Welcome to the “Ocean Voices” blog series run by doctoral and non-permanent postdoctoral researchers at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany.
Thanks for dropping by! We’ve been looking forward to getting this blog running for a while, and are excited to finally get it going with our first post.
As our first post, we want to explain why this blog started in the first place and give you a taste of what future blog posts might be about.
The last two years were undoubtedly unforgettable. The COVID-19 pandemic has had such a (previously unimaginable) impact on our day-to-day lives and like millions of people around the world, found themselves abruptly hunkered down working from home to stop the spread. Our days became filled with virtual meetings with virtual backgrounds to hide the chaos in our living rooms/bedrooms/kitchens that had a second life as our home office.
Our professional lives as globally active and mobile researchers also weren’t left untouched. A crucial part of being a researcher is the sharing of exciting new science, discussing with international colleagues and fostering professional networks. Due to local, national and international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, oceanographic cruises were cancelled and field work postponed indefinitely. This had a huge impact on the collection of scientific data which will likely have lasting impacts on scientific output and future career perspectives of many ocean researchers. The visibility that comes with this international exposure is also particularly important for early career researchers who are building their scientific foundation and extending their knowledge beyond the umbrella of their direct advisors.
“The same wind that blows down your house shakes berries from the bushes” – Marci Ridlon
The abrupt switch from massive in-person conferences with an audience of thousands of researchers to digital tools wasn’t like a duck taking to water for everyone. But we hope that this adversity drives adaptation and evolution in the way researchers curate their scientific profile and community using openly accessible platforms like blogs. It is kind of similar to the adaptation and evolution in the marine microbes and creatures we study.
So as a group of early career scientists we decided to join forces and together pick up some of these berries shaken from the bushes. We wanted to start this blog series to give researchers at an early stage in their scientific careers a platform to directly voice their opinions and ideas. We, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at GEOMAR and Kiel University, are linked by our research on our ocean even though we are a diverse bunch with roots from around the world. Hence the name “Ocean Voices”.
Behind the scenes, there is a group of us that have keen writers lined up to tell their personal stories, highlight their exciting research and scientific achievements, as well as put faces to the large, creative and productive community of early career scientists in Kiel.
Until then stay healthy,
Allanah Paul and the Ocean Voices blog team