Scientist Highlight: Q & A with Craig Sloss

Q & A is a fun way to learn more about the expedition scientists. Here are some fun facts about Craig Sloss, who is a sedimentologist at the University of Technology Queensland Australia. Sloss is also an academic who teaches geology to  undergraduate and graduate students at the university, where he is fondly referred to as Slossy. Anyone who spends time with Sloss will soon learn that he has a pretty cool hobby. He is fascinated with zombies and has recently played a zombie in an Australian movie.

Q: Why did you apply to join the Maldives Monsoon Expedition?

Sloss: It was a fantastic opportunity to be involved in some amazing research and a chance for me to learn more about the climate of the ocean interacted through time and for me to develop new skills. 

Q:Did you always want to be a scientists?

Sloss: Yes, event as a young boy I would always come home with rocks in my pocket, much to my mums disgust when she was doing the washing.

Q: What kind of music do you play while working in the JR lab?

Hummm, my music gets band at times (heavy metal), but usually classic rock e.g. Def Leopard, Black Sabbath, David Bowie – stuff that rocks and keeps me working.

Q:What has been your favorite discovery on this expedition so far?

Sloss: Every time we get new changes in the cores it’s exciting for me because I will get the chance to learn something new. So not just one thing -but lots of new discoveries for me.

Q: What will you use the JR research for? [When you get  back home]

Sloss: I will be using sediment samples to determine their physical properties. What we call grain-size and sorting. This helps us determine what the depositional environment was like when the sediments were deposited on the ocean floor.

sloss site 2Sloss work

                                                Sloss collecting sediment samples at geological research sites trying to avoid crocodiles!

Q: When you are not on the JR what kind of science do you do?

Sloss: All kinds of sedimentary geology from looking at how recent sea-level changes influences coastal landscape development to ancient deep marine deposits that are now exposed to the coast. I am even looking at 500 million year old fiver systems.

Q: Is your job ever dangerous?

Well, some of my research sites in the north of Australia are in crocodile territory. This means when we are working down at the water’s edge we need to have people watch up on the bank. We can’t swim at these sites either because of the sharks. Oh and you also have to keep an eye out for the snakes and spiders. Just a normal days work.

Tell us more about your zombie fascination.

Q: How did you become a zombie actor?

Sloss: Hahaha – I financially supported the Australian Independent movie Wyrmwood as a present to my son, and since I supported the movie they let me and my son be in it as zombies. Great chance to get my head blown off.

sloss and son0

Sloss and his son participated in Zombie Walk, an event to raise money for brain cancer research.