Global Ambassador: Akane Ota
Akane Ota, from Nagoya, Japan, is a doctoral student in Forestry and Natural Resources. Her research topic is forest biological diversity and how it's affecting/affected by wildlife. Just like our human society, nature embraces diversity - different species, different shapes, and different ages. She is interested in knowing why and how forest biodiversity (differences in trees) is important, and how it impacts the animals and other wildlife that live there.
Ambassador Q & A (Questions and Answers)
Why did you choose Purdue?
Purdue has one of the most renowned graduate programs in agriculture, and thus offers plenty of learning opportunities for students. Another big reason was that West Lafayette is recognized as one of the safest campus towns in the US with relatively inexpensive living costs.
What is your favorite fact about Purdue?
Purdue accepts a big number of international students from many countries, and even American students come from many parts of the US. Although Indiana itself is not as diverse as other bigger states, Purdue campus is full of mixed people with different backgrounds.
Since I was little, I have had a dream to save the beautiful and rich nature on this planet. In graduate school, I found that I could approach this dream through science, and that brought me the objective to work in an international institution or research institution in the future. There are so many sections involving nature conservation, like politics, social science, economics, but I believe my fit is in science as an ecologist, and I would like to contribute to revealing the current status of nature, and what would happen under changing environment.
Where do you spend most of your time on campus?
My office at Pfendler Hall.
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
R, Microsoft suites, Mendeley or EndNote, ArcGIS, WhatsApp, Instagram, LINE, Youtube, Podcasts.
What’s your workspace setup?
Pretty simple - a desktop computer, some books, tea, and a few handcrafts from my grandmother.
How do you recharge?
Going to bouldering/climbing and having fun with people there while training hard.
What are you currently reading, or what is the last thing you read?
Origin, Dan Brown.
Is there anything else you'd like to add that might be interesting to readers?
I'd like to add some advice for international applicants. It is hard for international students to find financial assistance in the US (especially if you're coming from outside of the US or a non-native English speaker), so I recommend you look for all the financial supports in your own country or supports for international students specifically.