17 August 2010
Campaign board Chair, Roger Holmes (BSc 1981) and his wife, Kate have funded a Postdoctoral Fellow in Ocean Acidification. Dr Laura Foster is a “rising star” in the world of climate change research, already working in the Bristol team as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant. Kate and Roger’s gift ensures that Bristol will retain this talented researcher for the next three years.
But this gift doesn’t just have a positive impact on Laura’s career. Ocean acidification is often described as the other CO2 problem with the ocean absorbing about one-third of the CO2 released by anthropogenic activities. However, it is much less publicised and researched, with its biological impact poorly understood.
Laura’s work will assist scientists and others in understanding which marine ecological systems need immediate protection, and what that protection might consist of. The Fellow’s findings will give a clear sense of which species are most strongly affected, and in what way, by ocean acidification. For instance, it is already apparent that mussels seem to react strongly to acidification but oysters can deal with the effects much better. The Fellow’s findings will help conservationists focus energy on those species who are affected by acidification but can be best influenced by decreasing other stressors so that the overall environmental focus is on those ecosystems which are still protectable.
This understanding will lead to immediate policy impact, first on marine ecosystem management, and latterly on the wider subject of CO2 emissions. Roger and Kate’s gift to fund a Postdoctoral Fellow is timely as it will contribute to the UK ocean acidification program as well as to the knowledge base for the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Laura’s work over the next three years will add significant knowledge of a highly practical nature to both government-commissioned reports, which will drive national and international policy-making in the immediate and long-term.
We are delighted to be supporting Laura as Post Doctoral Fellow in Ocean Acidification. This project had all the ingredients to win our support; an issue of real importance where the University is carrying out leading work; a clear goal and timetable; and above all, the chance to support great talent and make a difference on an issue we care about. Roger and Kate Holmes