Ocean scientist Charitha Bandula Pattiaratchi was awarded the 2024 The Oceanography Society Mentoring Award for excellence and/or innovation in mentoring the next generation of ocean scientists.The citation read: “For the extraordinary mentoring of students and early career marine scientists in developed and undeveloped nations”.
Professor Pattiatachi’s research encompass coastal ocean physical processes and their influence on climatic, biological, and geological processes in estuaries, the nearshore (beach) zone, and the continental shelf region. He uses field measurements, remote sensing, and computer modelling as the tools of research. He has supervised 70 postgraduate research students and 20 post-doctoral researchers. He has published over 500 articles which include more than 200 in peer-reviewed international journals.
Wave after wave of accolades continues to sweep over Professor Charitha Bandula Pattiaratchi as he is named the 2024 recipient of The Oceanography Society’s (TOS) Mentoring Award. This recognition is a testament to his exceptional record in mentoring students and fledgling scientists in the nuanced field of coastal oceanography.
An Academic Beacon
Throughout his illustrious career, Pattiaratchi has navigated the complex waters of coastal oceanography, leaving significant landmarks in his wake. His contribution to the development of a globally recognized research and training program at The University of Western Australia is unparalleled. A testament to these efforts is the staggering number of dissertations he has directly supervised – a grand total of 277. Further, he has extended his guiding hand to over 300 individuals, helping shape their academic and professional paths.
Leading from the Front
Presently, Pattiaratchi holds the distinguished title of Professor of Coastal Oceanography at The University of Western Australia. In addition to this, he helms the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) Ocean Glider facility, orchestrating its operations and setting its strategic direction. His academic credentials are equally impressive, boasting a BSc in Oceanography and Applied Mathematics, an MSc, and a PhD in Coastal Oceanography from the esteemed University College of Swansea. His academic journey culminated in a postdoctoral fellowship in Oceanography.
The TOS Mentoring Award and Its Significance
The TOS Mentoring Award, which Pattiaratchi will formally receive at the Oceanography Society’s Honors Breakfast on February 21, 2024, during the Ocean Sciences Meeting, is awarded every two years to individuals who demonstrate excellence in mentoring. The award also acknowledges those who promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and growth in ocean science. The Oceanography Society, founded in 1988, firmly believes in advancing oceanographic research, technology, and education. It also emphasizes the importance of promoting understanding across the discipline and engaging a diverse membership globally. Professor Pattiaratchi’s recognition by this esteemed body is a testament to his unyielding commitment to the field of coastal oceanography and his dedication to nurturing the next generation of ocean scientists.