Graduate Spotlight: Mohammad Javad Davoudabadi

The QUT Centre for Data Science is celebrating its graduates. Meet Mohammad Javad Davoudabadi who just celebrated his graduation with  a PhD!

Mohammad Javad Davoudabadi (pictured right) with QUT Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Christopher Barner-Kowollik

What was your PhD in? 

My PhD thesis, titled ‘Bayesian Model Selection and Inference for Field Studies of Soil Carbon Cycling,’ focused on developing advanced Bayesian methods to model soil carbon sequestration, evaluated the impact of different soil organic carbon components, and explored microbial population growth’s effect on soil carbon decay rates. The thesis aimed to improve predictions of soil carbon stocks in the presence of sparse data while considering computational efficiency.

How did you come to do a PhD on this? Did things change along the way? 

I embarked on my PhD journey with a good background in Bayesian methods, but with limited knowledge of soil science. The decision to pursue a PhD in the field of ‘Bayesian Model Selection and Inference for Field Studies of Soil Carbon Cycling’ came about as I sought to combine my developing expertise in Bayesian analysis with a new and challenging domain. Throughout my PhD journey, I faced a significant learning curve not only in soil science but also in Bayesian approaches, gradually acquiring the necessary domain knowledge and refining my Bayesian skills to conduct meaningful research.

As I progressed, I adapted my research focus to develop and evaluate Bayesian methods tailored specifically for soil carbon modelling. The transformation of my expertise in Bayesian analysis into a tool for addressing critical challenges in soil science was an exciting and dynamic process. So, while my journey began with a background in Bayesian methods and little knowledge of soil science, it evolved into a fusion of both fields, resulting in the research I conducted for my PhD.

How was your PhD journey? 

My PhD journey was a remarkable and transformative experience. The challenges I faced were opportunities for growth and learning. As I conducted research, developed new methodologies, and collaborated with experts in the field, I gained valuable insights and skills. I had the privilege of contributing to the field by developing advanced Bayesian methods tailored for soil carbon modelling and shedding light on the complexities of soil carbon dynamics.

Throughout this journey, I also had the chance to work with a supportive academic community, mentors, and colleagues who provided guidance and encouragement. It was a journey of perseverance, dedication, and continuous learning.

Looking back, my PhD journey was not only about obtaining a degree but also about personal and intellectual growth. It was a challenging yet immensely rewarding experience that has shaped my perspective and passion for research in profound ways.

What else did you do at QUT besides your PhD? 

Besides my PhD at QUT, I took advantage of various opportunities to enrich my university experience. I participated in coffee break sessions organized by QRSnet, where HDR students like me had the chance to explore different cultures, share experiences, and make friends. These sessions were not only enjoyable but also broadened my perspective.

Additionally, I attended painting sessions organized by QRSnet, providing a valuable escape from the demands of academic life, and allowing me to learn a new skill. Engaging in creative activities like painting helped me unwind during stressful times and provided a well-rounded balance to my academic pursuits. These experiences added depth to my time at QUT and allowed me to connect with fellow students in meaningful ways.

How was your experience with the Data Science Centre? 

I found the environment at the Data Science Centre to be conducive to interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange. Engaging with fellow researchers and experts in the field was both inspiring and intellectually stimulating. Overall, my experience with the Data Science Centre was instrumental in advancing my research and fostering a sense of community within the data science research community.

What are you doing now?

I am currently serving as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Sydney, where my focus is on high-dimensional models. My time at QUT provided me with a strong foundation that has been instrumental in preparing me for this role. During my PhD journey, I had the privilege of working closely with my supervisors, who not only imparted valuable knowledge but also taught me how to apply my skills in future positions and work effectively in research. I’m excited about the opportunities ahead and the chance to further expand my research in the field of high-dimensional modelling.

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