The new norm.
Since the global pandemic outbreak in March 2020, digital trial lectures have become the new Covid-19 standard for PhD disputations at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo. As part of her PhD defense on September 25th 2020, Lina Hedvig Line recorded a trial lecture entitled “Weathering and climate – implications for sediment properties."
Weathering is the collective term of processes that transform solid rock into sediment. Understanding weathering and soil forming processes is therefore essential for all who affiliate themselves with sediments and the sedimentary rock record.
The lecture provides an overview of fundamental weathering processes and the distribution of associated sediment types and soils on Earth. Aimed at an undergraduate audience, the lecture covers basic aspects related to physical and chemical weathering processes, and move towards more research-led material at the end. Given the broad selection of material presented, the lecture works well as an introduction or summary of weathering processes and the production of sedimentary rocks.
Read more about her PhD project here.
Trial Lecture: "Weathering and climate – implications for sediment properties"
Dr. Lina Hedvig Line
Lina prepared for her defense in a number of ways, having submitted the trial lecture recording two days in advance, the preparations for the defense was less stressful than she originally anticipated.
"I found that the best way to prepare was to talk to my colleagues about my research and critically evaluate my own work."
"Most of the slides for the presentation of my work were already in place after several rounds of conference and workshop proceedings. As for the discussions with the opponents, I found that the best way to prepare was to talk to my colleagues about my research and critically evaluate my own work. It’s impossible to predict exactly what questions will come your way during the defense, so building a solid fundament for an interesting discussion was, for me, the best way to prepare."
As for how the the defense itself went, Line can be proud of her result!
"Well, I got my PhD degree in the end, so I guess it went alright! The opponents were really engaged in my research, which made the discussions challenging and exciting. We had excellent technical support for the digital event, so everything went smoothly and according to plan."
When asked about the overall experience Line states that it was a pleasant experience, although slightly anticlimactic.
"Preparations are less stressful with an online defense, and it is definitely possible to conduct such a ceremony without the content and scientific level being compromised. On the other hand, it would have been nice to be given the opportunity to present my work in front of friends, family and colleagues in a normal PhD defense ceremony. I would also have liked to meet the opponents in person, to get to know then better and build a stronger foundation for further collaborations. Not to mention, the pandemic also robbed me of a number of hugs and a proper PhD party, where everyone would have been invited to join me in the celebrations. For those reasons (and many more), I hope the global society manages to defeat the virus so future PhD graduates are able to conduct a normal disputation ceremony and celebrate their achievement without social distancing."
Congratulations Lina on completing your doctorate!