Resort Savings & Loans PLC (RESORT.ng) HY2016 Interim Report

first_imgResort Savings & Loans PLC (RESORT.ng) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Financial sector has released it’s 2016 interim results for the half year.For more information about Resort Savings & Loans PLC (RESORT.ng) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Resort Savings & Loans PLC (RESORT.ng) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Resort Savings & Loans PLC (RESORT.ng)  2016 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileResort Savings & Loans Plc is a financial services institution in Nigeria specialising in mortgage banking products and services. The company offers personal and corporate mortgage accounts, leasing and credit facilities, property acquisition management services and fund management services. Key products include RIMPlan for those saving towards owning their own home with a Life Assurance plan as an added bonus; RIMLand for those wanting to acquire their own land; Resort Home Renovation Loan for the renovation of current properties; the National Housing Fund (NHF) Scheme targeted at low and medium individual income earners employed in the private and public sectors; and Resort Early Home Owners Account for the young adult market in the 25-40 year age bracket. Resort Savings & Loans Plc’s head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Resort Savings & Loans Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

2 FTSE 250 stocks that I think could soar like the GameStop share price in 2021

first_img2 FTSE 250 stocks that I think could soar like the GameStop share price in 2021 Enter Your Email Address The incredible news surrounding the GameStop share price has generated a surge in attention around mid-cap stocks. The short story is that the share price has risen from $20 to around $400 in one month. There are various reasons behind this incredible rise, not least the power of the retail investor.As a retail investor myself, it gets me excited to try and find other stocks that have the potential to take off this year. I want to stay closer to home, so I’ll be focusing on FTSE 250 stocks.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Impossible to replicate the GameStop share price moveThe move seen in the GameStop share price this week was an exceptional event. Therefore, I’m not claiming to be able to buy stocks that offer those gains in that timeframe. However, I am looking for higher-than-average returns.In order to try to beat the market, I’m looking at a contrarian investing strategy. That means I want to find undervalued companies, with a falling or low share price. I also want to identify stocks that are being shorted. But, buying a heavily shorted stock is risky, so I need to keep those risks top of mind.The GameStop share price had 139% of short interest earlier this week. This meant that more than all the available shares (100%) were actually being used to short the stock. This is extreme, and I don’t think it’s sensible to be this aggressive when looking for stocks that are temporarily unloved. Among the top 10 most shorted stocks in the UK are Metro Bank and Royal Mail.The main risk to me buying any of the above stocks is that the share price could fall. This fall could be sharper than with other stocks, as selling can intensify in a short time period. Even the GameStop share price experienced sharp falls in the past, before rallying higher.FTSE 250 stocks to look atMetro Bank is the most shorted stock at the moment in the UK, with short interest of 14.55%. The share price has almost halved compared to this time last year. However, I think that the share offers good value. For example, the bank recently sold £3bn of its mortgage book to NatWest Group. This offloaded debt and also boosted liquidity at the same time. The move ensured that Metro met its regulatory capital requirements, and meant that it didn’t need to raise more capital through added debt. Those are both positives. I’m still cautious about NatWest Group, though, given its accounting blunder in 2019.Royal Mail is also in the top 10 most shorted UK stocks. However, the share price isn’t under as much short interest as the GameStop share price. It’s actually up 100% in the past year. I like the stock as the transformation strategy to focus on the growing parcel sector takes shape. The cost cutting of 2,000 jobs is expected to save £130m come March, which will boost liquidity. However, I am also concerned in that it will likely report a loss for 2020. It also has risk due to the stiff competition in the delivery market.Yes, there is the risk of underperformance for both these stocks, as with any stock, but risk tolerance is very personal. Overall, I think Metro Bank and Royal Mail have the potential to surge higher this year, and I’m comfortable with their risks. Jonathan Smith | Friday, 29th January, 2021 Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. jonathansmith1 has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.center_img “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Image source: Getty Images Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. See all posts by Jonathan Smithlast_img read more

