Gael Lymer, Marcelo De Lira Mota, Amy Jones and Juan Pablo Castaneda Venegas (left to right)

From the 24-26th September four early career researchers (ECRs) from the Geosystems group attended the UK IODP Workshop on Scientific Ocean Drilling; Gael Lymer, Marcelo De Lira Mota, Amy Jones and Juan Pablo Castaneda Venegas.

The objective of the workshop was to learn about the process of writing scientific proposals as a primer for devising future IODP expeditions. Following a day of lectures, ~40 ECR’s from around the country were split into teams according to their research areas and given 48 hours to devise a scientific proposal to pitch to a scientific board made up of established IODP members. The proposal detailed where and why they wanted to drill in a particular area. Suggested drilling locations included: the south Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean and equatorial Atlantic Ocean. 

Joint team winners for the workshop were the Atlantic HEROES and Team GOBAD. Members of the Atlantic HEROES bid included Birmingham ECR's Amy Jones and Marcelo De Lira Mota who proposed drilling four sites in a transect in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.

The main science objectives were: 

1. to investigate past El Niño-like conditions in the mid-Atlantic Ocean;

2. to study how African hydroclimate changed through the Neogene and if it influenced early human migration;

3. to constrain the extent and impact of the oxygen minimum zone off the west coast of Africa; 

4. to measure ecological community changes using microbiological techniques and microfossil signals.

Congratulations to all involved.