In 2010, Saskia Rühl started on her path in marine research at the University of Hull’s Scarborough Campus. Here she completed her BSc Coastal Marine Biology and came to the decision to further pursue marine sciences academically. Consequently, she went on to complete an MRes Marine Biology at Plymouth University, during which she made contacts at Plymouth Marine Laboratory and completed a 9-month independent research project. The project was supervised by Dr Ana M. Queirós and aimed to investigate the effects of long-term exposure to ocean acidification and warming juvenile on shell growth patterns in juvenile gastropod. After completing her MRes in 2014, Saskia moved on to other occupations but soon returned to marine research. In the year leading up to the start of her PhD, she worked at PML as part of the Marine Ecology and Biodiversity group. Starting on a voluntary basis she moved on to an independent lab technician role and was able to contribute to the execution of several different projects, focussing on benthic ecosystem processes.
In September 2016, Saskia started her PhD titled “Ecological and biogeochemical consequences of sea bed resuspension in shallow coastal ecosystems” as part of the third SPITFIRE DTP cohort. This PhD is being carried out under the supervision of PML’s Prof Steve Widdicombe and Dr Ana Queirós, as well as Dr Charlie Thompson of the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton.
The aim of the PhD project is to define the interactions between physical and biological exchange processes of solutes and solids between sea floor (benthic) and water-column (pelagic) environments. By employing a variety of methods, both in the field and in the lab, the inter-dependencies and trade-offs of the different processes are investigated. The result will be an important cornerstone in the understanding of bentho-pelagic exchange processes, which in turn can inform us about processes such as but not limited to the cycling of nutrients, carbon and organic matter, human impacts on seafloor sedimentation and potential effects of climate change induced increases in storm frequency and strength.