Over the past week, some of DUSTCO’s team members gathered together in The Netherlands, to take part of the PhD public defense of Laura Korte, at the Vrije Amsterdam University. Laura successfully defended her thesis “Saharan dust deposition in the equatorial North Atlantic Ocean and its impact on particle export fluxes”, in front of a committee of six experts in the fields of marine biology, marine environmental sciences and (paleo-)oceanography. The committee included big names in science such as Prof. Dr. Tim Jickells from the University of East Anglia (UK), Dr. Cecille Guieu from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Prof. Dr. Karine Desboeufs from the Paris Diderot University (France) and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gerold Wefer from the University of Bremen and MARUM (Germany).
Laura’s PhD research was performed within DUSTTRAFFIC, an ERC-funded project formerly ongoing at the Royal Netherlands Institute Research, based on particle flux material collected from sediment trap moorings that had been deployed between the NW Africa and the Caribbean, collecting particles synchronously for three consecutive years. Her work represents a step forward on the existing knowledge about the influence of atmospheric dust in the marine environment, in particular of Saharan dust deposition along the tropical North Atlantic. The thesis provides a multidisciplinary perspective on such effects, for which she has combined in situ observations from the traps with satellite remote sensing data, as well as insights from an incubation experiment for testing the influence Saharan dust deposition on phytoplankton production in the tropical North Atlantic.
We are very happy for Laura, and congratulate Laura for her fantastic work, and wish the very best for her scientific career :)