Postgraduate profile: Tas Thamo
Over the next few months PIARN will be profiling early career researchers working in climate change adaptation in the primary industries.
This month we meet Tas Thamo, a first year PhD student from the University of Western Australia's School of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Tas recently won the Three-Minute Thesis Competition at the PIARN Postgraduate Workshop. He presented his research on greenhouse gas mitigation on WA farms at the CCRSPI Conference. View a summary of Tas’ PhD research.
Tas Thamo BSc (Agric Sci, Hons.), UWA
My area of research is the economics of different ways of sequestering carbon and abating emissions in the agricultural sector.
I decided to do my PhD because I saw the need for more research in this area. Whilst I fully appreciated and was passionate about the need for mitigation, I had the impression that there were many misconceptions about the promise and potential to abate greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. My research should hopefully help clarify whether or not this is the case.
The most enjoyable parts of my work are the occasional moments 'clarity', when I have new thoughts, insights or realisations into something that is exciting, interesting and original, or how different aspects of my research may come together. This can be really stimulating; even exhilarating at times. Then comes the ‘99% perspiration’, where you have to test out these ideas, write them up, etc.
The downside of life as a PhD student is not knowing exactly how, if or when you are going to reach your long term goal. This can sometimes make it seem like a daunting mountain to climb. Also because you basically 'own' your research, it's perhaps more like having your own business than having a job – a business based around the fulfilment of a contract several years into the future.
I'm passionate about sustainability: ensuring that our quality of life can be maintained and improved into the future. I see climate change as the most pertinent challenge facing us. Although my passion about this relates to society as a whole, my primary interest is in agriculture: it is both fundamental to our future and symptomatic of the issues we face. Unsustainable production and resource utilisation has characterised many societies that have failed in the past.
The best piece of advice I've received was 'do not carry on forever seeking the perfect thesis'.
I’m not sure yet what I'll do when I finish my studies. I still have a long way to go and so I am just focusing on getting there first.