Ben is Associate Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) USA, a world-renowned organisation dedicated to ocean research, exploration, and education. According to Rachel, Ben “elegantly combines field-based observations with laboratory experiments, bringing new insights to the field of ocean biogeochemistry”.
Rachel was confident the partnership would enhance the research reputation and outcomes of the University on the global stage.
Upon taking up the Fellowship, Ben and colleagues at Southampton soon established a framework for collaborative experiments and fieldwork between laboratories at both institutions. In addition to guest lecturing and developing new research ideas, he was also involved with new grant proposals and student exchanges. All of which built a more solid and long-term relationship between Southampton and WHOI.
Ben built up close collaborations between Southampton scientists in Ocean and Earth Science, Chemistry, Biological Sciences and Medicine during his Fellowship. He also inspired our undergraduate students, giving exciting lectures each year to our first-year students and research seminars to the wider community.
“Ben hosted several Southampton PhD students in his laboratory at WHOI, and on ship-based expeditions; broadening their experiences and through his mentorship, leading to prize-giving conference presentations and publications in top journals. His input has inspired us to develop new cross-disciplinary projects at Southampton, bridging between the state-of-the-art analytical capability in Medicine and the world-class environmental facilities at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton. Our first PhD graduate from this joint venture, Dr Jon Hunter, is now working in Ben’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher.”
Ben also valued the opportunities the Fellowship offered.
He comments: “It’s hard to get international collaborations started because convincing two governmental funding agencies to support the same project at the same time is really difficult. Non-governmental sources like the Diamond Jubilee Fellowship can go a long way toward building the early momentum that you need to get governmental funding agencies to buy-in to what you are doing.”
Rachel agrees: “These sort of partnerships are great ways of building new links between organisations, moving into new areas of science and raising the profile of what we do. Ben brings skills and intellectual challenge and applies them across a range of disciplines to foster new ideas. He is generous with his ideas and time, and his enthusiasm for truly cross-disciplinary science is infectious. This collaboration is now well established and will be maintained by a pipeline of talent moving between the two organisations.”
The Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship scheme was established at Southampton to commemorate the University’s 60th anniversary and to foster international collaboration. The University hosted 23 high-profile academics from partner universities around the world over the last three years including Nobel laureate Professor Brian Schmidt.
Applications are now open for 2017-18 fellowships with a deadline of 31 January, 2017, for nominations. Full details are available here.