The decline of sea ice in the Arctic is undoubtedly one of the most striking signs of climate change, and a worrying environmental concern. Yet, Dr Nathanael Melia's research shows that this could make shipping through the Arctic a reality by the end of the 21st century, resulting in potential economic benefits.
Nathanael studied for his undergraduate degree, master's degree and PhD at Reading. The Department's world-class reputation attracted him to study here, as did the University's beautiful parkland campus.
"The more time I spent in the Department, the more I began to realise the high calibre of the lectures in a global research context – something I'm still comprehending years after finishing my PhD.
While other departments can have more of a workplace feel to them, the Department of Meteorology has a real sense of community."
Nathanael is now a research scientist and lives in New Zealand. He believes that each of his degrees prepared him in their own ways for a career in research.
"My favourite component of my BSc and MSc were my dissertations that I studied under Professor Keith Shine and Professor Ross Reynolds respectively. These were a great preparation for the style of exciting independent work involved in a PhD.
The skills learnt and the scientists that I was lucky enough to meet and work with during my PhD gave me the skills and confidence to go out into the post-PhD world."
Nathanael's interest in climate science stems from wanting to learn more about what will happen to our planet in the future. His focus on Arctic shipping began with his PhD.
"The Arctic is the fastest responding region on the planet to climate change, so that was a natural attraction. I also like to answer the 'so what, who cares?' questions, so focusing on the future of shipping through the region makes for a great story!"