Former MSc student Michael Hart-Davis wins S2A3 Masters Medal this year

During his MSc studies in South Africa, Michael Hart-Davis spent time at the Nansen Center in Bergen and was co-supervised by Björn Backeberg, Mostafa Bakhoday-Paskyabi  and Johnny A. Johannessen from NERSC and Juliet Hermes from SAEON, South Africa. His time in Bergen proved to be extremely beneficial and resulted in several international collaborations and publications and we congratulate Michael on this prestigious award!


Michael Hart-Davis, the recipient of the S2A3 Masters Medal in 2020 (Photo by Nadine Schulda)Michael Hart-Davis, the recipient of the S2A3 Masters Medal in 2020 (Photo by Nadine Schulda)The S2A3 Masters Medals (bronze) have been awarded annually since 1981 by the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science to the most outstanding research student in a scientific subject per South African university. Founded in 1902, it is the oldest scientific organisation in South Africa.


First Physical Oceanography student to receive the award

This year, Michael Hart-Davis received the honour to be awarded with the bronze S2A3 Masters Medal for his excellent research. He studied Physical Oceanography at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa and submitted his MSc thesis in August 2019. Michael is the first Physical Oceanography MSc student to win this award. He completed two scientific publications, as a result of his original research, with two further publications currently in review.


MSc thesis on understanding surface ocean dynamics

Michael developed a particle trajectory model for the use in several scientific applications in the Agulhas Current System in the Indian Ocean along the eastern South African coast. The scientific applications presented in his thesis included case studies advancing the understanding of surface ocean dynamics, studying the trajectories of sea turtles and juvenile lobster larvae as well as the development of search and rescue tools.


Michael’s time in Bergen

Visiting Bergen during his Master studies gave him the opportunity to closely work with his co-supervisor, and to collaborate with several other scientists in the “Ocean and Sea Ice Remote Sensing” and “Ocean Modeling” groups at the Nansen Center, as well as with researchers at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen. 


Towards a PhD

The Nansen Center is keen on supporting students in their research endeavors, and Michael is a great example of how students can benefit from exchange visits and international research collaboration. After graduating last year, he moved to Germany to pursue a PhD at the Technical University of Munich, while continuing collaboration with South African and Norwegian colleagues. Good luck, Michael!

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