Hello everyone, my name is Lewis and I am a 1st year PhD student on the GPES programme at The University of Tokyo.
I was born and raised in England, UK. I studied a 4 year undergraduate master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Leicester, UK. During my time at Leicester I participated in the Erasmus scheme and spent my 3rd year at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Whilst in Stuttgart I conducted research under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sabine Laschat, which involved synthesising new liquid crystalline aryl guanidinium ions. My time in Germany was one of the best years so far, it was during this time that I developed a passion for exploring foreign lands. ^^
For my final year, I moved back to Leicester and with a new research project, under the tutelage of Prof. Paul S. Monks, which involved developing a comparative reactivity method (CRM) to determine the total hydroxyl radical reactivity of the atmosphere. It was during this project that I developed a keen interest in environmental science.
So in the final year of my master’s, I was deliberating where I would like to go for my PhD. England, Germany, and Japan were on my mind. I am so thrilled that I chose to go for Japan! Japan has always been the country that “I must visit”, but I never had the opportunity. Luckily I got in touch with my current supervisor, Prof. Jonathan R. Woodward, one thing led to another and here I am studying on this fresh and exciting Graduate Programme on Environmental Sciences, taught in English (bonus!), at The University of Tokyo.
My PhD research focuses on the field of spin chemistry. Spin chemistry encompasses the measurement and analysis of magnetic field effects (MFEs) on chemical systems, for this project cryptochromes. I will be observing the spatially resolved magnetic field effects on cryptochrome chemistry at the cellular level, in which key connections can be developed between the fields of spin chemistry and behavioural biology, in particular avian navigation.
All in all, my life here in Tokyo has been great so far. I received a warm welcome from the current GPES staff and students; they have made my time here all the more enjoyable. The Japanese culture has opened my eyes in a positive way, and I am excited to find out what the next 3 years in Japan has to offer me.
All the best,