Life at IHB

Brian Okwiri


I have been a student at Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences for the past two and a half years. Prior to that I spent four months in Beijing where I learnt languages and other basic courses. The journey has been interesting and fun but not without its own fair share of challenges. Education and research at the institute has offered me a chance to grow at a personal level as well as a professional level. During my stay at the institute I have acquired massive skills of research and in the process learnt how to be aggressive as a researcher in the field of aquatic sciences. The person I am as I leave this place is not the same person I was when I came in. I am better and by far much wise and ready for the next step of my journey. 

The interactions with people during my time here from all walks of life has been an experience like no other. How we would put our differences as side and put our heads together in times when it got tough or when we needed to solve a problem was simply inspirational. The warmth and hospitality of the Chinese people and the Chinese students during my stay in China is a trait I would like to emulate and encourage the world at large to embrace especially when dealing with foreign students from other countries. The friendships I have made and experiences I have gained will hopefully culminate into better science and making this world a better place for all in it. My experience here has been great and much of it I owe to the people I dealt with at one point or the other. I would not forget to thank the international office of the institute which has always made me feel like am home away from home.  

I always feel that I perhaps had the best supervisor in Prof E Zhang because under his tutelage I have learnt a lot and had an opportunity to improve and grow in leaps and bounds as a student and researcher. He has been very supportive and understanding during this journey towards me getting my Master’s degree. His patience and willingness to teach and empower me to be a better student and researcher is something I will forever be grateful for and hope someday I can have the opportunity to pass along to others. The availability of world-class equipment and facilities at the Fish taxonomy and evolution lab (headed by Prof. E Zhang) where I did my research has been key in propelling me to the success I have achieved over the relatively short period of time that I have been here and for that am thankful. 

Did I like my time in China? Yes. Would I come back given the opportunity? Any day, anytime. Would I recommend any other person to come to Institute of Hydrobiology for education and research? I would without thinking twice about it. Institute of Hydrobiology has been good to me and all I can say is thank you and keep up with the hospitality and good work both educationally and research wise.