Malcolm Hodgskiss

Postdoctoral Researcher, Geological Survey of Norway

I grew up in Canada and spent much of my summers on canoe trips around northern Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba. Although I started my undergraduate studies in engineering, I quickly switched to Earth sciences because of the love of nature that I developed during my childhood, and specifically to work in Arctic environments. I have very actively sought out these opportunities, and have been extremely fortunate to lead and/or join many research expeditions over the course of my education (B.Sc, M.Sc – McGill University; Ph.D – Stanford University) and postdoc (University of Cambridge & Geological Survey of Norway): northern Yukon, N.W.T, Nunavut (Baffin Island and Belcher Islands), northern B.C., northern Quebec/Labrador, Finnmark, and Finnish Lapland. The common thread linking these degrees and disparate field areas is studying the ancient Earth system to understand changes that have occurred during Earth history that have impacted the evolution of early life, such as the first appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere ~2.5 billion years ago.

In my current position as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway, I am studying the geology/geochemistry of the North Sea and Barents Sea to understand processes that control the timing of oil/gas formation, storage, and destruction through the application of new and developing geochemical techniques, in collaboration with Lundin Energy. I am also developing a pilot project to understand the formation of secondary microplastics in rocky beaches. Most northern coastlines around the world are rocky, high-energy environments where the potential for generation of ‘secondary’ microplastics through mechanical abrasion is extremely high. Remarkably, there is only one scientific publication studying these environments, despite their outsized potential as ‘microplastic factories’. I hope to use results from this pilot project to develop a more comprehensive study of microplastics in rocky beaches along the coast of Norway and Svalbard.

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