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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Oceanography graduate named best Marine Scientist for his El Nino research

Published: 10 November 2014
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Ocean and Earth Science student and BSc Oceanography with Physical Geography graduate James Wilkie has been named Best Marine Scientist for 2014 by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) for his third year dissertation.

“The project was a lot of hard work, so it is fantastic that the Institute chose to reward my efforts. I am thankful to those who helped me with the research process which involved complex computer modelling,” says James.

In his dissertation, James used atmospheric data to calculate how the top level of the ocean responds to the El-Nino Southern Oscillation, then compared the results with another set of findings that used real-life data from floats on the ocean.

He is now studying for a masters degree in the Southampton Business School and hopes to become a chartered accountant on graduation. He is sure his first degree will help him with his ambition. “The skills I learned through the Oceanography with Physical Geography programme are invaluable. Analysing and picking out key data, writing up the findings, critically evaluating a situation or methodology are all skills that are equally at home in a scientific or business environment,” he adds. “It would be great if everything came full circle and I was able to work in an ocean-related or environmental industry.”

Southampton MEng Ship Science student Will Ashley was also awarded a top prize by IMarEST for his third year individual project examining how ships respond to the action of waves. Both James and Will received their awards at an Institute annual dinner. IMarEST, founded in 1889, brings together marine engineers, scientists and technologists into one international multi-disciplinary professional body.

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