Women in Science

On today’s International Women in Science Day, we want to shine the spotlight on the incredible women in our project. Sue, Samara and Mira tell their inspiring stories of why they wanted to become scientists. They share memories of teachers, parents, books and childlike curiosity. They also talk about how they got to where they are today, and what it took to have successful careers as women in science.

Sue Trumbore is the German coordinator for ATTO

As a child, I loved to read natural history books and really wanted to travel to all the exotic places in the books. My PhD advisor, Wally Broecker, supported my desires to travel the oceans and the world.

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Ana Caroline: What’s the matter with soil water?

Hi, my name is Ana Caroline, and I currently work at the ATTO Project for the INPA and the MPI-BGC. I graduated from university with a degree in Environmental Management. Afterward, I obtained a Master’s degree in Climate and Environment from INPA. At ATTO I work as a scientific assistant for the Gerd Gleixner group. I collect soil water samples to analyze some of its chemical parameters, such as pH, electrical conductivity and Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). For the experiment, we placed several plates in the soil to collect soil water from different depths. We collect the water in glass bottles inside a box (as pictured in the photo) the lab analysis.

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Sebastian: MAX-DOAS around the world

Hello out there! My name is Sebastian Donner and I work in the satellite remote sensing group at the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie in Mainz as a PhD student. 

I studied Meteorology in Mainz and then stayed here to obtain my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Already back then, I was really fascinated by the atmosphere’s composition, and by the ways and means to monitor air quality and pollution. That’s how I became involved with a method called MAX-DOAS. MAX-DOAS means Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy. This is a rather fancy method to measure the abundance of trace gases in the atmosphere and retrieved their vertical profiles.

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Sam: Keeping taps on the carbon cycle

Hey, this is Sam Jones! Earlier in 2019 I finally moved to Manaus and took a job at INPA. I say finally because I had flirted with the idea for quite some time.  Now I often get asked the enduringly difficult question “What are you doing here?”. The short answer is that I’m working as a soil ‘biogeochemist’ on the ATTO project. This is a bit of catch-all jargon. What does it really mean? Well, I want to understand how interactions among the biological, physical and chemical elements of terrestrial ecosystems, particularly in the soil, influence their connection to the wider Earth system.

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Flavia: Unlocking clues from the water

My name is Flavia Durgante and I am a Postdoc in the Wetland Ecology Group of Dr. Florian Wittmann at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Germany. However, I’m mostly stationed at INPA in Manaus. Now a Forest Engineer with a degree from the UFSM – Universidade Federal de Santa Maria. Prior, I did my PhD at the INPA studying tree growth with isotopic analysis and permanent plots in the Forest Management Group (LMF).

At ATTO, our project focuses on water. We’re analyzing water isotopes from different sources such as rain, soil deeps, rivers and xylem water from trees in different habitats.

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