InterRidge Fellows 2018

The InterRidge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program continues to play an important role in the careers of early career ocean scientists. There was a high number of proposals submitted again this year and we awarded four InterRidge funded Fellowships, together with one Fellowship for students from developing countries, supported by the ISA Endowment Fund.

The recipients of this year’s InterRidge Fellowships are:

Simone Pujatti (a PhD student at the University Drive Northwest in Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

 A. Srinivas Rao ( a PhD student at the National Center for Antarctica and Ocean Research, India)

 Loes van Dam ( a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island, USA)

InterRidge/ISA Endowment Fund Fellowships were awarded to:

 Unyime Udoudo Umoh ( a PhD student at School of Ocean and Earth Science, Tongji University of Shanghai, China)

Simone Pujatti (a PhD student at the University Drive Northwest in Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

I am an Italian PhD student at the University of Calgary, where I am a member of the Reactive Transport Group, working under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Tutolo. Our research team aims to investigate hydrothermal systems in the shallow Earth and on other planets, characterize mineral reaction rates and test the feasibility of the storage of CO 2 in geological formations. I started my studies at the University of Padova (Italy) where I received a bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences. I then felt the need to explore different perspectives on science and moved to the Netherlands, where I completed a master’s degree in Earth Sciences at Utrecht University with a thesis that investigated the generation and healing of porosity during pseudomorphic replacement reactions, supervised by Dr. Oliver Pl ümper. The focus of my PhD research is about water-rock interactions in the oceanic lithosphere, specifically serpentinization reactions, ore-forming processes at seafloor hydrothermal vent deposits and silicification reaction in Archean komatiite rocks.  I approach these 

issues with a combination of petrographic and geochemical methods, including but not limited to SEM, FIB-SEM, EMPA, confocal Raman microscopy, μ-CT, ICP-MS, titrations, geochemical and reactive-transport modelling. The funds granted by the InterRidge Fellowship allowed me to return to Utrecht University to perform ultra-high resolution FIB-SEM tomographic imaging analysis of the porous network found in serpentinized peridotites. The analysis was successful and recorded the presence of a highly anisotropic nanoporous network. These results have been presented at AGU 2019 and a menuscript is under preparation for publication in scientific journals.  

Loes van Dam ( a PhD student at the University of Rhode Island, USA)

While I am originally from The Netherlands, I grew up in California and learned about the basics of plate tectonics from a practical standpoint at a very young age – my childhood home is located only 30 kilometers away from an active fault. Pursuing these interests, I received a Bachelor’s degree in Geophysics from Texas A &M University in 2015. Through my coursework, I discovered how engaging research, and especially scientific modeling, can be. This led me to the University of Rhode Island (URI), where I am now working on a PhD with Dr. Chris Kincaid. We have built a laboratory apparatus that allows us to model complex plate motions and mantle flow patterns at mid-ocean ridges. This research has been presented at conferences in the USA and in Europe. The InterRidge Fellowship offered me the opportunity to work with Dr. Clinton P. Conrad and Dr. Fabio Crameri at the University of Oslo (UiO) to develope numerical models of these same mid-ocean ridge processes, and to expand this research beyond the capabilities of the laboratory model at URI. 

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