Ricarda's Recap of 2019

Ricarda Gatter (ESR9)

Many great things happened in 2019.Some highlights for me included the EGU General Assembly (Impressions from EGU); the METEOR M154/2 cruise to research volcanic deposits surrounding Montserrat; secondments and visits to the National Oceanography Centre (NOCS), the University of Southampton and Fugro; the annual SLATE workshop in Bologna (3rd Annual SLATE Workshop); and, of course, my first paper submission. Now that the final year of my PhD and the pressure to finish has begun, I am looking back on some of these events; happy and proud of how far I have already come.

Montserrat, here we come!

One of the most exciting things for me was probably being part of the METEOR M154/2 research cruise to Montserrat. It was my first time on a research vessel and I really loved it. It was amazing to be surrounded by science 24/7, and to see the excitement glittering in everyone’s eyes whenever we arrived at a new coring site and recovered even the smallest amounts of material. One of my favourite memories is that of a senior scientist jumping around, shouting “It worked, it really worked! I never build anything that works!” after their new developments were successfully deployed. I enjoyed meeting people from different scientific backgrounds and talking to them about their research and my own project. The work on the ship really helped me to get a better understanding of my own data, and to develop new ideas. Of course, we also had a little helper on board…

Junior scientist learning the craft


Another big event was my secondment in Southampton. For two months, I went back and forth between the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton, working relentlessly on my micro-CT data and my first manuscript. Thanks to the great supervision of Mike Clare (NOCS) and Madhusudhan Murthy (University of Southampton), not only did I make considerable progress on the segmentation of my micro-CT images, I also finished my first paper ‘A multi-disciplinary investigation of the AFEN Slide’. During my stay, we also visited Fugro GB Marine Limited. The people were extremely friendly and after a tour through the labs I had the opportunity to present and discuss my work with scientists from Fugro.

By the way, if you have ever wondered what micro-CT actually is:

Micro-CT (otherwise known as “micro computed tomography”) is a 3D imaging technique, which allows the visualisation of the internal structure of objects at a micro scale, and non-destructively. The applied method is the same as that used in hospital CT scans, but on a much smaller scale and with significantly increased resolution.

One thing I have been realising over the past year is that more and more people tend to ask what my plans for the future are. However, truthfully, there are so many interesting things happening right at this moment that I would rather stay in the present a bit longer, rather than worry about the future.

„So, what do you plan to do after finishing your PhD?” – I PLAN TO FINISH IT!



  • July – September 2019


  • Mike Clare (NOCS)
  • Madhusudhan B N Murthy (University of Southampton)