Hi there ! How did I become involved in marine sciences ?

Hi! My name’s Adeline.

Read me to know a bit of life of one of your mentor!

Since I was young, I’ve been attracted to the seas and oceans. I scuba-dived for the first time at the age of 10. I am now 25 with hundreds of dives and I definitely linked my life to the marine environment. But being in water wasn’t enough, I wanted to learn more. I then studied geology for five years at the University of Liège – in Belgium, where I come from – with the intention to keep going in oceanography. I followed some lectures dedicated to oceanography, such as the marine sediments module. At the end of my bachelors degree, I took part in a multi-disciplinary summer school at STARESO (the marine scientific station of the University of Liège in Corsica) from where I made some wonderful memories and learned a lot about all facets of the marine sciences.

The STARESO scientific station dedicated to marine research located in Calvi Bay (Corsica). (c) Adeline Dutrieux

During my Master degree, I however followed the geochemistry path of continental rocks with my thesis focusing on lava rocks from Chilean volcanoes and their volcanic geochronology. In my opinion, rocks were far more fascinating than sediments.

When I‘ve graduated, I took part in a Summer school in Bremen, at the MARUM institute (Germany) and I discovered the fabulous world of cruises with the IODP organization. Since this time, I knew I wanted to be part of the marine research network. Where can we work on rocks and in a marine environment? Multiple choices, but the hydrothermal systems with their black smokers and their mineral resources got my attention already for a couple of years. I then started to look at a PhD program suited to my ambitions.  I heard of the National Oceanography Centre and their long list of available PhD projects (I recommend you to have a look if you wish to do a PhD). And do you know how? Thanks to Future Learn and this exact same online course Exploring our Oceans!

I applied, got an interview and here I am :-). I am now in my second year, looking at the interactions between the massive sulphides (a type of marine mineral resources, particularly interesting for Cu and Zn mining), the interstitial waters and the surrounding sediments at a hydrothermal field (TAG). This TAG field is located in the middle of the Atlantic (literally, at 5 days of transit of the closest island in the Azores!). I spent this summer 2016 there, three memorable months, on the research ships the R/V Meteor (German ship) and the RRS James Cook (based at the National Oceanography Centre), I met new colleagues, made new friends, and acquired a lot of experience and knowledge. 

Me on board the James Cook, having fun with sediments containing a very high iron content… explaining tenacious red stains everywhere ! (c) Adeline Dutrieux

I made a drawing of my two cruises showing most of the instruments we deployed and many features describing my three months


Two ships on the Atlantic Ocean, plenty of instruments deployed on the seafloor, HyBIS ROV surveying the field, red iron sediments in the inactive hydrothermal mounds, plenty of wonderful sunsets/sunrises on the Meteor! Sandy beaches and jungles in Barbados, cloudy calderas in the Azores, flat sea surface on the Mid Atlantic ridge, the hyper active black smoker, the stunning meteor shower Perseid in August. (c) Adeline Dutrieux

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