Monday, 19 October 2009

Trainees and participants continued ...

Soifa Ahamed Soilihi, I am a former student of the University of Tuléar, Madagascar. After my Master's degree I became Conservationist Agent in the non-governmental organization A.I.D.E (Association of Intervention for the Development and the Environment) in the Comoros. I am the national focal point for Coral reef monitoring. After training in the taxonomy of Holothuridae in the Royal Museum of Central Africa (MRAC) in Belgium, I am now in charge of the research unit for Holothuridae, at the mini laboratory of marine biology of INRAPE with the cooperation of the conservatory of the CNDRS museum in the Comoros.
During this ASCLME cruise, I have gotten a big passion for the marine environment, its biodiversity and the importance of every category: the phytoplankton, zooplankton, fishes and finally the big marine mammals. The necessity of having many researchers in the marine environment is a priority for every country and much more for us the island countries.
My passion, led me to resume my studies and to move towards scientific research of marine environments. I followed two Oceanographic training courses, at MARE (Cape Town) organized by the ASCLME project and at ORI (Durban) organized by the SWIOFP project. Now, I would like to proceed with longer term research projects.
Life onboard the Nansen provides comfort and a productive work environment within a well established and respected program. Every day, the work becomes more familiar and routine. We are working with a focused enthusiasm which one rarely encounters on land. I hope that the ASCLME project will continue to be a key to open opportunities for research on the marine environment for all the countries in this region.

Nicolas Rascle completed his PhD in Brest, France, on the drift of materials at the ocean surface. He then moved to the University of Cape Town 10 months ago to undertake a postdoctoral research on general ocean circulation and its link to the earth’s climate. His research interests include all the physical properties of the ocean near the surface: the temperature, the salinity, the turbulence, the waves… Passionate about diving and spear-fishing, this cruise is also an opportunity for him to gain experience in biological oceanography and fisheries related research. And, as soon as the captain authorizes it, to put on the snorkel and look at what is going on down there.

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