This week we pay tribute to the incredible work of Dr Leanne Armand:
Australian marine scientist Dr Leanne Armand is an expert in the field of diatoms and their distribution in the Southern Ocean. Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Understanding the diatoms’ distribution and how it is preserved in the fossil record contained within sediment cores taken from the ocean floor can provide information about past climate regimes, including ocean temperatures and sea ice extent.
Dr Armand received a PhD in geology from the Australian National University. Her thesis work focused on the use of algae remains as an indicator of sea surface temperature changes and sea ice estimation; her research has also provided valuable date and insight as to how sea ice helps drive the circulation of the ocean.
Now working in the Biogeochemical Cycles Program at the Antarctic CRC, she investigates biogeochemical cycles using algae collected in sediment traps at certain ocean sites between Australia and Antarctica and also continues her sea ice research. Her work is important in gaining an understanding of how sea ice and sea-surface temperatures vary naturally over time, and how this natural variation influences climate.
Dr Armand was born in 1968 in Adelaide, South Australia. She spent a large amount of her childhood rambling along nearby beaches, collecting seashells and using them to set up soi-disant “museums” at her home along with other bits and pieces.
Her interest in biology was nurtured by excellent high school teachers at St Mary’s College, Adelaide, where she won the Green Biology prize for best student. In Year 12 she was selected to participate in a Rotary exchange to a high school in Arkansas, U.S.A.
She is an award-winning scientist and is planned to be the Chief Scientist on the Marine National Facility’s research vessel, RV Investigator.