Blake ambassadorship for Otago uni student

Millie Mannering
Millie Mannering
A Dunedin teenager is packing her bags for a 16-day Caribbean and Atlantic voyage onboard Sir Peter Blake's research schooner Tara after winning a Blake Ambassadorship.

Otago University bachelor of science student Millie Mannering (19) has been selected from more than 100 applicants to travel from Panama to New York as part of a science expedition led by Tara Expeditions Foundation and supported by Niwa.

Wellington-based programme manager Emily Wilson (25) is the other New Zealander selected.

The pair will join the French crew and an international collaboration of scientists on September 2 to start conducting ocean biodiversity research on board Tara (formerly Seamaster), including sample collection to determine water quality and plankton diversity.

James Gibson, chief executive of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, said the voyage would be a life-changing experience for Miss Mannering and Miss Wilson.

``Being onboard Tara and contributing to research that answers some of our most important scientific questions will be an incredible experience for them both.''

The Blake Ambassadors, aged 18-25 years, work alongside scientists, conservators and rangers, developing relationships and partnerships in their field of interest and experiencing the practical elements of their field of study.

Miss Mannering said she was ``humbled and extremely proud'' to be selected as one of 14 Blake Tara Ambassadors to be chosen in 2018.

``I am very excited to be involved in this important research and to understand how best to protect our fragile oceans, which are in critical need of help.''

She planned to continue on to postgraduate study in 2019, with particular focus on marine conservation.


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