Solomon Ehosioke just finished his PhD in Applied Sciences at the University of Liège, in the Research Unit of Urban and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Professor Frédéric Nguyen and Professor Sarah Garré. He first did a Bachelor in Geology in Nigeria, worked for a few years, and then decided to follow up with a Master in Hydrogeology and Environmental Geoscience in Göttingen. After finishing his master’s degree in Germany in 2014, he then started his PhD in Liège the next year and was awarded an F.R.S-FNRS fellowship. This partnership between the University and the FNRS caught his attention and that is precisely the reason which brought him to Liège. The city and its atmosphere turned out to be a great surprise: « Liège is unique in its own way. One of the first things I noticed when I came is that people are warm and welcoming ».
Combining his knowledge in agricultural sciences and geosciences, Solomon Ehosioke chose to do his research on the electric signature of roots. He was always interested in multidisciplinary studies and was very keen on developing the rather new domain of agro-geophysics. « The idea is to bring the knowledge of geophysics to the study of roots to solve agricultural problems », he explains. His research is based on how to study the electric signature of roots at the surface without disturbing them in their natural environment. Previously used methods for studying roots, like excavation, would disturb the roots in their natural setting.
During his doctoral research, Dr. Ehosioke focused on understanding the electrical properties of single root segments. The next step would be to study the full root systems. This information would be beneficial to improve crop yield, precision agriculture and phytoremediation.
Just like any student during these unprecedented times, the pandemic impacted Dr. Ehosioke. He said he was fortunate enough to be in the final phase of his experiments when the pandemic hit. In general, the pandemic made it difficult for him to keep up with his usual pace of work and to find a good work-family balance at home.
As a recent graduate, Solomon Ehosioke is looking forward to continuing his research and developing it further. When asked about his future plans, he replied: « My target is to continue in the academic sphere; to promote future research in this field which is still developing, to make further contributions. I look forward to connecting and interacting with the established researchers in this specialization who could potentially guide me through a postdoc to become recognized as an autonomous researcher. For me, the location is not really an issue, it is all about where the opportunity unfolds. If there is an opportunity in Belgium, of course, I will be happy as I already know the system. But of course, if it comes up in another place, I would be happy to discover somewhere else as well ». He also added that he would be delighted to connect with other researchers in geosciences, especially in bio geoscience and applied geophysics.