Meet our graduate researchers - Magnus Jespersen
Research title: Characterising the molecular drivers of group A Streptococcal evolution
Started PhD studies in 2019
What and where did you study before your PhD?
I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Southern Denmark, where I worked with professor Birgitte Kallipolitis on Listeria monocytogenes. I completed my master’s degree in 2019 after which I relocated to Australia to commence my PhD. It is common in Denmark for a PhD candidate to have completed a master’s degree before commencing a PhD, which allowed me to start a PhD shortly after graduation with little problem.
What made you decide to undertake a PhD at the Doherty Institute?
The field that I was interested in did not have many experts in Denmark, which led me outside of the country. The Doherty Institute seemed to have multiple people working in the subject that I was interested in, suggesting a strong research environment. I also liked my future supervisor’s attitude toward research and the culture in the group.
When do you hope to complete and what are your plans post-PhD?
I hope to hand in my thesis in the first quarter of 2023. After completion I plan to return to Denmark and hopefully land a job in the biotech industry, preferably in research and development of new bacterial strains for food production.
What advice do you have for someone who is considering a PhD?
You should do a PhD if you think you can enjoy the process of doing a PhD. If you cannot see yourself enjoying the process but just want the title, I would be hesitant to start. There will be ups and downs, but the overall, the process of day to day PhD life should seem enjoyable to you. A second thing is understanding yourself as a student, how you work when doing a project, what your reaction to challenges is, and how your prospective supervisor or their group can function. Will you require or have the opportunity for day-to-day supervision, weekly catch-ups, or how will things work? This is just one example you can ask yourself and a prospective supervisor.