National Taiwan Ocean University- A Fantasy Asia Journey of a France Student

National Taiwan Ocean University
DUR Gael
France

Name: DUR Gael From: France Graduate From: National Taiwan Ocean University Position: Shizuoka University/ Associate Professor
teaching in the Shizuoka University

My story starts when I was a second-year master student in Marine Environment Modelling at the University of Liege, Belgium. For my research internship, I went to my former university’s Laboratory of Oceanography and Geoscience located on the coast of the English Channel in the north of France. In this laboratory of Lille University, I worked under the supervision of Pr. Souissi who had at that time a visitor from Taiwan, Pr. Hwang Jiang-Shiou from National Taiwan Ocean University. Pr. Hwang appreciated my investment in the research project I was conducting and proposed me to join his lab to do a Ph.D. I decided to accept his offer but, as proposed by Pr. Souissi, taking also the challenge to do a co-tutorial Ph.D. between Lille University and NTOU. It was indeed challenging as I was the first French co-supervised Ph.D. student between a French and a Taiwanese University, notably I had to pass the entrance exam for the Ph.D. course of NTOU. Once the exam passed, several agreements between the two university were signed and I could start my Ph.D. I finally graduated in 2009, obtaining two Ph.D.s: Doctor in Marine Biology from NTOU, and Doctor in Geosciences, Ecology, Paleontology and Oceanography from Lille University.

 

After several post-docs in Taiwan, Japan, and France, conducted in the framework of international research projects, I obtained my current position as Associate Professor at Shizuoka University in 2016. Since then, I developed with three of my colleagues a new undergraduate course entitled “Creative Science Course – Global innovation”. This course emphasis international openness with courses given in English and incites students to gain experience abroad. In terms of research, I study the response of planktonic organisms to anthropogenic perturbations. In particular, in my lab, the DGtalAquaLab, research integrates data visualization and analysis, and modeling to contribute to the understanding of how individual biology, physiology, behavior, as well as demographic and evolutionary processes influence the response of population to different stresses. I have always kept in touch with Prof. Souissi and Prof. Hwang, and my post-doc hosts, through the valorization of my Ph.D. work and beyond leading to several co-authored scientific papers. I am also working on developing agreements of student exchange between my current university and the ones I obtained my Ph.D.s from. An agreement with Lille University was signed last year and we are looking forward to developing a similar agreement with NTOU.

 

Looking back, it was one of the best decisions of my life to come to NTOU for my Ph.D. I have met so many people from different origins, some of them are still among my dearest friends today; and it is always a pleasure to meet them when I come to Taiwan. For a foreign student, it could be difficult to overcome the language barrier and homesickness. For that, I got involved in the rugby team of NTOU and with the support of my teammates, I could obtain the language skills required to have a minimum of autonomy while having fun. I also created the International Student Association to mingle with foreign students and support them when facing any difficulties. I would recommend any student willing to come to NTOU to also join one of the NTOU group of students and get in touch with the International Student Association. By doing so, you can fully benefit from NTOU’s high-quality education and the advantages in terms of personal development that a study abroad provides.

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