Government urged to let press visit north freely

first_img to go further Sri LankaAsia – Pacific The army organised a visit by a small group of journalists on 27 January to the northeastern port of Mullaittivu, the last town still held by the Tamil rebel organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, until it was taken by the army. Earlier this month, the defence ministry also took journalists to Killinochchi, the former LTTE capital. Ever since the army began its offensive in late 2007, the press has been banned from visiting the north, including the refugee camps there, and even permission to go to Jaffna is given very rarely. The authorities have invited some media, but they were accompanied by the army, and that prevented any contact with the Tamil population, the main victims of the conflict. News As a member of the International Press Freedom Mission, Reporters Without Borders wrote in a report released a week ago: “As the army announces an imminent victory against the LTTE, independent information about the war has been reduced to a minimum. Freedom of the press is a victim of collateral damage in the war between the government and the Tamil Tigers.” RSF_en A foreign press correspondent in Colombo told Reporters Without Borders: “We have had no access to the field of operations for a year and now the authorities refuse to give us casualty figures.” “Like the Israeli army in Gaza, the authorities in Colombo have decided to prevent media and humanitarian organisations from working freely,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Amid reports of a humanitarian tragedy and hundreds of civilian victims, it is deplorable that the Sri Lankan authorities are refusing to let the press operate freely. It is also counter-productive, as it can fuel the wildest rumours.” January 13, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders formally appeals to President Mahindra Rajapaksa to allow Sri Lankan and foreign journalists to visit the north of the country freely. It also calls for an end to the harassment and attacks on news media that refuse to support the government and a military solution. News Follow the news on Sri Lankacenter_img News Receive email alerts Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists Sri LankaAsia – Pacific January 29, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government urged to let press visit north freely Organisation Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge News July 29, 2020 Find out more July 15, 2020 Find out more Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial The International Committee of the Red Cross insists that a major humanitarian crisis is taking place in the north. At least 200,000 civilians are trapped in an area still controlled by the LTTE rebels and are in great danger. The army is using artillery and air strikes to reduce the pockets of resistance. At least 70,000 have died since the start of the civil war in 1972.last_img read more

Pro-democracy activist Jalel Brick’s Facebook profile blocked

first_img May 7, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Pro-democracy activist Jalel Brick’s Facebook profile blocked Pro-democracy activist Jalel Brick’s Facebook profile was blocked by the authorities. Anyone trying to reach the page from within Tunisia got this message: “This web page has been filtered under an order from an investigating judge attached to the Tunis Permanent Military Tribunal – Tunisian Internet Agency – © 2011.” The https version of his profile was still accessible: https://www.facebook.com/jalel.brick. RSF_en Newscenter_img Organisation Help by sharing this informationlast_img

Environmental signals in a highly resolved ice core from James Ross Island, Antarctica

first_imgThe accumulation, isotopic and chemical signals of an ice core from James Ross Island, Antarctica, are investigated for the interval from 1967 to 2008. Over this interval, comparison with station, satellite and reanalysis data allows for a detailed assessment of the environmental information preserved in the ice. Accumulation at James Ross Island is enhanced during years when the circumpolar westerlies are weak, allowing more precipitation events to reach the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula. The stable water isotope composition of the ice core has an interannual temperature dependence consistent with the spatial isotope‐temperature gradient across Antarctica, and preserves information about both summer and winter temperature variability in the region. Sea salts in the ice core are derived from open water sources in the marginal sea ice zone to the north of James Ross Island and transported to the site by strengthened northerly and westerly winds in the winter. A strong covariance with temperature means that the sea salt record may be able to be utilized, in conjunction with the isotope signal, as an indicator of winter temperature. Marine biogenic compounds in the ice core are derived from summer productivity within the sea ice zone to the south of James Ross Island. This source region may have become significant only in recent decades, when the collapse of nearby ice shelves established new sites of open water with high summer productivity. These findings provide a foundation for interpreting the environmental signals in the James Ross Island ice core, which extends though the whole Holocene and represents the oldest ice core that has been recovered from the Antarctic Peninsula region.last_img read more

