Women in Science: Q&A with Senay Horozal

Expedition 359 has 18 women on board who all have careers in science. These women are  sedimentologists,  geochemists, paleontologists, laboratory technicians, laboratory officers, and science educators. This blog highlights one of these amazing women, Senay Horozal. Senay is a geophysicist  at the Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources in Korea and is originally from Turkey.

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Q: Why did you join Expedition 359, Maldives Monsoon & Sea Level?

Senay: I am interested in researching sea level changes and related changes in the sediment physical properties measured within the boreholes and the cores. This research on sea-level allows scientists to learn about past (paleo) climates. One of the objectives of the Maldives expedition is to reconstruct past sea-level and climate locally and connect the findings to global  sea-level changes and paleoclimate.

Q: What is your job while you are aboard the JR?

Senay: I am a physical properties  specialist on the JR. That means we measure petrophysical properties of the cores. These measurements include:

  • Natural Gamma Ray (NGR), which gives us information about the cores such as grain size, lithologic unit boundaries, and mineral composition, e.g. clay, sand, silt.
  • Bulk density measured by Gamma Ray Attenuation (GRA) and Moisture and Density (MAD)  are used to calculate porosity, grain density and water concentration of the sediment samples.
  • Magnetic susceptibility (detecting magnetic minerals in the core sediments)
  • P-wave velocity i.e. the rate of acoustic waves travel through core (s/m)
  • Thermal conductivity i.e how well or poorly sediments conduct heat
  • Shear strength i.e. the strength of sediments under shear stress

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Q: What is your favorite part of research at sea?

Senay: Learning more about the specialties of my fellow expedition scientists. Paleontology is the most interesting  to me and seeing the micro and nanofossils under the microscope. However I like my part to the research too.

Q: Do you listen to music in the lab? What kind?

Senay: Yes, we listen to  music that is played on personal and shared devices. Public music is played in the lab for all hear and the genres range from heavy metal to Latin music. Personally I like to listen musicians like Natacha Atlas, Ceza, Mercan Dede, and Big Bang.

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Q:  What kind of scientist are you? Did you always want to be a scientist?  

Senay: I am a geophysicist who specializes in seismic exploration. I always wanted work in the natural sciences. I grew up in a green environment and was always outside when I was a kid. My siblings and I would play with soil and make pottery by mixing the soil with water and then letting our creations dry in the sun. During such experiences is when I realized that I would like to work in the natural sciences. 

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

Senay: I am working on seismic reflection data especially processing/analyzing and interpreting this information. I also work on sediment physical property data and I integrate them with seismic data.

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                                                                     Senay  her fellow female scientists

Q: What would your power be if you were as super heroes.

Senay: I would like to be able to fly. So, like Archangel n the X-men series. Super heroes help people in need and that is always cool.