Final Call for Trevor Platt Fellowship Applications
7 December 2023
Above: Gayathra Bandara speaking at Institute of Oceanology in Qingdao, China during the subsurface mooring observation training course
The Trevor Platt Fellowship was created in memory of our late friend and colleague Professor Trevor Platt FRS FRCS. Trevor was distinguished for his fundamental contributions to many aspects of oceanography and in recent years, to limnology as well. He was committed to the stewardship of the ocean. He was also a firm believer in sharing his knowledge, nurturing the next generation of scientists and above all, providing encouragement and guidance to countless young researchers.
To that end, PML launched the first Trevor Platt Fellowship last year (2022), and Gayathra Bandara - a Sri Lankan Marine Biologist and Conservationist - was successful in his application, becoming the first ever Trevor Platt Fellow.
Gayathra joined PML earlier this year to study the topic, ‘Adverse weather effects induced by climate change: How would marine benthos respond?’
Above: Gayathra in the laboratory at PML analyzing eDNA samples
As his time on the fellowship draws to a close, we asked Gayathra if he could tell us more about his time at PML and what the Trevor Platt Fellowship has meant to him.
"I am delighted to share my profound appreciation for the Trevor Platt Fellowship and the remarkable impact it has had on my professional journey. Engaging in the analysis of eDNA samples to track and interpret benthic patterns has been an incredibly fulfilling and intellectually stimulating experience.”
“The fellowship's support has extended beyond scientific exploration, enabling me to collaborate with various organizations. Among these experiences, my time at PML has been exceptional. My host Dr. Karen Tait's unwavering support and guidance have been instrumental in my growth as a researcher. Her mentorship has been invaluable, and I'm deeply grateful for her encouragement throughout my tenure here.”
“Reflecting on my time at PML, I can confidently say it's been one of the most enriching periods of my career. The collaborative and supportive environment fostered at PML has allowed me to contribute not only to scientific research but also to community engagement, climate advocacy, and nature conservation.”
“As my tenure as the first Trevor Platt Fellow draws to a close next month, I'm filled with gratitude for the opportunities and support I've received. I am really honoured to win a fellowship under the name of distinguished Professor Trevor Platt and becoming the first person to be so. I urge aspiring marine scientists to seize the opportunity this fellowship offers to gain invaluable research experience.”
Above: Gayathra at the World Climate Research Programme Open Science Conference in Rwanda, attending as part of his role as Youth Ambassador with the High Seas Alliance
“Furthermore, I'm thankful for the support provided by PML, allowing me to engage in community and youth outreach for climate advocacy and nature conservation. The encouragement and leave granted for my work in Rwanda have exemplified PML's commitment to holistic contributions in the environmental field.”
Above: Gayathra delivering a presentation at the World Climate Research Programme Open Science Conference in Rwanda on the ’Impact of climate change on behaviour of marine mammals’, as well as talking about how youth can engage in conservation amongst other topics.
“I depart from this chapter with a wealth of knowledge, unforgettable experiences, and a determination to continue making a meaningful impact in marine science and environmental conservation."
More information about the 2024 Trevor Platt Fellowship
The Fellowship supports one ECR Fellow every year to undertake a research project at PML in any aspect of biological oceanography, such as:
- Primary production, physiology and ecology of marine phytoplankton
- Thermodynamics of aquatic ecosystems
- Physical and biological interactions in the ocean
- Marine optics
- Size structure of marine communities
- Remote sensing of ocean colour
- Ocean carbon cycle and climate change
- Water quality and human health
- Time series of ocean observations and their analyses
- Ecological approaches to fisheries management
- International collaboration and capacity building
- Ocean stewardship
The Fellowship will provide a bursary of £15k to include travel, visa, accommodation and living expenses. The aim is to allow a visit of between four to six months depending on distance, living costs and science activity. It is expected the second fellowship will start in summer 2024.