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The First Steps of a Polar Researcher | Charel Wohl

Our latest post comes from future EnvEast Student, Charel Wohl. Chanel recently presented his PhD project at the national prize giving ceremony for young Scientists in Luxembourg. Chanel was an active young Scientist before joining the EnvEast cohort and is sone to commence work on a project about Alcohols in the Polar oceans at PML, under the supervision of Prof. Nightingale.

This post focuses on Charel's finely crafted speech. At the same occasion, Charel met Helen Patton, the granddaughter of George S. Patton who freed Luxembourg during the second world war and Prof. Michel Goedert, the Key note speaker of the ceremony and Head of Neurobiology in Cambridge. Like Charel, Prof. Michel Goedert is a recipient of the Young Scientist Award.

Charel is a great example of the caliber of student captured by EnvEast, and is already well on the way to improving communication between early stage researchers, other scientists and the general public. You’ll find his speech below.


Charel’s Speech I am Charel Wohl and I participated twice at the Contest for young Scientists in Luxembourg with a project about ’Defence of Garlic Against Herbivory and Heavy Metals’. Following this I participated at prestigious international contests, like EUCYS 2011 and LIYSF 2011. I won a silver medal for scientific thinking at INESPO in 2012. At the same time I did my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award as a direct entrant. I recently accepted an offer onto an amazing PhD project. During the PhD I will take measurements of trace organic gases in both polar seas, my first steps on the training path of becoming a Polar Researcher. The PhD Project During my 3.5 year-long PhD, I aim to measure the flux of acetone, methanol and acetaldehyde between the sea and the atmosphere. These compounds catalytically degrade ozone. Measurements will involve taking a newly developed SRI-Mass Spectrometer to sea. The measurements will be incorporated in atmospheric modelling programmes to assess their role in degradation of the ozone layer. The project is funded by EnvEast, a NERC Funded Doctoral Training Partnership. I will be a student at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, but based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory with a co-supervisor at British Antarctic Survey. Application for this project was triggered by collaboration between the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Jonk Fuerscher, in Luxembourg. I was enticed by the adventurous spirit and resourcefulness of the DofE, as well as the research skills to be found at Jonk Fuerscher. In my best efforts to combine aspects of the two, I ended up with this. Much of the work of the DofE and Junk Fuerscher happens behind the scenes, and as such the fruits are not always plain to see. However both are wonderful programs, that plant ideas in the minds of young people and build their character. Ultimately this has a tremendous effect on society and the world as a whole. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jonk Fuerscher and Merite Jeunesse for the wonderful opportunities they presented to me and everyone else.



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