A PhD fellowship adventure in Bordeaux: Chateaubriand STEM

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Alexandria earned in 2015 her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California Riverside, where as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she studied chaparral and coastal sage scrub responses to environmental change using hydraulics. In 2013, she was awarded with a Chateaubriand STEM fellowship, offered by the Office for Science & Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in Washington, DC in partnership with American universities, French research organizations such as CNRS, Inria and Inserm, and the National Science Foundation’s GROW program.

Why did you decide to study abroad in France?

I decided to study abroad in France because of the scientific opportunity to work with Dr. Sylvain Delzon and learn new techniques related to my research. I was also excited about the personal opportunity to immerse myself in French culture.

How has your experience in France contributed to your personal and professional goals?

During my stay in France, I got to meet researchers from all over the world who were interested in the same concepts. I was able to learn from top scientists in my field and make friends with graduate students and postdocs who shared my passion for plant hydraulics. It taught me that science and curiosity can unify us, regardless of our country of origin.

Can you tell us a little anecdote or memory that happened during your stay in France?

During my stay in France, everyone was so warm and welcoming. One sunny day, the lab technician took me and another visiting researcher to visit the nearby seaside town of Arcachon. We had a delicious lunch of local oysters and visited Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe.

In one sentence, for you, study in France means…

Studying in France meant fulfilling a life-long goal of living abroad, resulting in new collaborators, friends, and wonderful memories.

Source: France Alumni USA