Hey, I am Rinu Fathima, a second year Ph.D. student from National Institute of Oceanography, India. I am originally from Kerala, a beautiful coastal state in India and currently lives at Goa which is also along the coast. Lucky me. I am a dreamer, thinker, crazy about movies and love spending time reading novels or watching sunsets.
My research focuses on understanding past monsoon patterns using microfossils preserved in the ocean. Among the different microfossils that are present in the ocean I specifically make use of single celled, very beautiful, and extremely diverse organisms called foraminifera. Despite being so small the amount of information these organisms can share is huge. Both their shell morphology and composition tell a lot about the environmental conditions in which they lived. This aspect is used to understand past climate. I am particularly interested in a climatic event called mid-Pleistocene transition event that occurred between 1200 to 750 ka. Before this transition Earth’s glacial cycles followed obliquity dominated cyclicity and after this they changed to eccentricity dominated cycles. What caused this change in periodicity of glacial cycles is still a debated topic in the scientific community. I am very much excited about what results my research beholds about this mystery time interval.
I cannot really recall myself wanting to be a scientist from a very young age. I was good in school which made me believe I should pursue science. Later, I enrolled for Bachelors in Geology. Even then, I was not very much aware of what I was stepping into. But things took a quick turn later. The field visits during the course, practical classes, workshops everything excited me. The best thing was getting to travel all around the country as a part of the field work. The science suddenly felt personal. Later I joined for my masters in Pondicherry University. This was a beautiful ocean facing campus, where I learnt the different research potential of geology and an interest in oceanography. When COVID struck I was preparing for exams to get into Ph.D. during which I read a lot of books on Oceanography. By the time I qualified my exam I was a hundred percent sure on the topic in which I wanted to do my research. Yes, you guessed it right, Oceanography.
I feel connected to my research because I think I can make an impact. Coming from an agrarian country that depends heavily on monsoon, I believe understanding monsoon is very important. To have better predictions and climate models the past studies with well-defined forcing/response and boundary condition information is very crucial.
I always felt that I should have joined the field and identified my passion a bit earlier, but I am really grateful that I found it even if a bit late. Right now, I feel like getting paid for doing something I love. My advice to anyone working in science will be to enjoy the process, that’s what I have been told by my supervisor and I have never been happier.