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Fenella Deans


Job title and place of work

PhD Student, University of Otago

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I am working on the CARIM Mesocosm experiments or RA3. I take samples for Microbial DNA, bacterial production and the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane. This data can be used to look at nutrient cycling in future oceans and the production of important greenhouse gases.

What do you do on an average work day?

My work varies – it often involves processing samples in the lab or looking at the DNA and trace gas data from the CARIM mesocosms.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Coastal areas are already the most highly impacted marine system and provide many resources and services for people. Knowing the effect future changes and stressors such as acidification will have on these systems can better prepare us for how they will change. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I was always interested in science at high school so went on to Otago University to study Ecology. This led to doing my honours on yellow-eyed penguins also at Otago before changing my area of research to microbes and trace gases in the oceans for my PhD.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

The CARIM research will let us know what changes are occurring in out coasts and what changes are likely to occur in the future through models and experiments. This gives more background to assess how to manage these changes to result in the best outcomes.

What excites you about working on this project?

Being a part of such a large project means I have the opportunity to work with very experienced researchers making it a great learning resource. It also means I can put my data in a much wider and more realistic context making the work more worthwhile and applicable

Where do you think your contribution to CARIM and your experience as part of this project will lead you to?

Being able to be a part of CARIM means I get to experience working at different locations and environments in the country with top of the field researchers. This gives me a broader knowledge of the field and shows different ways I can contribute to research in the future.