Sevmash Shipyard Keeps Working on Indian Aircraft Carrier INS Vikaramaditya

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today Sevmash Shipyard Keeps Working on Indian Aircraft Carrier INS Vikaramaditya Sevmash Shipyard Keeps Working on Indian Aircraft Carrier INS Vikaramaditya View post tag: Sevmash View post tag: keeps View post tag: Aircraft Industry news View post tag: Navy November 18, 2011 View post tag: Vikaramaditya View post tag: Indiancenter_img View post tag: Naval Share this article View post tag: Carrier View post tag: shipyard View post tag: News by topic View post tag: INS View post tag: working Main propulsion system of Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya modernized at JSC Sevmash will be run soon, reports the shipyard’s press service.The second priority task of Sevmash shipyard after construction of nuclear-powered submarines is completion of Indian carrier INS Vikramaditya. By now, the ship’s main propulsion plant has been assembled and tested with steam from coastal source; mooring trials of propulsion systems are in progress as well as air-technical facilities.Hundreds of experts work on the ship every day. Trial team only of 55-th workshop – the Sevmash‘s main slipway – numbers 200 persons. To speed up and improve effectiveness of works, early in 2011 the yard’s director general changed production structure and ordered to establish temporal organization departments within the workshop, so called “assembly sections” engaged only in Vikramaditya.Number of employees was increased as well, especially direct labor personnel; all work teams are fully manned. That made possible to go into full production process. The yard has gained quite good work pace in this year and has completed all scheduled works in time. However, there is much remained to do within 1.5 months left before the end of the year. For instance, the yard must perform considerable assembling works of general-purpose systems in the carrier’s 7-th construction area. In Nov it is planned to take burner oil on board and start boilers. The task for 2012 is completion of mooring trials and beginning of sea trials in spring.Principal area of Sevmash‘s activity is defense order execution. In this year the shipyard has carried out mooring trials of two 4th-generation subs – SSBN Alexander Nevsky and SSGN Severodvinsk. Second serial Borei-class SSBN Vladimir Monomakh built in 55-th workshop undergoes full-fledged assembling of general purpose systems; experts of SPO Arktika conduct electric works. Hull of the second Yasen-class SSGN Kazan has been prepared for important phase of construction – hydraulic pressure test. Sea trials of Borei– and Yasen-class submarines are going on; trial crews have been manned in full. Only 55-th workshop delegated about 150 high-class specialists.In this year, JSC Sevmash has reached the peak of workload since the time of defense order’s avalanchine cutback in 90’s.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, November 18, 2011last_img read more

Why can’t the Christmas Spirit be alive throughout the year?

first_imgRespectfully yours,John Di Genio Dear Editor:The holiday season is here! Shoppers rush from store to store, looking for the right gift for that special someone. Yuletide cheer is alive and well. Passers-by seem more friendly than usual. Strangers are willing to lend a helping hand. Peace, love, and understanding supplant anger, hate, and intolerance. Truly, the magic of Christmas brings people closer together. However, about the second week in January, dried-out Christmas trees, Yuletide decorations, and holiday gift-wrappings are thrown away. Sadly, along with those festive trimmings go our kindness. Nasty snarls and frigid looks replace cheerful holiday greetings. A helping hand from a stranger is looked upon with suspicion. Prejudices and bigotry are rekindled. Why can’t the Christmas Spirit be alive throughout the year? The Christmas season clearly demonstrates that society can set aside its differences and live in harmony. last_img read more

Sayers uses research to boost competitiveness

first_imgNorth-west bakery chain Sayers is counting on shopper feedback to give it a competitive edge.The company has just finished an analysis of shopper behaviour with retail marketing consultancy Market Creative, which involved interviewing hundreds of customers as they left its shops, as well as competitors’ stores in the vicinity. Questions focused on how Sayers could tempt them when money was tight, as well as asking why they had chosen to visit the shop, how often they shopped there, and what they had bought.This is the second time Sayers has conducted customer behaviour research in this way; a study three years ago resulted in a company reluanch and rebrand in 2008. Sayers commercial director Mark James said the results had been enlightening. “It was very interesting to see how views have changed since the last time – then, they wanted a more traditional bakery. “It gives us a good steer, because we interview shoppers of all ages and demographics, and particularly focus on those who don’t use Sayers as their primary shop.”Customers are encouraged to take part with the lure of a free sandwich. “In these competitive times, it’s important to find out what they are saying and why they are not shopping with you,” added James. “The result will hopefully be that we get more shoppers who will spend more money with us.”>>Sayer’s strategylast_img read more

Speech: Britain has a bright future if we seize the potential of innovation

first_imgA ploughman, a lamp-lighter and a knocker-upper walk into a bar…It’s a really old joke.Because those jobs don’t exist anymore.They’re obsolete. We don’t have ploughmen, lamp-lighters, and knocker-uppers.Thanks to tractors, electric lighting and alarm clocks, you don’t have to pay someone to knock on your window to wake you up in the morning.Can you imagine what a weird job being a knocker-upper was?This debate has raged about automation for centuries, and it has been reignited because of artificial intelligence coming down the track, but it’s actually an old argument.Let’s talk the truth about technology.We need to be honest about what obsolete jobs were really like.Take mining for example. There’s a romance to the days of when men went down the pits. I come from Nottinghamshire mining stock, and I feel the proud legacy of our mining industry, and the contribution my forefathers made to making this country what it is – and the economic and political powerhouse the mining industry was.But does the romance meet the reality?I remember my grandmother told me how each of her 5 brothers, when they turned 14, were offered jobs down the pit. And I remember her telling me, very clearly, that they knew if they said yes, they’d be down there for life.They aspired to a better life. And think of it now and this generation.Would I want my children to do it?No, and I imagine every parent in the country would say the same.Because mining is difficult, dangerous, too often deadly work.And let’s not forget the environmental impact – we recently marked, celebrated, a new record in the number of hours without coal-generated energy production in Britain since the Industrial Revolution.The future is solar: high-tech, safe and clean. If we really want to improve people’s lives we need to take this lesson and apply it to our country’s future.While some only focus on the conservation of old jobs, our concern must always be the creation of better new ones.I use this poignant example of coal mining to make a point because we need to move on to the things that are bigger than Brexit.What’s mission-critical is that we create high-skilled, well-paid, secure jobs, and we equip and empower people to get those jobs.That’s how we build a Britain match-fit for the 21st century.Now, how do we do that?We need to see this in the context of what many people call the Fourth Industrial Revolution, because winning the Fourth Industrial Revolution is an economic and geo-strategic imperative.The First Industrial Revolution, the one powered by coal, saw mechanisation take over from muscle power.Britain led the world and became the richest and most powerful nation.In the Second Industrial Revolution, electricity and mass production transformed manufacturing.And Henry Ford, and the Americans, took the lead.The Third was electronics and early computers.And the Fourth is rooted in connectivity, completing the automation of straight-line routine tasks – both physical and mental – essentially leaving to us, humans, what only we can do: the complex, the creative and the caring roles.History shows us that, on average, new technology invariably creates more jobs than it disrupts. But the geography doesn’t always match. The new jobs aren’t always in the places where people live and want to be. And this is unsettling and creates profound challenges.I know this, again, because of my own family history. Two hundred years ago, we, Hancocks, were leading Luddites. My predecessor, Richard Hancock, led a 1,000 strong gang smashing up looms in Nottinghamshire.He was caught and banished to Australia, but if he was here today, I bet he’d tell you he did it because his family’s livelihood was threatened – his family were hand-weavers and the Arkwright loom was destroying his community.Now, I’m not defending Great Uncle Richard, and we Hancocks have learned a thing or 2 about how the world works, but you can’t dismiss his reasons, and how he felt, and we can’t dismiss those feelings today.Your report is absolutely right: the disruption and the opportunities of automation aren’t spread evenly across the UK.The challenge we face as a country is to ensure that Kingston-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Hull both benefit from the tech transformation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.And there’s 3 things I’d like to pick out.Skills, innovation and making sure the whole country benefits from the coming tech revolution. I’ll take each in turn.First, skills.In Britain, today, we have a skills shortage.We don’t have enough people with the right skills for the jobs that are being created by our most dynamic companies. Whether it’s the Silicon Roundabout, the Golden Triangle, or the Northern Powerhouse, employers are having to recruit from abroad to find staff with the right skills.Of course, Britain should always be open to the brightest and the best talent from the around the world – the NHS certainly is.While this past decade, we’ve increased standards in schools, the world is changing and becoming more dynamic, and our education system needs to change too.The World Economic Forum says the jobs of tomorrow are going to be the complex ones writing the code: AI and machine-learning specialists, big data specialists, automation experts, information security analysts, robotics engineers, machine interaction designers and blockchain specialists.And it’s not just tech.There’s the creative industries that Britain is already a world leader in, and as Culture Secretary I saw first-hand the enormous contribution they make to our economy, from our fashion designers to our game designers, from the National Theatre to, yes, Alex the Glastonbury rapper.And then there’s the caring professions: nurses, doctors, social work and so many services that are the very essence of what makes us human: face to face, empathetic, able to connect in a way that machines can’t and probably never will.So the complex, the creative and the caring.These are the industries where the jobs of tomorrow are going to be concentrated.To ensure we’re equipping people across the country for these new jobs we need to ensure they get the best possible start at school.We need to ensure all of our schools are properly resourced, and all of our teachers get the support they need to ensure every child can fulfil their potential.We need to ensure our universities stay world leaders, but learning shouldn’t end there.We need to change the mindset that skills are something you acquire at the start of your career and then carry with you unchanged until retirement.That’s like buying a