I was born and raised in today’s Eritrea. After finishing my high school, in 1995, I joined University of Asmara (UoA) for my bachelor’s degree. In 1999, I received BSc degree majoring Chemistry and minor Geology. I worked for two years till the end of October 2001 as a laboratory personnel in the Water Resources Department (WRD), a branch of the ministry of Land, Water & Environment, in the capital Asmara.

University of Asmara (UoA)

In November 2001, I started a new journey to South Africa for a postgraduate study. I was hosted by Stellenbosch University, one of the beautiful and high-ranking academic institutions in South Africa. A year later, after receiving my bachelor’s with honors (BScHons) degree, I joined the Analytical Chemistry group for my MSc.

Considering the hot issues surrounding our environment, I chose to study chemicals that are of concern to human and animal well-being within our environment. I studied the presence of Organochloro-Pesticides (OCPs) in water and sediment samples. These chemicals are highly toxic and are known to disrupt our endocrine system. I then earned my MSc in Analytical Environmental Chemistry in December 2004.

Staff members and students, Chemistry Department, Stellenbosch University, 2008

I worked for a year in the same university and within the same group as a research assistant. This one-year work then undoubtedly opened a new opportunity for me. In January 2006, I was officially enrolled as a PhD student to work on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) partially responsible for the aroma and flavor of red and white South African wines. I studied four red and two white wine varieties. It has been a landmark and a game changer for me. It truly showed me that I have what it takes to be eligible in the scientific world. In December 2009, I was awarded with my PhD degree in Analytical Chemistry with its magnificent application on wines, a drink loved by most people.

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Separations within Analytical Chemistry, Stellenbosch University: study leaders and students

After making South Africa my home for about eight years, I embarked to a new adventure, to the west. I was hired as a postdoctoral researcher to work at the laboratory of entomology, Wageningen University (WUR), the Netherlands.

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Winter @ WUR

As the only chemist in our laboratory of about 70-80 members including permanent staff, temporary employee like myself and students, I was privileged to be part of multiple projects. I played my part in projects not only within the Dutch borders but far beyond extended to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

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Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, Departmental outing 2014.

Working at WUR was aspiring. It was a time of great experiences both academically and socially. I have interacted with scientists from across the globe and became a part of many outstanding scientific research projects. Great university and great colleagues, my time at WUR was an experience to remember for many years to come.

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For more on my academic and scientific journey plus on the things I learned along the way, please stay tuned. I plan to post under my blog occasionally, in order to share my academic expedition with the broader public in ways easily understood especially by the nonscientific minded.

Part of my academic, research and scientific work can be viewed on: Google ScholarLinkedInResearchGate, and ORCiD.