From rainy 5°C to snowy -20°C

My research stay in Montréal

The heart of ArcTrain is the transatlantic collaboration between scientists in Germany and Canada. Thus, since I have started by PhD in October 2019 in Bremen, Germany, I knew that I would get the chance to go to Canada for some time and do some research there. Finally, in January 2022, this point arrived: I traveled to Montréal and will stay here until the beginning of April.

The main goal of my research stay is to work on a project for my PhD thesis which is focusing on the storage of the shells of planktic foraminifera in the ocean sediments, as this is relevant for the carbon cycle in the Arctic ocean. I profit from the presence of sediment core samples from the Labrador Sea that are stored at the University of Québec in Montréal (UQAM), as well as the expertise in terms of analyzing sediments in the research group here.

But it is not only about research: It is also about learning to live in a different environment, in a different culture, on a different continent. Traveling from northern Germany to the east coast of Canada in mid-January means moving away from gray days with about zero to ten degrees Celsius air temperature with a rather constant drizzling rain to temperatures below the freezing point (and up to -20°C and less) and a lot of either sunny or snowy days. Moving to a city in the province of Québec includes the need (and welcomed possibility!) to refresh my French language skills (and widen them due to many local differences to the French I learned to use during an internship in France during my masters). It includes a lot of days in the snow, a huge variety in very delicious and international dishes, and so many amazing impressions.

As there are so many things to talk about, I dedicated a separated blog to giving detailed descriptions on my experiences during my research stay in Montréal. So, if you want to read more about what it is like to live and work in Montréal when you are used to the life in Bremen, check it out here.

In appreciation for you to read this article until here, I will flood the following part with some of the pictures I took – so enjoy, and if you’re currently in a wet, grey or warm place, lean back and imagine standing in the snow and facing the sun!

Franziska Tell

About Franziska Tell

PhD student from the 3rd ArcTrain cohort, working on planktonic foraminifera and the carbon cycle in the Arctic Ocean. @GruenEisBaer on twitter & instagram

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