Position: Former Research Scientist, NIWA. Currently Expedition leader
Field: Atmospheric chemistry
Dr Katja Riedel was a research scientist with NIWA and, at present, is based in Wellington. She has been to Antarctica five times – the first time, she spent 15 months there.
Whilst at NIWA, herresearch looked at trapped gases in the ice and what they can tell us about past climates. “What we try to do is to find out what the climate was in the past, in order to help us understand today’s climate and think about possible future climate scenarios.”
As the Earth’s changing climate is becoming more and more of an issue, Katja’s research was able to provide information about what the Earth’s climate once was and what we can expect if our climate continues to change. By drilling ice cores from Antarctica’s pristine environment, she is able to see what the world was like without influences like human pollution.
It is hoped that information provided through her work will give us snapshots of what the Earth was once was like, as well as identify ways to deal with factors affecting our current and future climate.
Our research is contributing to the big topic of climate change... We are trying to understand it and find a solution so we can mitigate and adapt to our future climate.
As well as her interest in atmospheric chemistry, Katja is passionate about science communication. She did an internship working with a German TV station and gives regular talks about climate change to the public.
Since 2011 she has worked as a guide and lecturer on expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic sharing her passion and knowledge and hoping to inspire people to help preserve these remote places.
This article is based on information current in 2007 and updated in 2018.