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Member Spolight - Dr Stefanie Kremser MRSNZ

Dr Stefanie Kremser

Stefanie Kremser is an early career researcher, currently working at Bodeker Scientific (a private non-profit atmospheric research company focusing on stratospheric ozone, atmospheric composition change and climate change). Stefanie is also a committee member for the Early Career Researchers Forum. She is a Marsden Fast-Start Grant recipient and has since become involved in the SPARC’s (Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate) project ‘Stratospheric Sulfur and its Role in Climate’.

What drew you towards pursuing a scientific career?

I wanted to obtain the knowledge needed to look into the future, to learn about the impact and the consequences that humans have on this planet. I always had some interest in weather and climate and in particular I was curious to learn more about what will happen to the climate in the future.

How did you come to be in your current role at Bodeker?

Back in 2007, I received a scholarship from Germany to conduct my PhD studies at NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), Lauder (Central Otago). I was enjoying my time in New Zealand and applied for funding so that I could continue my research. Fortunately, I was successful in obtaining a Marsden Fast Start grant which allowed me to be employed full-time at Bodeker Scientific, Alexandra, which is not far from Lauder. And here I stayed.

How has your field evolved over time?

It is a wide field but if we look at the ‘ozone story’, i.e. the ozone hole forming over Antarctica each winter, a lot has happened there and we do understand now what causes the extensive ozone depletion and we do know how to fix it. The Montreal Protocol has been successful by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion and studies now show that there is a sign that ozone will recover and eventually the hole will no longer form each year over Antarctica. That is a great success story from my field.

If you could change an aspect of your field of work, what would that be?

Collaboration. One thing I would like to see change is that it becomes easier for New Zealand scientists to collaborate and engage with scientists around the world, being part of international groups in the same field. Data accessibility is another thing I would change, making it easier to access data (satellite data) that is required for our research. At the moment it is quite difficult to get satellite data that are in a shape/form that is easy to use and with good documentation.

Are there any moments that have made you proud as a scientist?

My proudest moment was when I was appointed as a co-leader of the SPARC SSiRC activity which coordinates research activities (national and international) related to stratospheric aerosol and sulfur. It gave me recognition that my work is valued and people have noticed my contribution.

Has your career taken you to interesting, exciting or challenging places?

The most interesting and exciting place for me was my visit to Scott Base, Antarctica during my PhD. For me, that is one of the best places on Earth - I enjoyed the remoteness, quietness and largely untouched environment.

What do think the greatest challenges and opportunities are for science?

Challenges are convincing people (especially politicians) about the results and making them trust you and care. Convincing people that they need to act and change their behaviour if they want to see change.

11 October 2017