2010 InterRidge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowships

The InterRidge Steering Committee is very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 InterRidge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship programme - Shinsuke Kawagucci, Baby Divya and Akumbom Vishiti. Three awards were made this year, one from InterRidge and two which were provided from the International Seabed Authority Endowment Fund, which aims to support the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries.

Shinsuke Kawagucci is a postdoctoral researcher at JAMSTEC, Japan who will work in a lab in the USA. Baby Divya, a Ph.D. student at NIO, India, will also travel to the USA to develop her research and Akumbom Vishiti, a graduate student will develop links with IFM-GEOMAR in Germany.

Shinsuke Kawagucci - awarded the InterRidge Fellowship




The InterRidge fellowship will enable Kawagucci to develop international links, as well as giving him opportunities to expand the interdisciplinary nature of his research. As he explains: “The project will promote future international collaborative interpretations on the world’s sediment-covered hydrothermal sites.”



Kawagucci is a postdoctoral researcher at JAMSTEC, Japan, advised by Dr. Ken Takai. His proposal title is “An experimental study for characterizing thermogenic methane at sediment-covered hydrothermal systems.” He will be working with Dr. Jeff Seewald at WHOI, USA, where he will conduct an experiment handling thermal decomposition of sedimentary organic matter under hydrothermal conditions (pressure, temperature, and natural water-sediment ratio). The results obtained from the experiments will provide detailed information about “thermogenic methane” characteristics, which will clearly differentiate between thermogenic and biogenic “sediment-derived” characteristics.

Read the report of his time at WHOI in Japanese; in English.

Baby Divya - awarded the InterRidge Fellowship supported by the ISA Endowment Fund

DivyaDivya states: “This fellowship would give me an opportunity to work on the microbiological aspects of the hydrothermal vent fauna which only very few have access to, due to the heterogeneity of these ecosystems and the difficulty of sample acquisition. It would also help me in acquiring knowledge and training in proteomics from a premier research institute."


Divya is currently studying for her Ph.D. at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, India, under the supervision of Dr. Shanta Achuthankutty, NIO. As she has always been fascinated by microbial life of extreme environments, Divya has been working on the bacterial diversity of the Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) in the Arabian Sea. The title of her proposal is: “Chemosynthetic microbial communities drive specificity of the hydrothermal vents' fauna: analysis using combined genomics and proteomic approaches”, and she will be working with Dr. Raul Bettencourt at the University of the Azores, Portugal.

Read the report of her time at IMAR, University of the Azores.

Akumbom Vishiti - awarded the InterRidge Fellowship supported by the ISA Endowment Fund





Vishiti anticipates that the InterRidge fellowship will have a very positive impact on her career development: “Considering that female scientists are few in Cameroon, my vision is to become a senior academic in the Cameroon University system and the skills and networks I will set up during this fellowship will be very useful in this career path”.




Akumbom Vishiti of the University of Buea, Cameroon, is a graduate student who will use the ISA Endowment Fund award to support a collaboration with IFM-GEOMAR and its international deep ocean systems programme. The title of Vishiti’s project is “Melt inclusions, fluid composition and sulphide microchemistry at the Red Sea ridge.” She will participate on a cruise to the Atlantis II Deep in January 2011 focusing on sampling the crustal rocks both in and around the brine pool, looking at fluid sources. Vishiti is advised by Prof. Cheo Emmanuel Suh at the University of Buea and the fellowship will be conducted with Prof. Colin Devey of IFM-GEOMAR.

Vishiti's paper published in IR News 2011, p.42.

Congratulations to all three fellows, who we will profile in the annual Newsletter. 

Particular thanks go to all the reviewers of the proposals. There was a total of nine applicants this year, and each proposal was reviewed by two topical science reviewers (a native and a non-native English speaker). The number and quality of the 2010 applicants is evidence that this opportunity to support students and postdoctoral researchers is becoming better known within the ridge-science community. We also would like to thank the Advisory Panel to the ISA Endowment Fund for their continued financial support. For more information about the ISA Endowment Fund, please see: http://www.isa.org.jm/en/efund/fund

For more information on the InterRidge Student and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, please see: http://www.interridge.org/fellowship. The Call for Proposals for the 2011 Fellowships will be released in January 2011, and due in March 2011.