I liked that the courses within the program was run by experienced experts with a lot of field/real-world relatable experience. There was a lot of flexibility within the courses and we also had a very helpful and friendly QMS coordinator who provided a lot of information and pointers along the way. This came in handy when I was juggling the courses I had to take in the program with busy schedules doing PhD field and lab work!
The QMS program has helped me to gain the foundation I needed in Southern Ocean physical oceanography and biogeochemistry, coming from a molecular microbiology background. This knowledge has come in very handy in helping me better understand how the microbial diversity I observed from the Southern Ocean could be linked to and structured by the complex currents and water masses within the Southern Ocean. At the same time it has also probed me to further explore the correlation between microbial diversity and the biogeochemical/nutrient cycling in the context of rapidly changing climate. I also picked up a lot on statistical analysis and programming through this program which has been relevant and helpful in my current work.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher with the Marine Microbiology & Biogeochemistry Department at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. My current research focuses on modelling the Southern Ocean and coastal Antarctic microbial community.