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The First Thai Lady To Join Antarctic Research


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The first Thai lady to join Antarctic research

BANGKOK, 5 October 2009 (NNT) - Assistant Professor Dr Suchana Chavanich from the Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University will be the first Thai female scientist to join a Japanese research team for climate change study in Antarctica.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Suchana has been recently selected by the National Science and Technology Development Agency to represent the country in joining the 51st Antarctic research expedition with Japanese scientists. She is the second Thai to receive the honor after Assist. Prof. Dr. Woranop Wiyakarn, also from the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, who joined the 46th trip in 2004. Dr. Suchana's trip will be funded by the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) of Japan and the Thai private sector.

The team is scheduled to depart from Fremantle Port in Southern Australia at the end of November this year, on the newest Japanese icebreaker. The trip will take approximately 3 weeks to arrive at SHOWA station on the southernmost continent. Dr. Suchana will then spend her time on microorganism study both in coastal areas and lakes at the time when ice starts to melt.

In the Antarctic summertime at the end of the year, the average temperature is around 0 degree Celsius with frequent wind blast and 24-hrs daylight. The research team will spend 8-9 weeks on the continent, traveling both on foot and by helicopter between camps and research sites. They are scheduled to return at the end of March 2010.

Dr. Suchana will work mainly with the Japanese biological and oceanographic study teams, to build collaborative connections between Thai and Japanese researchers in the study of Antarctica.

On the upcoming expedition, a Thai documentary team has been permitted to accompany the researchers to film their activities for further release in Thailand.

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-- NNT 2009/10/05

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