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Geo Profiles: Amando Lasabuda


In our Geo Profiles series, we get in touch with sedimentologists working in the Nordic region, willing to tell a cool story about who they are, how they ended up where they are today and any advice they wish to impart to our community.


ln this geo profile we reached out to Amando Lasabuda, to hear all about his career as a sedimentologist in academia, with a background as an exploration geologist. Let’s hear his journey from tropical Indonesia to Arctic Norway and then his plan to move back to southern hemisphere, this time to Sydney, for his Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Global Postdoctoral Fellowship.


 


Taken on RV Helmer Hanssen during an expedition to the Arctic Ocean. Amando was on board to collect shallow sediment cores (<6 m), CTD – Conductivity, Temperature and Depth data, multibeam bathymetry and 2D seismic data. (Photo: private).



Amando, what made you decide to become a geoscientist?


Both of my parents had background in energy industry. They introduced me to this career path to be honest. I was raised seeing my father who had always been away for a 10-day offshore work and then at home for the next ten days. I often heard his story about how awesome it is to be on a helicopter to reach an oil platform, to have a high-risk but high-reward job, and to work with multidisciplinary team (geoscientist is one of them).


So, after high school I decided to follow my parents’ career path by choosing Geophysics at the Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Indonesia. Fast forward to today (17 years later), I am still thankful to my parents for inspiring me to become a geoscientist.




Siccar Point, Scotland. Outcrops of the founding father of modern geology, James Hutton (1726-1727). He visited this famous site in combination with his business trip to Edinburgh for a numerical modelling course. (Photo: private).


How did you move from industry to academia?


I worked for about a year as an exploration geologist in Rocksource ASA, Bergen after my MSc graduation from University of Bergen. I really enjoyed my time in the industry. However, the timing was not right back in 2014. So, I decided to move to academia to pursue my PhD at University of Tromsø working on Cenozoic tectono-stratigraphy of the Barents Sea.


This movement opened up my eyes about academia where I find happiness in teaching, mentoring students, diving in fascinating research topics, and having flexibility in work schedule.



 

"Academia has been offering me borderless opportunities for conferences and long-term research visits. These experiences of moving countries also impact my young family to always find home in a new place and expose to exciting environments."

 

What do you enjoy the most in your career?


I love travelling, exploring nature and new places, and experiencing different culture. So, geosciences fit well with my passion to travel. For geophysics-related work, 2D-3D seismic acquisition allows me to join several expeditions to Arctic Ocean on UiT-owned research vessel Helmer Hanssen. For geological mapping, I have been very lucky to observe many localities such as beautiful turbidites in Ainsa, fantastic K-T boundary in Zumaia, world-class clinoforms in Central Basin, and amazing cherts in Karangsambung.


Academia has been offering me borderless opportunities for conferences (e.g. S4SLIDE Vancouver, AGU Washington) and long-term research visits (e.g. Royal Holloway University of London, AWI Bremerhaven). These experiences of moving countries also impact my young family to always find home in a new place and expose to exciting environments.




Blåvatnet, Lyngen Alps, Northern Norway. The glacial lake is filled from meltwater channels in front of the Lenangsbreen glacier. This great locality is just 2 hour drive from his house in Tromsø. (Photo: private).


What are the topics you are currently interested in researching about?


I have just been awarded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Global Postdoctoral Fellowship. I will be working at The University of Sydney, Australia for two years and at University of Oslo for the last year of the fellowship. The BRAVO project (Barents Sea Evolution) will reconstruct the paleogeography of the Barents Sea in the Cenozoic time using numerical modelling. Then, I will simulate the source-to-sink system based on the possible reconstructions. I am so excited to start this project as it will explore the unknown where working hypotheses are complex and limited state-of-the-art data and methods.


 

"My advices are to follow your passion and to love what you do! These are crucial in doing your daily work. Try out new things and move out from your comfort zone."

 



Zumaia, Spain. Amando was on family holiday visiting fantastic Cretaceous thin-bedded turbidites exposed along the beautiful beach of Zumaia. You will also find K-T boundary along the beach. (Photo: private).


What are your plans for the future?


I am an easy guy, so I am open to new opportunities and challenges. I am happy to be in academia but also enjoy my time in industry. Academia (non-tenured track) is a high-risk high-reward job, where industry can offer stability. However, industry can be monotone after a while, where academia offers greater flexibility. I will let you know where I will be landed in three years.


Who or what inspires you?


I am inspired by impressive achievements of Professor Marie Skłodowska-Curie who was the first scientist to win a Nobel Prize twice and the only one who won it on two different disciplines. Yes, two different disciplines... This was also one of the reasons why I chose Geophysics for my undergrad and Geology for my master’s degree. The idea was to combine these two scientific areas to have a complete overview of geosciences.


She was also the first woman in history who won this prize. It is a dream come true to have been awarded a fellowship after her name. She is also a mother to a future scientist who also won the same prize. This indicates that she was able to balance her work and life to take a good care of her children. She is a true source of inspiration for me as a scientist and a father to a toddler.



Do you have any tips for other young researchers?


My advices are to follow your passion and to love what you do! These are crucial in doing your daily work. Try out new things and move out from your comfort zone. This will keep your learning curve steep!





 

Do you have a trial lecture, video abstract or presentation you would like to share? The NSRG is a platform for outreach for all research in the fields of sedimentology and stratigraphy. Submit your videos to contact@nordicsrg.com




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