If you had the
chance to escape from the ongoing pandemic to a remote exploration geology camp
in northern Canada, 150km from the closest town and only accessible by
helicopter, would you take it?
I came to Cambridge to start my PhD in January 2020 and, although I was warmly welcomed, things were at first pretty uneventful. However, this changed dramatically with the sudden onset of COVID-19. I chose to return home to Canada where I continued to work on what I still hope to be a lab-based PhD. However, there are, of course, limitations to research from a bedroom 5000km from Cambridge!
Continue reading “Escaping the pandemic – my experience as an exploration geologist in Yukon”
A UK-led team of astronomers recently discovered a rare molecule – phosphine – in the clouds of Venus that could have been created by microbes.
We caught up with one of the co-authors of the study – Dr Paul Rimmer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences Cambridge with affiliations at Cavendish Astrophysics and the MRC Labratory of Molecular Biology, to hear more about this extraordinary finding – and what it means for life beyond Earth.
Continue reading “Could there be life on Venus? Dr Paul Rimmer explains”
Throughout July, Gemma Shaw, Hero Bain, and myself (all Earth Sciences students at varying levels) set out on an internship spearheaded by Dr Jenny Jenkins of the Deep Earth Seismology Group. Our aim was to bring the latest research from Cambridge Earth Sciences to secondary schools across the country.
Continue reading “Seismology in schools”
Of all the cities to be locked down in away from Cambridge, my hometown of Durham wouldn’t normally make for too much of a contrast. Winding cobbled streets, hordes of students with a penchant for college stash and absolutely no sign of the 21st century are ordinarily staples of both cities. Yet when I headed home in March, the change felt far greater than usual.
Continue reading “Studying in lockdown (or a lack thereof)”
It’s been just shy of two months (I think) since I cleared my desk and left Cambridge as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This blog is a bit of a summary of my life in lockdown, my thoughts about my PhD progress, and my aims for the future.
Continue reading “Research in Lockdown: Labs Closed”
My PhD concerns a longstanding question—how do valuable metals move through volcanic systems? Since starting my PhD in September 2018, I’ve been looking forward to testing my hypotheses on this topic in the field, on a six-week expedition called the Metals in Magmas field campaign. Like many Earth scientists, I spent months planning the project’s logistical and technical details. But, two weeks before the fieldwork was set to begin, the outbreak of the current global pandemic stopped the project in its tracks. My plans are now on hold and my PhD can’t continue as originally billed. In this blog post, I hope to share my perspective on the impact of COVID-19 on my PhD research.
Continue reading “Research in Lockdown: Fieldwork Disrupted”
In the final instalment of this WACSWAIN fieldwork diary, Isobel Rowell describes the heartbreak of ending her fieldwork earlier than planned, as drilling takes a dramatic turn.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Three”
In part two of her three-part series, Isobel Rowell describes her daily routine as part of the WACSWAIN team, drilling into the Antarctic ice sheet and sampling ice chippings from the borehole in search of ice from the last interglacial.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Two”