through all that stress twice and your guests have to come twice too. I was very keen to go first though, because I was more nervous than Daan.'

Have you fallen into a black hole now?
‘No, that happens just after submitting your thesis. Now it's all over, it feels good. I will miss the NIOO, though, but I will drop by now and then. I am very busy looking for a new job.'

And now off on holiday together at last?
‘Actually, I am going to Rome tomorrow with some girlfriends. We had arranged that a long time ago.'

Daan Blok
Why graduate together?
‘We came up with the idea together. We thought it made it extra special. During Annemiek's defence ceremony I was not at all nervous on my own behalf. Only once I was sure that she was doing great did my own nerves start playing up. If there had been a couple of months in between, I would have been far more nervous.'

Have you fallen into a black hole now?
‘Quite the opposite. The time between submitting your thesis and the defence, that is a black hole. I am now busy applying for jobs. I am hoping for a postdoc position, but that is quite a long process. I think it would also be very nice to work as an advisor for an ecological consultancy firm.'
And now off on holiday together at last?
‘We are certainly going to do that. Because of my field work we could never go away together in the summer. But now we've been given three weekends away by friends and family. And a workshop on cuddling cows.'