Congratulations to my new PhD student Seb Pitman,  who was awarded the prize for the best presentation by a first year PhD student at the Postgraduate Research in Marine and Earth Science Conference, held at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton in November 2013. This conference is primarily aimed at PhD and early-career researchers in a broad range of earth and marine disciplines, providing a platform to practice presentation skills and poster production. The event was a huge success with 80 delegates from a range of institutions, key note speakers from the University of Cambridge and Durham University, and industry representation in the form of Gardline Ltd.

Seb Pitman gave a presentation on the formation, persistence and spacing of rip currents. The talk outlined the basic form of rip currents and the great hazard they pose to casual and recreational users of the coastal zone, as well as the likely direction the PhD project will take. Seb’s research is a collaboration between the University of Southampton (Shari Gallop, myself, Sasan Mahmoodi), Plymouth University (Gerd Masselink), and UNESCO-IHE (Roshanka Ranasinghe). His research aims to create an automated method of detecting rip currents from video imagery to generate quantitative data sets from sites around the world.