ZMT Alumnus and Ambassador:

Dr. Paltu Kumar Dhal, India

Paltu Kumar Dhal

What was your position at ZMT?

I got involved with ZMT as a NAM fellow from India funded by the joint NAM S&T Centre – ZMT Bremen Fellowship for almost three months. My project objectives at ZMT aimed to decipher the microbial community structure and its shift with respect to different station of Indian Sundarban Mangrove areas using amplicon metagenomics approaches.

I made so many experiences during my stay at ZMT, but the real notables are (1) the meeting (Palaver) every Tuesday morning at ZMT’s main building as it helped me to get introduced to all my colleagues at ZMT. (2) I will always remember the taste of the hot chocolate from the coffee machine in the lobby. Furthermore, the working environment, especially the well-equipped and well-organised bio-lab was one of my favourite experiences. Last but not least, my working group members were excellent to work with.

How did you benefit from your time at ZMT?

The work has been initiated at ZMT, so I have planned to continue the project in a longer perspective. Additionally, some of the new techniques I learned in this project are highly relevant to my research at Jadavpur University.

Therefore, my stay and work at ZMT has been highly beneficial for my further research career. I am not only in contact with other alumni, but also a couple of the group leaders of ZMT keeping the option of further collaboration.

What happened since you left the institute?

After leaving ZMT, I returned to my position as an assistant professor at Jadavpur University (JU), Kolkata. At JU, besides teaching, I am engaged with active research as well. My field of research mainly contains microbial community structures of different environments and bacterial hosts. My skills and training received from ZMT are highly beneficial to my work at JU. Additionally, as an assistant professor, I am also involved in teaching, namely in the JU M.Sc. Programme in Biotechnology.