Editor’s note: Serge helped welcome our 10,000th Advisor-generated user of 2019 in early June.
How did you get into your field and what is your research story?
I am involved in animal sciences, particularly animal reproduction research. I came across this research field because of my will to improve livestock practice in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in Cameroon. As a matter of fact, livestock remains labour intensive, leading to poor yield and subsequent insufficiency in protein availability on market regardless of the hard work of farmers. Furthermore, they solely rely on natural mating which limits their profits. Despite being on increasing pressure to farm as cost effective as possible, and taking into account the rapid increasing of population, producers are facing a critical challenge which on my view can be tackled using assisted reproductive techniques. My background is biology, indeed I obtained my bachelor with a major in animal physiology at the University of Dschang, Cameroon. I started a master’s in plant pharmacology, but I rapidly switched to animal sciences and I moved to South Africa, to the University of Stellenbosch where I have refined my knowledge and lab practice in animal sciences close to Dr. Helet Lambretchs who gave me, in collaboration with Dr. Gilbert Ateufack from the University of Dschang, the opportunity to be part of the amazing voyage to the unknown reality that science allows to illuminate. I am a PhD student in animal sciences at the University of Dschang, Cameroon and my research project focuses on small ruminant’s assisted reproduction. Currently, I am on a research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, where we are working on the development of biodegradable food packaging.
Where do you do your research?
The research I am involved in requires me to be outside for sample collection and to be in the lab for analysis. I am at my ease in both sites, but I generally prefer to be outside because I can browse and appreciate the beautiful landscapes of Africa in miniature – Cameroon and breathe some fresh air.
How long have you been using Mendeley?
I have been on Mendeley since 2015. Indeed, I was introduced to the software at the beginning of my master studies in South Africa by the librarian in charge of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch and have used it ever since. I want to say thanks again to Yusuf, the librarian, it has been of great help and it’s still the case.
What were you using prior to Mendeley and how does Mendeley influence your research?
Before Mendeley, I was using the MS Word reference. Of course, it wasn’t that efficient. I remembered one day that my system crashed, I lost all my resources and I had to rebuild it from the beginning.
Mendeley has drastically changed my research, now I am safe from losing my resources, I can access them anytime and anywhere, and I receive consistent suggestions of research papers – no need to browse the whole internet to stay updated. In addition, I can connect with others, find careers and funding opportunities.
Why did you decide to become an Advisor?
I am part of those who believe that right tools should be shared with others. For me, Mendeley is one of these excellent tools, that is the reason why I decided to become an Advisor and assist others to be more efficient by optimizing their research work with Mendeley.
What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive?
Tu Youyou. She is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel Prize in 2015 for her work in creating an anti-malaria drug that saved millions of lives in Asia and Africa. She relied on traditional Chinese medicine in her discovery of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, which have helped significantly improve the health of people living in tropical climates. She made me think of the year I worked in plant pharmacology.
What book are you reading at the moment and why?
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Recently, I attended a training course in France where we discussed cell culture and of course Hela cells. I then dug a bit about the origin of those cells and I found that they were derived from the cancer cells of Henrietta Lacks. The title of this book is just fascinating “immortal life” it effectively highlights how we have been moved forward with research – opening novel perspectives.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?
Life is really an adventure and should not be taken as a long and calm stream. Whatever the challenge you meet, keep going, you won’t win anytime but do your best.
What is the best part about working in research?
Without hesitation, being at the forefront of pushing the world forward by trying to improve living conditions, bringing your own stone to the big building.
And the most challenging part about working in research?
Patience, nowadays being patient is not that a shared value, especially when working in a team, yet research that produce actionable results requires time, thus patience.
What is one Mendeley “ProTip” you have?
Being able to import the resources straight to the appropriate folder of the library using the web plugin. It’s really time saving as you can import and tidy up everything at once. I think also being able to share your unpublished data is an important point as generally most of the research is not published, but at least you can share it with others.
Serge’s Biography :
I obtained my High School certificate with a major in mathematics and physics and I then jumped in to university where I received my Bachelor Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of Dschang, Cameroon in 2011. I received my Postgraduate Diploma in 2012 and I moved to the University of Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa for a one-year research stay. Back in Cameroon, I completed my MSc in 2015 in the same field as my bachelor. While being a full-time PhD student at the University Dschang in Cameroon, I am currently on a 6-month research stay at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.
I am a member of the Cameroon Forum for Biological Sciences (CAFOBIOS).
I am a Mendeley Advisor!!!
I share a special interest for environment protection, so I am involved in several NGOs as United voices to Serve Forests and Environment (USFE) International, which is an organization that design and implement actions towards environment preservation.
I am an amateur chess player.
Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor yourself? Find out more about the Advisor Community here