University of Otago, New Zealand

Chemistry

Te Tari Hua-Ruanuku

Otago chemical oceanographer receives top international award

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Dr Rob Middag of Otago’s Department of Chemistry has won the environmental science category of the Awards for his highly productive research into trace metals in the world’s oceans.

Rob Middag

The Award, which includes €10,000 ($16,000 NZD) and a piece of sculpture created by an Amsterdam artist, will be presented to Dr Middag this October in the Netherlands.

His research is of global significance since many trace elements are essential nutrients for marine life. Even though they occur only in minute concentration, trace elements influence the functioning of ocean ecosystems.

For example, iron and zinc play a crucial role in the growth of phytoplankton, the microscopic unicellular plants that form the basis of the ocean food web.

Otago Bulletin - 23 May 2014