Blog: External stay at UCSB

Wednesday 22 Jan 20


Ocean Life PhD-student Jérôme is currently on external stay at the University of California Santa Barbara. 

Hey all!

My name is Jérôme Pinti, and I am currently doing a PhD at the Centre for Ocean Life, DTU Aqua. My PhD is about diel vertical migrations: in all the oceans of the world, many organisms migrate up and down in the water column on a daily basis. The biggest part of my work is to understand these migrations better through the construction of mechanistic models.

Being a PhD student at DTU, one of the requirements to obtain my degree is to go on an “external stay”, where we visit another research lab for a period ranging from a month to half a year. For my external stay, I decided to visit the University of California in Santa Barbara during a month and a half. I took this visit as an opportunity to extend the scope of my work: most of my PhD was about behavioral ecology and calculating migration patterns, but here I use my models to assess the contribution of diel vertical migrations to global biogeochemical cycles. Indeed, when organisms migrate to depths, they bring along carbon (in the form of organisms eaten at the surface) that they respire and excrete at depth, creating a drawdown of carbon from the atmosphere (a process known as the active biological pump).

The university here is a great place to work on such a topic, and I am lucky to collaborate with two leading researchers (David Siegel and Tim Devries) in the field of biogeochemical cycles and carbon exports. It was quite easy to arrange my visit: we exchanged a couple of mails, organized a Skype meeting… and that was it. It is very nice to be in another research lab for some time, and especially working on a different subject than what I usually do as it makes me see things from a different perspective. It is also good to meet and discuss with researchers working on topics that we do not work on at DTU Aqua. I encourage everyone with such an opportunity to go and visit another research lab!

Being in Santa Barbara during wintertime is not a bad choice in general… The weather is lovely, allowing me to take some nice bike rides and walks along the coast during my weekends to observe a nature that is completely different from what we are used to in Europe. My accommodation is also very close to a lake, and I get to see many nice birds as I go to work in the working! After my stay here, I will take advantage of being in California to go to the ASLO conference in San Diego, where I will present my work. See you there!


Follow me on Twitter for my updates about my external stay and my research: @JeromePinti

The view from my office!

Image credits: Jérôme Pinti.
26 FEBRUARY 2020