smartphone, never updating the software and expecting it to still be working in 50 years’ time.It’s not how the modern world works. As jobs require ever greater, and ever changing, skills we must place a greater emphasis on learning how to learn.I find the Onward proposal for a Retraining Tax Credit, aimed at low-skilled workers, incredibly powerful.We have tax credits for R&D so why not for retraining?We need to encourage companies to upgrade the skill-set of their staff.So investing in people should be seen at least as attractive as investing in research and development.As someone who oversees the nation’s largest employer, I know that it’s people who make the NHS what it is. So we must always invest in our people.As skills minister, I brought in degree-level apprenticeships so we could give people an alternative route into professions like insurance, accounting and the law, if they didn’t go to university.We introduced all-age apprenticeships so you can retrain at any point in your career to get into a well-paid job, because you’re never too old to learn new skills.Retraining is vital. It’s a concept we need to embrace across society to ensure everyone has the chance for a well-paid job in the future.Second, innovation.How do we create the right conditions for innovation?Here the government’s role is, partly, to incentivise innovation in the private sector, and directly to support innovation across the board.Let’s just pick one example: the NHS.Since I became Health Secretary, I’ve “axed the fax”, “purged the pager” and made the tech inside the NHS look more like the tech everyone in the outside world uses in 2019.But the tech of tomorrow isn’t something that can be driven from the top – centralised, hierarchical systems are incompatible with rapid innovation, because they assume that the boss has all the answers, when the truth is, we don’t even know what all the questions will be in the future.NHSX, our new specialist tech outfit, officially launches today, and it will take the same approach to innovation that Apple and Google do.NHSX is going to make the NHS a platform for innovation.It will radically simplify the system for developers and NHS decision-makers.NHSX will set national policy, national standards, and ensure systems can talk to each other.But it will open the door to new ideas and new people, help create a diversity of thought, by constantly welcoming innovators with an outward-looking approach.The NHS, historically, has been too closed to innovation from outside – partly that is because new tech has driven up costs, but digital tech can save costs, and make money go further.What it requires is a completely different approach to innovation. Not the 10-year cycle of creating and testing a drug, which rightly adheres to the precautionary principle, but trying things out, learning as we go along, iterative development.That’s how you innovate. That’s how you achieve excellence.So the role of government is to set the mission and ensure we have the right architecture in place: the right conditions to attract the best global firms, and support British innovators – a way in for the best international talent, and a way up for British people to get the skills and training they need.But we must go further. The real challenge of our times, as your report nails it, “is how we fix the gap between the headline statistics and the lived reality for people.”How we humanise the statistics.How we ensure work always pays.And how we stand up for capitalism and liberal democracy as 2 of the greatest innovations in the history of humanity.So the third, and final, thing I’d like to talk about is making sure the whole country benefits from our growing economy.One of the causes of Brexit was the dislocation in this country between those areas, predominantly cities, that are flying high, where a generation of growth, of attracting younger people and of increased diversity and dynamism has separated our cities from their hinterland.British cities today are more open, liberal and outward-looking than ever before. It’s true of London, but it’s true of our other big cities too.For half a century, during deindustrialisation, major British cities, outside of London, became relatively poorer than most of Britain. This isn’t the case in other countries.But that trend is reversing in Britain, as our cities are becoming richer and younger, and creating the high-paid tech-enabled jobs of the future.A generation ago, the average age of people living in urban areas matched those of rural areas.Now the average age of Britain’s biggest cities is almost a decade younger than in rural areas.It’s driven by many factors.One is 50% of young people go to university.And aspirational young people often leave rural areas for the cities.And here is a conundrum for conservatives: we support aspiration. I support aspiration. The aspiration for all people to reach their potential.But what happens if all the aspirational people were to leave a community?What if that is especially true of aspirational young people?We need to be aspirational not just for individuals but for entire communities.The purpose of a town is to be somewhere it’s easy to live and have a good life: easy childcare and good schools, local businesses providing great services, good connectivity both physical and digital, thriving high streets, high-quality owner-occupied family homes and the support of great NHS and social care.We have brilliant towns in Britain, and we have some of the most beautiful villages in the world – but not all of them are brilliant. Many haven’t seen the benefits of the strong economy we now have.We haven’t done enough to make whole communities aspirational rather than just helping aspirational people move.So skills, innovation and aspiration for every community.Now more than ever, this matters. We will deliver on Brexit. And we will move forward.But to do this – and for Britain to succeed after Brexit – we need to harness it and drive it right across the country. We need to harness the great potential of this technological innovation for every single person.We must be bold and brave after Brexit.We can be ambitious and aspirational.But we must be for the whole country and leave no one behind.Britain is a union, of nations, of cities, towns, and villages, and each part, each one of us, has a contribution to make to the future of this country.Each person has value to give.So we must invest in skills and training.We must spur innovation and embrace new technologies – as we’re doing in the NHS.And above all, we must ensure everyone shares in the success of this great country.That’s how we make a success of Brexit Britain.last_img read more

