#02 2020

Nansen Tutu Centre 10th Anniversary Symposium: Science in service of society

By Nasreen Burgher, Physical Oceanography Intern, SAEON Egagasini Node

The 10th anniversary of the Nansen Tutu Centre for Marine Environment Research was celebrated with a symposium held at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in March this year.

The themes were regional oceanography, operational oceanography, role of the ocean on weather and climate, marine ecosystems, biogeochemistry, the CO2 cycle and the Southern Ocean.

A combination of senior scientists, postdoctorate and postgraduate students from various nationalities were present to share their science as either presentations or posters during the poster session on the second day of the symposium. African students and early-career scientists were given centre stage at the event.

Presentations covered a broad range of topics from boundary currents, the Southern Ocean and oceanographic anomalies such as heat fluxes in the Mozambique current to investigating the most suitable satellite data. Posters followed the same pattern – from turtle and dolphin conservation in Zanzibar to modelling ocean canyons along the east coast of South Africa.

Scientists attending the three-day symposium

SAEON participation

SAEON’s Egagasini Node was well-represented, with seven oceanographers in attendance – Professor Juliet Hermes, Dr Jennifer Veitch, Dr Laura Braby, Shaveenah Taukoor, Gustav Rautenbach, Rudzani Silima and Nasreen Burgher. Jennifer, Laura and Shaveenah gave oral presentations while Gustav, Rudzani and Shaveenah participated in the poster session.

The best student poster and oral presentation prizes were awarded to SAEON’s very own Rudzani Silima and Giles Fearon respectively.

Before the symposium ended, the Centre’s representatives from each organisation or institute held a signing ceremony for the commencement of the next phrase of the Centre. This will lead to further exciting opportunities and collaborations in the future.

The Centre is a collaboration between UCT and other South African institutes such as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, SAEON, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Department of Environmental Affairs, three Norwegian institutions and one institution from the USA.

The goal for the Centre is to advance knowledge of marine environments and climate systems in the spirit of Desmond Tutu and Fridtjof Nansen, after whom the Centre was named.

For more information, visit nansen-tutu.org