Our 2nd year student Šimon Hrbek  describes his experience at the Slovenian Forestry Institute: 

"Already since December I have started to send out motivation letters and CV to different forestry related institutions all around Europe. From most of them I haven’t even got an answer, but luckily, they accepted me where I wanted to go most – Slovenia. More precisely Slovenian Forestry Institute located in Ljubljana but conducting research all around the country.

Under the supervision of Dr. Tine Grebenc from the Department of Forest Physiology and Genetics, I have been engaged in varied activities. During the first half of the stay, my time was equally divided between the field work, laboratory and office; the second half was mostly interior. In the field I helped researchers from different departments for example with the assessment of Natura 2000 habitats, measurements of regeneration success, soil sampling within the LIFE IP Care4Climate project, measurements of root systems and a couple of others.

The work in the laboratory was especially beneficial for me since I haven’t had many opportunities to get hands-on experience in this environment throughout my studies so far. The main content of these activities was connected to the molecular identification of ectomycorrhiza. I have gone through the samples preparation, DNA extraction, amplification via PCR techniques to latter DNA purification and sequences analysis.

In the office I mostly worked on a research of identification of relations between varied factors influencing mushroom and truffle legislation in the European countries. Data was collected from key informants from different countries all around Europe and the data analysis in R will follow now. For this purpose, I have started to get acquainted with the RStudio functioning and have also started with basic analysis of the data which will continue even when the internship has officially finished.

Among other activities I have passed through during this summer, I am very grateful for seeing truffle plantation management in practice, and a brief course on scientific and professional papers writing and presentation. All in all, it has been a fruitful period that I will be able to build on in the future."