Dr Georgia Grant awarded prestigious fellowship for women in science
GNS Science sedimentologist Dr Georgia Grant has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science New Zealand Fellowship, in recognition of her research into past climate change and the insights it holds for our future.
The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship recognises the achievements of an exceptional early career New Zealand-based female scientist and awards them funding to help further their research.
Dr Grant, who is fresh back from an eight-week expedition to off-shore Greenland on the International Ocean Discovery Programme research vessel JOIDES Resolution, says the fellowship signals to young women that the sciences are a fulfilling career path.
"During my recent time at sea, I found myself surrounded by women scientists and staff across all ages, and it fundamentally changed the way the group interacted - in an exceedingly positive way. It would make life easy if we could measure diversity through numbers alone, but we won't achieve diversity without inclusion and the feeling of welcome and safety in a work place is immeasurable. It is integral that all society prioritises this at every level so we can face tomorrow's challenges together".
GNS Science Chief Executive Chelydra Percy says, "Our team here at GNS Science is hugely proud of Georgia and her fascinating work to unravel some of the secrets of past climate change. To see her work and leadership acknowledged by this award is fantastic, and we hope it continues to grow awareness and recognition of the valued contribution many women are making in science."
Dr Grant receives $25,000 towards her research into the past response of the Greenland Ice Sheet to natural cycles of the Earth’s orbit, and how this might inform predictions of future melting rates and sea-level rise. She will examine new marine sediment cores from near the Greenland Ice Sheet recovered on her recent expedition, to determine the timing of ice sheet change during periods of warmer climates in the past.
"Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is accelerating and poses a more immediate threat to sea-level in New Zealand. By looking to past warmer climates, we hope to reduce uncertainty in what the future holds. My research aims to understand the contribution and interaction of polar ice sheet melt to sea level as the climate warms,” says Dr Grant.
Dr Grant will use the fellowship funds to strengthen and broaden her skills through collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the statistical analysis of cycles in the geologic record, and to present her work on an international stage.
L’Oréal Australia and New Zealand’s CEO Alex Davison says, “We’re so proud to fund the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship and celebrate the achievements of incredible scientists such as Dr Grant. We believe it’s important to shine a light on life changing research but also to encourage girls and young women to break gender barriers and pursue a career in STEMM. This is now the 16th year running in New Zealand and Dr Grant’s research has never been more important, coming at a time where understanding the past is vital in protecting the future.”
Dr Grant was presented the fellowship amongst previous winners and renowned New Zealand scientists at Auckland’s Ortolana restaurant.