The Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the Republic of France and the Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer (Ifremer, France) announced on 27 May 2022 the selection of Dr. Ranju Radhakrishnan from India as postdoctoral fellow in deep-sea taxonomy.

The postdoctoral fellowship is a joint initiative by ISA, France and Ifremer. It is a direct contribution to  the ISA Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2020-2031 and to ISA’s programmatic approach to capacity development adopted by the Assembly in December 2020 (ISBA/26/A/18). The fellowship is expected to start in September 2022 for a period of 18 months and will be hosted at Ifremer (Brest) in France.

“We are delighted to announce that the ISA-Ifremer postdoctoral fellow is an outstanding woman scientist from India,” said the ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge. “The results of Dr. Ranju’s work will be a tremendous contribution to inform the work of ISA towards ensuring that activities in the Area are environmentally sustainable through the robust assessment and monitoring of deep-sea biodiversity.”

Dr. Ranju is a marine biologist and a recipient of the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) fellowship of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India at the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kerala, India.

Dr. Ranju has been researching the taxonomy of invertebrates, especially protozoans; the biodiversity of various aquatic ecosystems; global warming and the influence of climate change on marine life; indigenous fauna and flora and their conservation strategies and anthropogenic influences on aquatic ecosystems.

“I am highly motivated by this great opportunity to work with experts in the field of deep-sea taxonomy and I look forward to learning and applying novel techniques to advance deep-sea taxonomy in the Area,” Dr. Ranju said.

The postdoctoral fellowship will be part of the Ifremer Blue Revolution project and will work on the development and testing of three-dimensional imaging techniques for the identification of meiofauna organisms of deep-sea ecosystems found in areas currently being explored for mineral resources. The fellowship will also contribute to identifying key species that can be used as indicators for assessing potential environmental changes in the future.

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Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA,