2023 was a busy year for Koketso (ESR14). The year kicked off with the month-long GMOS-Train Modeling Winter School & Hackathon organized by Dr. Johannes Bieser from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. The event was hosted mostly in Hamburg, Germany, which she currently calls home.  The fellow ESRs Alkuin (ESR1), Natalia (ESR4), Alina (ESR5), Isabel (ESR6), Sonja (ESR7), Charlotte (ESR8), and (fellow Hereon colleague) David (ESR13) attended the event as well.

Koketso got to meet some of her fellow ESRs again in September at the GMOS-Train meeting in Nantes, France, hosted by IFREMER.

In November, Koketso was back in France, this time in Grenoble, for her second secondment at L’Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement (IGE), Université Grenoble Alpes. At the secondment, in addition to her co-supervisor Prof.  Aurélien Dommergue, Koketso had the opportunity to engage with mercury researchers Dr. Hélène Angot from IGE as well as Prof. Jenny Fisher who was visiting IGE from the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Australia.

Conveniently, the secondment took place just before the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) in Geneva, Switzerland (only a 2-hour bus ride to Grenoble!). Koketso was part of the GMOS-Train team, together with Prof. Milena Horvat, Dr. Oleg Travnikov, and Dr. Johannes Bieser, and fellow ESRs Sreekanth (ESR2), Isabel (ESR6) and Sonja (ESR7), that presented the GMOS-Train project at the COP5. At the meeting, Koketso also got to once again meet fellow South African mercury researcher, Dr. Lynwill Martin, who is organising the 16th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP). The ICMGP will be hosted in Cape Town (for the first time in Africa!) in July later this year, and Koketso’s abstract was recently accepted. Not only will this be a great opportunity to interact with fellow mercury researchers from across the globe, but she will also get to visit her home country after nearly two years away!

Koketso is presenting WP6 of GMOS-Train at the COP-5, Geneva, Switzerland, 3 November 2023. Photo credit: Minamata Convention.