My interest in chemistry started back home in Slovakia where I attended the chemistry programme at Comenius University in Bratislava. Following my stay in the U.K. during the gap year I applied for the Analytical Chemistry Programme at Plymouth University and in 2011 I graduated with a First Class Honours in BSc Analytical Chemistry. During my studies I was awarded the Oxford University Press Prize in 2009 and P.S. Analytical Chemistry Prize in 2010 for best performance in the Analytical Chemistry Programme.
For my dissertation project I worked with Dr Anthony Lewis studying H-branch alkanes as part of on-going research into the unresolved complex mixtures (UCM) of crude oil. The project involved synthesis, analysis and investigation of the chromatographic properties of a C19 H-branch alkane, followed by comparison of the properties with those of other structurally similar C19 H-branch isomers.
In my final year I developed a great interest for chemistry research and studying for a PhD was something I have desired to do since then. For the two years prior to joining PEGG I worked at the National Laboratory Service of the Environment Agency working on a GC-MS Target Based Screening Method. In October 2013 I started my PhD studentship funded by Plymouth University under the supervision of Professor Simon Belt and Dr Thomas Brown during which I will expand on previous work using the novel sea ice diatom biomarker IP25. I will focus on developing our understanding of the use of the IP25 sea ice proxy from a palaeo-perspective and will further develop the use of other novel proxy methods for climate reconstruction in the Arctic and Antarctic.
- Belt, S.T., Smik, L., Brown, T.A., Kim, J.-H., Rowland, S.J., Allen, C.S., Gal, J.-K., Shin, K.-H., Lee, J.I. and Taylor, K.W.R. (2016) Source identification and distribution reveals the potential of the geochemical Antarctic sea ice proxy IPSO25. Nature Communications 7:12655. [doi: 10.1038/ncomms12655].
- Cabedo-Sanz, P., Smik, L. and Belt, S.T. (2016) On the stability of various highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipids in stored sediments and sediment extracts. Organic Geochemistry 97, 74-77. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2016.04.010].
- Smik, L., Cabedo-Sanz, P., Belt, S.T. (2016) Semi-quantitative estimates of paleo Arctic sea ice concentration based on source-specific highly branched isoprenoid alkenes: A further development of the PIP25 index. Organic Geochemistry 92, 63-69. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2015.12.007].
- Smik, L., Belt, S.T., Lieser, J., Armand, L.K. and Leventer, A. (2016) Distributions of highly branched isoprenoid alkenes and other algal lipids in surface waters from East Antarctica: Further insights for biomarker-based paleo sea-ice reconstruction. Organic Geochemistry 95, 71-80. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2016.02.011].
- Belt, S.T., Cabedo-Sanz, P, Smik, L., Navarro-Rodriguez, A., Berben, S.M. P., Knies, J. and Husum, K. (2015) Identification of paleo Arctic winter sea ice limits and the marginal ice zone: Optimised biomarker-based reconstructions of late Quaternary Arctic sea ice. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 431, 127-139. [doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.09.020].
- 12th International Conference on Paleoceanography, Utrecht, Netherlands, 29 August-2 September 2016. Poster presentation: "Source Identification and Distribution Reveals Potential of the Geochemical Antarctic Sea Ice Proxy IPSO25".
- EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17-22 April 2016. Poster presentation: "Development of Source Specific Diatom Lipids Biomarkers as Antarctic Sea Ice Proxies".
- NESSC Molecular Organic Biogeochemistry course 2015, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Texel, Netherlands, 2-6 November 2015. Oral presentation: "Variation in Algal Lipid Distribution in Seasonally Sea-Ice Covered Surface Waters from East Antarctica".
- UK Arctic Science Conference 2015, Sheffield, U.K., 16-18 September 2015. Poster presentation: "Identification of Paleo Arctic Winter Sea Ice Limits and the Marginal Ice Zone: Optimised Biomarker-based Reconstructions of Late Quaternary Arctic Sea Ice".
- 6th Annual Biogeochemistry Centre Conference, National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, U.K., 17 December 2014. Oral presentation: "An Assessment of Highly Branched Isoprenoid (HBI) Alkenes as Antarctic Sea Ice Proxies".
- 25th Annual Meeting of the British Organic Geochemical Society, Liverpool John Moores Univesity, Liverpool U.K., 10-11 July 2014. Oral presentation: "A Spatial Assessment of a Di-unsaturated Highly Branched Isoprenoid (HBI) Alkene as an Antarctic Sea Ice Proxy".
- 3rd workshop of the PAGES Sea ice Proxy (SIP) working group - Sea ice proxy synthesis and data-model comparison, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany, 23-25 June 2014. Poster presentation: "A Spatial Assessment of a Di-unsaturated Highly Branched Isoprenoid (HBI) Alkene as an Antarctic Sea Ice Proxy".
- Winter School on Sea Ice Variability in the Arctic - Past and Present Conditions, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsų, Norway, 30 March-4 April 2014. Poster presentation: "Analysis of the Sea Ice Biomarker IP25 in Marine Sediments from the Barents Sea".
- 5th Annual Biogeochemistry Centre Conference, Plymouth University, Plymouth, U.K., 12 December 2013. Oral presentation: "It's Not an Ordinary Sediment! - Suitability Assessment of Sediment Material from Barrow Strait (Canadian Arctic) for Use as Reference Sediment in Analysis of Biomarker Proxy IP25".