Dr R. Middag is a lecturer in Chemical Oceanography for the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He received the Heineken Young Scientists Award for Environmental Sciences 2014 for his highly productive research into trace metals in the world’s oceans.
Biologist Rob Middag obtained his PhD at the University of Groningen in 2010 for his research into the impact of two trace elements (aluminium and manganese) on oceanic algae growth. He carried out his research at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) at Den Hoorn (Netherlands).
Middag subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California before moving to a world-class oceanography institute in New Zealand. His field expeditions have quadrupled the global body of data on oceanic trace elements in just a few years.

‘My ultimate dream is to analyse the entire composition of ocean water, including substances that are present only in very minute concentrations, and then be able to unravel the interactions between all these components.’