by Christophe Le Gall |
Who are you ?
I’m 27, and a 3rd-year-PhD student from Parma, Italy.
My PhD thesis is about paleoenvirnommental evolution in Kvethola area using calcareous nannofossils found in sediment cores. This tiny structures are the remains of photosynthetic unicellular algae which live close to the surface of the ocean. In some sedimentary formations like chalk, they may be so abundant that they ARE the sediments.
My job consists of preparing smear slides of sediments, then counting nanofossils specimen. The standard procedure required 200 field of view, during which we distinguish species and count every specimen. Then we plot everything (against depth and/or age). Then we match the data with other proxies.
Why did you choose this job?
After my master thesis in micropaleontology in Bari, there were no jobs there. So I moved to Parma and applied for a PhD funding, that I won.
What will be your tasks during the cruise?
I’m here to help, because my PhD is almost finished, and I don’t need more data. We test a new technique onboard, a portable SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), which is new, because we use normally light microscope.
What do you like (most) in your work?
The sediment is a kind of book, and I use nanofossils like glasses to read what happened in the past. I also like discussing data, with sedimentologists and other microfossils specialists, even if other don’t share the same interpretation. But it’s the way science advances!