Francis Opoku

Francis Opoku

Research Area: 
Water Quality Protection
Summary: 

My research centres on controlling phosphorus loss from agricultural lands into surface waters, ensuring that the lake remains a good source of drinking water for them and their livestock, and as well enjoy the aesthetic value of the Lake.

Program(s)

Environmental Science, PhD

How my Research will Improve Life...

Phosphorus is the cause of eutrophication in surface waters which leads to algae bloom.  My research centres on controlling phosphorus loss from agricultural lands into surface waters, Lake Erie being my prime target. Controlling P loss and eventual algae bloom means reducing the negative impacts of eutrophication which are;  water quality reduction including; unpleasant odours and scum, reduction in water aesthetic value, unsafe water for drinking and also poses danger to animal life such as death of fish and drinking of dissolved toxins by livestock. If these effects are controlled then communities around Lake Erie will have good source of drinking water for them and their livestock, and as well enjoy the aesthetic value of the Lake.

Why I Chose Guelph… 

After a 5-month research internship at University of Guelph in 2010/2011, I became motivated to pursue a PhD program at the University of Guelph. During the internship, I had easy access to many publications (both online and library) to build my literature, my hands on experience with equipment (such as Leco Carbon and Nitrogen analyzer), and direct fieldwork. I was at a disadvantage to some of these opportunities in my home country, and the University of Guelph offered hope that I could accomplish these things. 
 
I also saw a culturally diverse community of students that made me feel at home. There are many help centres and resources available to me when needed. I also got enthused about the opportunity to harness my talent in soccer through the SES annual soccer fiesta and training with the school team. I even had the chance to attend and perform some of my poems at the inter-cultural events organized on campus. After the 5-month period, I felt University of Guelph is a place where I could greatly enhance my academic and extracurricular potentials. This influenced my decision to choose this University, and I would not have it any other way. 

About My Advisor… 

I would say that there is a perfect academic relationship between my advisor and I. He has given me the liberty to be the manager of my academic and research endeavors, while he plays his role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). With this definition, we are both playing our parts very well. He makes sure I have access to every resource I need to keep the work going. He allows me to express my opinions and considers them when they are helpful to our research. I also mutually respond to his directives and carry out my research effectively and efficiently. 

About the City of Guelph… 

Presently, I live in Ridgetown as this is where my research is conducted. Although Ridgetown does not have much infrastructure in comparison to the City of Guelph, it has large acres of land for research in agriculture. I sometimes enjoy a tour on the vast land with various research work going on. Personally, I think Ridgetown may be the town with the kindest people I have met, and I know the same is true for the City of Guelph.