Student Awards

GeoHab’s Ron McDowell Student Support Award

Each year the organizing committee of the GeoHab conference awards a small number of travel grants to selected students to attend and present at the conference. The award in named in honor of the late Ron McDowell, a good friend, and supporter of GeoHab. The award comprises an amount towards costs of travel and accommodation, plus a waiver of the conference registration fee.


Applications for the student scholarship should not exceed four pages and must include the following information:

Pages 1 & 2
Your brief curriculum vitae, specifying:

a) type of degree (Ph.D., MSc, BSc) being undertaken
b) title of thesis (if applicable)
c) name of the University
d) name of supervisor
e) intended date of completion of degree
f) the estimated cost of a return trip from the place of residence to the conference venue (cheapest available economy airfare)

Page 3
Covering letter, stating the motivation for applying and foreseen benefit of participating in the GeoHab conference (limit 1 page; less than 400 words).

Page 4
Abstract of the presentation to be given at GeoHab if successful (Title, authors, affiliation, text of abstract. Please follow Abstract template, refer to Conference website).

Optional Page 5
A letter of recommendation from your advisor is desirable, but not necessary.


Rules for entering GeoHab’s Ron McDowell Student Award:

Rule 1
The GeoHab Ron McDowell Student Support Award is intended to cover/contribute costs of airfare and accommodation to allow the student to attend the annual GeoHab conference. Based on funds available and the merit of the application, the amount awarded to each student will be determined by the student scholarship selection committee. Some students may receive full funding, others partial funding.

Rule 2
Students will be notified individually of the amounts awarded to them. Payment of the award will occur at the GeoHab conference in the form of reimbursement, based on receipts for airfare, plus an amount towards accommodation costs.

Rule 3
Students will be reimbursed only for what they spend – if the airfare costs less than estimated they will be reimbursed only up to the amount spent on the airfare. If the airfare costs more than the amount of the award, students have to pay the extra amount.

Rule 4
The sum awarded for accommodation will be based on the cheapest accommodation option available, as given on the GeoHab conference website.

Rule 5
Students are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements, reservations and bookings.

Rule 6
At the GeoHab conference, the student must present their work in person. It is not acceptable for the student’s supervisor or fellow students to deliver the presentation on their behalf. For fully funded students this must be an oral presentation. For partially funded students, this will be oral/poster at the discretion of the organizing committee.

Rule 7
If for any reason the student is not able to travel or is unable to present their work in person, the award will not be given. Students should, therefore, ensure they have suitable travel insurance to cover their costs if they have to cancel (e.g., in the event of illness, etc.).

Rule 8
Students must register online for the GeoHab conference. No registration fee is required for any student in receipt of a GeoHab Ron McDowellStudent Support Award.

Rule 9
The award does not cover the cost of optional field trips or other conference activities that are not covered in the normal registration fee.

Rule 10
The student grant committee will evaluate the applications and make a decision usually by early-February, in time for submission of the final abstract and registration.

Rule 11
Students from the region where the previous GeoHab conference was held are given priority. However, all students are welcome to apply.

Rule 12
The contact for the conference and other information on GeoHab are available on

Rule 13
Applications must be emailed in PDF or MS Word format to the person specified on the conference website.


Recent Winners of GeoHab’s Ron McDowell Student Award:

2023 - La Réunion, France

Lilian Boehringer (Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany)
Catherine Brenan (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Israel John Bunyan (Université de Toliara, Madagascar)
Bea Lynn Combs-Hintze (University of South Florida, USA)
Matteo Contini (IFREMER, La Réunion, France)
Fabio Di Giovanna (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy)
Alysha Johnson (University of Wollongong, Australia)
Aaron B. Judah (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Yves Amoros Mitondrasoa (Université de Toliara, Madagascar)
Thamsanqa Wanda (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa)

2022 - Venice, Italy
2019 - St. Petersburg Russia

Gabriella Aleixo (Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, Brazil)
Brittany Curtis (Nova Scotia Community College, Canada)
Kyle Emery (University of California Santa Barbara, USA)
Ryan Freedman (University of California Santa Barbara, USA)
Timo Gaida (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Madeline Glover (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Natacha Oliveira (Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, Brazil)
Tabitha Pearman (University of Southampton, UK)
Leonardo Tamborrino (University of Bremen, Germany)

2018 - Santa Barbara, California, USA
Sarah De Mendonça, Dalhousie University, Canada
Katherine Egan, University of the Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands
Vanessa Fontes, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Laura Kaikkonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Ana Lavagnino, Unoversidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil
Alexandra Nyman, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Talicia Pillay, Nelwson Mandela University, South Africa
Peter Porskamp, Deakin University, Australia
Beatrice Proudfoot, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Inken Schulze, Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research (IOW), Rostock, Germany [R2Sonic]

2017 - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada

Karen Boswarva (Scottish Association for Marine Science, UK)
Luca Fallati (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy)
Jonathan Hendry (National Oceanography Centre, UK)
Leo Koop (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Paula Lightfoot (Newcastle University School of Marine Science and Technology, UK)
Tabitha Pearman (National Oceanography Centre, UK)
David Price (National Oceanography Centre, UK)
Tom Rossiter (National University of Ireland Galway and the Marine Institute)
Elina Virtanen (Finnish Environment Institute, Finland)

2016 - Winchester, UK
Agno Assis
Romina Vanessa Barbosa
Stefano Fogarin
Vincent Lecours
Ben Misiuk
Jessica Tadhunter
2015 - Salvador, Brazil
Whitney Goodell
Mariana Leon Perez
Michelle Linklater
Lissette Victorero
Matthew Rees
Maria Cristina Prampolini
Kirstin Meyer
Lucasz Janowski – R2 Sonic
2014 - Lorne, Australia
Rachel E. Boschen
Alexandra Davis
Massimo Di Stefano
Aaron Lim
Martina Pierdomenico
Katleen Robert
Paula A. Zapata-Ramirez

Fees waived:
Jennifer Durden

2013 - Rome, Italy
Sophie Barton
Myriam Lacharité
Alix Laferriere
Mary A. Young

Fees waived:
Jess Hillman
Vincent Lecours
Michelle Linklater
Bryony Pearce