We need more talents to explore ocean: Dr Roxy Mathew Koll
Thiruvananthapuram: Roxy Mathew Koll, originally from Bharananganam in Kottayam district, is the only climate scientist from India, who is one of the lead authors of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
How did you take up oceanography?
When I grew up, my mind was riddled by questions about life, existence and the vast cosmos. Science fiction by Isaac Asimov, and books by Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawkings fascinated me. I wanted to take up astrophysics for my higher studies. However, state-of-the-art facilities and opportunities in astrophysics were scarce in India that time. I jumped from outer space down to the oceans as we knew less about the waters around us.
How does young curious minds know if they are interested in oceans or even science?
For the young minds, I would ask them to keep their eyes open to the wonders of nature. Nature is full of wonders, and exploring its scientific side can be illuminating and rewarding.
Avenues to pursue oceanography in India?
IISER, especially the one at Pune, provides an ideal avenue for students who are interested in earth and climate sciences. Universities such as the Cochin University of Science and Technology provide oceanography courses at the Masters level.
Then there are institutes such as the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, institutes such as NIO, NCAOR, INCOIS, IITM, NCESS, etc under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) which provide both research and career opportunities. By the end of this year, MoES is launching a Rs 10,000- crore National Mission on Deep Sea Research. This means that we need more young talents to explore and harness ocean resources as well as do research on climate change.