Posted by Shackleton Fund on 2014-12-08 09:18:15 FKST

The Shackleton Scholarship awards for 2014 were made to four students of the life sciences from different corners of the world. This year for the first time a more generous allocation of funds was made following the growth in the Fund’s capital reserves as a result of sound  investment policies.

The largest grant was made to Dr Blanca Figuerola Balana from the University of Barcelona in Spain who proposes to study the spatial patterns and biodiversity of bryzoan communities around the Falkands.(Bryozoa are small colonies of moss-like sea animals). She intends to spend one month on fieldwork in the Islands collecting samples from the intertidal zone and diving where necessary. The project will be supported by the Shallow Marine Surveys Group (SMSG) and the South Athlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) in Stanley.

A second scholar will also be working in a coastal environment but many miles distant in the South Orkney or South Shetland Islands. She is Dr Jade Berman the Living Seas manager from Ulster Wildlife in Belfast who will be studying sponges from the ‘shallow Antarctic’ as part of an SMSG study in which Dr Claire Good win (a former Shackleton Scholar will also be taking part). The survey will be based on the research vessel Hans Hansson but Dr Berman will spend time before and after the voyage in Stanley where she hopes to work with Falklands Conservation on educational activities for schoolchildren.

Dr Anne Jungblut is a German scholar working at the Natural History Museum in London. She proposes to study microbial communities in the soils of East Falkland. This knowledge is needed to provide a baseline ecological framework and eventually will facilitate soil restoration and re-vegetation work in the Islands.

Miss Katherine Moon is  PhD student at the Australian National University who has studied penguin populations in Australia and New Zealand. She proposes to undertake research into parasites of the Falklands penguins, looking at the distribution of penguin ticks and their impact on penguin health. She expects to visit the islands early in 2015.(Katie’s supervisor, Dr Ceridwen Fraser was a Shackleton Scholar in 2008 and again in 2010 studying the distribution of kelp as an indicator of climatic change).

The Stanley Committee of the SSF also awarded several Quality of Life scholarships, but these are described in a separate release.

For further information speak to:

Andrew Moffat, Secretary of the London Committee of the SSF:

Sally Ellis, Secretary of the Stanley Committee of the SSF: