I am an early career biotechnologist examining the secondary metabolites and protective mechanisms of moss species that live in temperate and Antarctic regions. I recently completed my PhD in the biology and chemistry of Antarctic moss species, with a focus on their natural protective mechanisms and how old living moss shoots from Antarctica can be. I am interested in the protective mechanisms employed by plants, in particular mosses, and how they cope in different stressful situations, e.g. UV radiation, water stress and high light. My research interests include but are not limited to climate change, plant ecophysiology, radiocarbon dating and natural products spanning across many disciplines within science.
Ph: 02 4221 5373
Position: Research Associate / Associate Lecturer
It hasn’t been smooth sailing setting up, collecting weather data and sampling when in the field – and not just because of the unpredictable weather. Our frenemies, the skuas, have certainly increased their curiosity this season.
Our time on King George Island is coming to an end and we are wrapping up some experiments that were focusing on salt, temperature, light and water stresses.
After waking up very early (4 am!) to a calm and cool Australia Day; Tavo, Jorge (Chief of Base) and I tackled a 10 km run, which ended up more like an obstacle course on ice, rock and through snow trenches.
On the evening of Saturday 16th January many prominent international scientists (including Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and in Physics), academics, business professionals and Chilean politicians visited Base Escudero and the laboratories. This diverse group was invited to meet in Santiago, Chile for the Congreso del Futuro to talk about climate change and the challenges facing humanity today.
Sundays are days off for the chefs here at Base Escudero and so research teams can use this opportunity to show off their culinary skills. Our group stepped up to the challenge last week and cooked a delicious lunch for 30 hungry workers and scientists.
I am lucky to participate in another research trip to King George Island (KGI), West Antarctica organised by the Instituto Antartico Chileno. Last year Sharon, Andrew and I were part of a group of scientists from a diverse range of countries lead by Angélica Casanova-Katny. This time around I am accompanying Gustavo, Tavo and Marisol from USACH as part of my Endeavour program.
I might be a little late to blog about this but it has been a busy last few weeks. The Facultad de Quimica y Biologia at USACH had a successful end to 2015 and put on a lunch with finger-food, including mini empanadas (empanaditas). I attended the New Year’s fireworks at Los Dominicos, Santiago with my host supervisor’s family. We dressed up in silly hats and of course glow sticks, drank champagne and exploded the largest hand held party poppers I’ve seen. Both were fun events to cap off a great year for research and achievements.
I arrived in Concepción in the middle of December to see Angelica and her student, Paz, to collect Antarctic moss samples and prepare instruments to record weather conditions in Antarctica.