Science on board – Chit-chat with a Petrophysicist

One of the kindest person on the ship, always a sweet smile for everyone and a huge passion for science. I’m glad to introduce you Isabel Sauermilch.

Q: Where did you study? Where are are you working now?

I: I started off studying “Geoecology at the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany) in 2008, focusing on the subjects Hydrogeology and Scientific Diving. During a diving field work in the Mediterranean Sea, I discovered my love for Marine Geosciences. After that, I started my master studies at the University of Bremen and worked during my thesis on geophysical data in the Arctic Ocean at AWI (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Studies). One year ago, I moved to Tasmania, Australia, to start my PhD work at IMAS (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies) looking at the breakup processes between Australia and Antarctica, the opening of the Tasman Gateway and its influence on paleoceanographic an climatic conditions.

Q:  When did you decide to be a scientist?

I: My bachelor supervisor told me “Working in science means to do everything with 100% passion”. Our planet keeps many secrets we don’t know about, or only little. I love  to work as a scientist, because we are able to discover some of these unknown and learn so much more about the planet we live on. It feels a bit like solving a jig-saw puzzle.

Q: What is your job here on the ship?

I: On this expedition, I sail as petrophysicist. We measure physical properties of the cores, like density, magnetic susceptibility and p-wave velocity. This information provides us important details about the nature of the sediment and rocks, and their formation history.



Q: What is the best thing a participant in this expedition?

I: The best part of participating in this expedition is to interact with so many different wonderful people, who come from many different countries and scientific backgrounds. It is great to work all together on the same goal and everyone contributing their own knowledge and point of view. But not only do I learn so much scientifically; it is also great to live together and get to know some incredibly lovely people.


The group of Petrophysicists onboard of the JR