"I find research to be an incredibly creative process - when you’re exploring previously unknown parts of the ocean or the geological past, with an incomplete record, then there needs to be a lot of creativity around theories and ideas that you develop.”
Lorna is a Marine Geologist, which means she studies the history and process of the ocean floor looking at the impacts rocks and sediment can have on geology and biology in the ocean.
Lorna isn’t quite sure how she got interested in science, but always loved nature and being outside and throwing herself into anything that was interesting. Once she started her geological sciences degree she could see how all the science subjects, as well as maths and technology, came together, and loved the broad brush or microscopic way that science works.
Lorna is leading a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden funded project which is trying to answer the question “Does climate influence the frequency of volcanic activity and earthquakes?”.
To answer this question, the research group will be looking at a really old sediment core from off the coast of Gisborne looking at the history of volcanoes and earthquakes over the last one million years. They will also be working with Māori researchers to explore how science and mātauranga Māori work together to help build our understanding of changes in the earth.
This work is important for understanding how the oceans have changed, and what that means for the future. Her research will help us understand past global climate change, and other regional environmental and geological changes.
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