ZEISS-GSL Scholarship winners announced

We’re delighted to announce the two winners of the first ever ZEISS-GSL Scholarship, awarded for innovative microscopy in Earth science related projects.

The two recipients, who each receive £4000 towards their project costs, are University of East Anglia PhD Student Bridie Verity Davies and Brown University PhD student Joseph Cukjati.

Davies’ project, ‘Bursting Bubbles: A microscopic investigation of transitions in magma ascent dynamics’, will study the internal structure of pumice samples taken from Ascension Island to gain a better understanding of the processes governing volcanic eruptions. On receiving the award, she said:

“It feels amazing to be awarded this scholarship, particularly at this stage in my PhD as it will allow me to enrich my interpretations of the textures and chemistry of pumice clasts and the ascent processes they preserve using incredible 3D scanning and other micro-analytical techniques.

‘Advances in microscopic technology are offering us exciting new opportunities to study these processes and generating potential for breakthroughs in volcanic hazard monitoring and assessment.”

Bridie Davies

Joseph Cukjati

Cukjati’s project, ‘Investigation of olivine grain boundaries by HRTEM and strain mapping’, will use high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to investigate atomic-scale processes in the Earth’s mantle in order to better understand large scale processes such as plate tectonics, mantle convection and heat transport. On receiving the award, he said:

‘I am extremely honoured that the ZEISS-GSL scholarship committee has chosen to fund work on investigation of olivine grain boundaries by HRTEM. These funds will be used to develop innovative new techniques using ZEISS HRTEMs, which will enable geologists to forensically investigate the relationships between bulk properties of the Earth’s mantle and the chemistry and structure of its constituent minerals at the atomic scale.”

Eddy Hill, Head Geologist and Petrologist at ZEISS and one of the judges for the scholarship, said:

‘ZEISS is very excited to enable cutting edge geoscience research through awarding the ZEISS-GSL Scholarship and we are proud to support Bridie and Joseph in their continuing research. We were impressed by the quality of all the submissions received and it was not an easy task to choose a winner. Indeed, after interviewing Bridie and Joseph the selection panel found it impossible to split their merits and so they share the scholarship. Both presented exciting projects combining geoscience and microscopy; we wish them every success and are keenly awaiting the results of their studies.’

Fellow judge, Frances Cooper, from the University of Bristol said:

‘It was a privilege to serve on the judging committee for the first ZEISS-GSL Scholarship. The quality of applications was incredibly high and spanned an impressive range of topics, demonstrating the potential for innovative microscopy across earth science research. Both Bridie and Joseph presented exciting, innovative, and very different, projects that will push the boundaries of geoscience research using microscopic techniques. I wish them the best of luck and very much look forward to seeing their results!’

The four judges: L-R, Benjamin Tordoff (ZEISS), Simon Redfern (University of Cambridge), Frances Cooper (University of Bristol, Eddy Hill (ZEISS)

Further information

  • ZEISS United Kingdom
  • The ZEISS-GSL scholarship was open to MSc and PhD students worldwide, and judged by a panel of senior Zeiss staff and GSL Fellows.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s