We are very happy to be hosting two excellent student interns joining us at the Iceland Ocean Cluster this semester, Gurpinder and Ellen.  This is such a great opportunity for students to connect with the blue economy and the entrepreneurial community and to get involved with our ongoing research projects and for the Iceland Ocean Cluster to learn from new skill sets and perspectives, bringing fresh eyes to the team.  If you are interested in joining us as a student intern, get in contact at oceancluster@oceancluster.is.

Gurpinder is a computational biology doctoral candidate from John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, working with Iceland Ocean Cluster as part of his Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) placement. As part of his PhD he is working to decode the underlying gene regulatory networks behind floral transition in oilseeds. He uses machine learning, mathematical modelling and systems biology approaches in his research. He is working as part of the research and innovation team here at Iceland Ocean Cluster, within the 100% fish project. He has also been involved with designing The Iceland Eco-Business Park’s shiny new website.

“I decided to join Iceland Ocean Cluster because it is something completely different from what I am doing in my PhD. I am enjoying working as part of a small team – I like that the workplace is dynamic and no two days are similar in terms of skills that I get to learn.”

While not at work, he is out exploring the beautiful Icelandic nature and listening to rímur – traditional Icelandic poetry.

Ellen is an undergraduate student pursuing her B.A. in Marine Affairs at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida where she studies the interrelation between marine resources and society. As a part of her studies, she also studies entrepreneurship, sustainable business, and climate science/policy. Currently, she is an exchange student at Háskóli Íslands. As the semester comes to an end, she has begun to work with Iceland Ocean Cluster as a part of the research and innovation team, primarily focused on two projects which center around a marine co-location hackathon and a salmon farming sludge project.

“Three years ago, I completed a project with Iceland Ocean Cluster during which I was focused on a marine debris cleanup project, where I investigated the differences in marine debris on the coasts of Iceland and the United States. When I chose Iceland as the location for my exchange semester, I knew I wanted to work on another project with Iceland Ocean Cluster. There are infinite opportunities to learn from the team – about sustainability, business, natural resources, and entrepreneurship – as well as essential skills, such as collaboration and innovation – all of which I hope to incorporate into my future career.”

When she is not at Háskóli Íslands or Iceland Ocean Cluster, Ellen enjoys traveling throughout Iceland and taking in the stunning scenery. Her favorite part of Iceland thus far has been the southern coast.