A licentiate defense is one of the milestones on the way to a PhD degree. The licentiate thesis is made up of one or two manuscripts and a thesis summary and is usually defended after two years of PhD education. The students present their research during 20-30 minutes and are then examined by two reviewers. All this is of course done in front of an audience and in a lecture hall.
Last week it was time for my two PhD students Akkaneewut (Nut) Chabangborn and Sakonvan (Moo) Chawchai. Nut’s defense was last Wednesday and Moo’s last Thursday. Both made very good presentations of their results and of their plans for future work. And, they had of course no problems to find good answers to the reviewers’ questions. Congratulations Moo and Nut to nice presentations and a good defense!!
Nut’s research addresses the comparison between paleo proxydata and climate model output, i.e. how well model simulations for past climates compare with actual reconstructions of past climatic conditions. The answer is that they partly compare well, and partly not at all! One of the next steps will be to investigate a different time interval for these data-model comparisons, but also to analyze lake sediment sequences that are more than 20 000 years old.
Moo’s focus is on lake sediments from northern Thailand and what these tell us about the strength of the Asian summer monsoon during the past 9000 years. Can we only observe a response to insolation changes or can also variations at higher frequencies be seen? Future work will specifically look at the last 2000 years to better understand whether climate or humans or both influenced sedimentation patterns in lakes in northern Thailand.
Both Moo and Nut have recently submitted their first manuscripts and I really keep my fingers crossed that the reviewers and editors want to see the manuscripts published. I am sure they will, but probably they will ask for quite an extensive revision, which is quite normal.