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  • My Life at IHB - Kurtis Clarke
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    Kurtis Clarke
    MSc Student from the University Of Lethbridge, Canada

    I am Kurtis Clarke an MSc Student from the University Of Lethbridge, Canada working on Plant physiology, specifically focusing on changes to plant leaf venation. An international collaboration between my professor in Canada and Professor Hongwei Hou provided me with an opportunity to come to China that I just couldn’t say no to. At IHB I was able to work with a set of aquatic plants that have different leaf forms above and below water, resulting in something called heterophylly, which is very useful for observing the effects of hormones and the environment on plants. I hope to elaborate on my hormone studies here when I continue my research back in Canada on leaf venation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    I will be honest China was quite a change from Canada at first it was a little intimidating, but the people here are very kind and understanding, and thankfully know enough English that I never had any problems (since I don’t speak any form of Chinese). My lab mates were also kind enough to help me get well situated in the IHB housing which, had a cafeteria with some awesome Chinese food and was a mere 5 minute walk away from the IHB. There is also a pretty strong, and very welcoming international community here which certainly helps when you are getting settled in. The institute itself is very well equipped with machinery and has some nice perks such as being able to get primers and sequencing done overnight, which was hugely convenient for the bit of molecular biology I do.  

    Wuhan itself is a nice city with a lot to see such as the botanical gardens and the cherry blossoms at Wuhan University if you are here in spring. Also Wuhan’s central location allows for travel to many other parts of China which is a bonus for anyone big on exploration. Well I was here I was able to spend a few days in Anhui province which was just a short train ride away and was absolutely beautiful, especially in the spring when all the plants are in bloom.  

    Finally, I would like to thank everyone in my lab (Li Gaojie, Hu Shiqi, Yang Jingjing, Dr. Wu, Prajani Heenatigala, Liangdan Fei)  and especially Professor Hongwei Hou for all the help you have been in my studies and for giving me the opportunity to spend these three short months at IHB in Wuhan.  

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