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Katja Dankhoff

Current position: M.Sc. student of material chemistry and catalysis at the University of Bayreuth, Germany (Prof. Birgit Weber’s group)

Stay in Dunedin: September 2014 – February 2015

Photo: Katja Dankhoff at the Chasm, en route to Milford Sound.

I visited Dunedin and Sally’s group for a 5 month project during the studies for my master degree. When I arrived, Sally picked me up from the airport and brought me to Abbey College, where I stayed during my time in Dunedin.

The first weeks of getting to know a different lab are always a difficult time, but Sally, her group and the whole department made me feel welcome and therefore it was very easy to get used to the new place. Sally’s open door policy was very helpful for any kind of problems. My project was in the area of spin crossover, which was not a new area for me, as I did my bachelor thesis in Prof. Weber’s group already. But it involved some organic synthesis, which helped me a lot to gain more synthetic skills.

Abbey College was a great place to stay for my time in Dunedin. A lot of very nice people are living there and I made some very good friends from basically all over the world. It is also very nice that food is provided so there was no need to cook for myself (which I am anyway not very good at). Since I stayed at Abbey College, life in Dunedin was always interesting as there was always something to do during the weekends with the people living there.

Dunedin is a lovely city with lot of amazing places to visit, to see the wildlife of New Zealand (like penguins) or just to go to the beach and have a relaxed afternoon.

After my project I spent two weeks of travelling with my family which was just an amazing experience! New Zealand is a beautiful place to live or to spend the holidays. I would come back any time to do either!