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Meet James Leichter


Professor in Oceanography at SCRIPPS institution of Oceanography.

Job description: 

Research and teaching in coastal biological oceanography and marine ecology.

Work background: 

Working in cold water kelp forests, coral reefs and research diving in Antarctica.

Favourite part of job: 

Field work and teaching.

Least favourite part of job: 

Office work.

What I am working on now: 

The connections across the Antarctic food web and how these relate to changing environmental conditions such as seasonal patterns of sea ice formation.

A quick story about a job well done: 

This week we have been waking up at 6.30am to leave the base by 8am and then driving out to our different sites to go diving. We haven’t got back to base until about 9pm so we’ve been working some long days but at least it’s light all day down here in Antarctica.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

Working around boats and machines all day you have to expect that some things won’t work properly. We’ve all learnt that the main thing is to get out into the field safely and return home safely each day.

Interests outside work: 

Running, swimming, biking, skiing and triathlons.

James Leichter is a Professor in Oceanography at SCRIPPS Institute in San Diego. Image: J Leichter Collection.

James Leichter having fun on the job down in Antarctica. Image: J Leichter Collection.