Surrendering their secrets

first_imgAnn Pearson is a chemical sleuth, tracking traces of ancient life and environments through the chemical fingerprints they left behind.Pearson, a professor of biogeochemistry in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, initially thought she would become a biologist before she became enamored with chemistry as an undergraduate at Oberlin College. She made the shift, but remains involved in both disciplines today, as she wields the tools of chemistry to look back at biological systems and environments from millions of years ago.Pearson’s favored tools are isotopes, which are heavier or lighter versions of elements — such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen — that are important in living systems. Ordinary carbon is known as carbon-12, because it has six protons and six neutrons in its nucleus. Carbon-13, with six protons and seven neutrons, is heavier and rarer, but still common enough to be regularly detected and measured by scientists.In her work, Pearson uses the ratio between different isotopes in lipids, proteins, and whole cells to infer things about ancient life. In a recent project conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois, for example, she examined the carbon isotopes in ancient grass pollen to learn more about the environment in which they grew. Grasses that grow in hotter, dryer environments take up carbon isotopes in different ratios than those in cooler, moister environments, Pearson said.Pearson’s main area of research doesn’t involve ancient grasses, however. It involves microbes living in the seabed, and it examines their chemical composition for clues about the oceanic environment in which they lived. Because the chemical elements inside those microbes come from what they consume, Pearson says her work employs an unusual strategy to understand ancient life and ecosystems.“We use the ‘you are what you eat’ philosophy for microbes,” Pearson said. “In the end, what that does is provide windows into the past climate — not temperature directly, but more like reconstructing ecosystems that lived in warm or nutrient-rich environments versus ecosystems in very cool and low biological productivity situations. I suppose you could say we try to understand the microbial contributions to modern and ancient ecosystems.”One such project probes the Mediterranean Sea over the last 150,000 years. At various times, Pearson said, the Mediterranean has been dominated by large freshwater inflows from the Nile River at one end or large saltwater inflows from the Atlantic Ocean at the other. Pearson and graduate student Meytal Higgins examined the interplay between these two flows and how they affected life in the sea by studying the isotopes nitrogen-14 and nitrogen-15.Pearson learned much about biology early and firsthand, on her family’s farm on the San Juan Islands of northwest Washington state. Every evening she milked the goats and collected eggs from the chickens. The daughter of the town accountant and the middle school science teacher, Pearson tore through the tiny island high school’s curriculum, leaving a year early at age 16 because she’d already taken all of the courses in core subjects that the school offered.So, with the blessing of her parents, Pearson started her freshman year at Oberlin. She had intended to major in biology, but she liked her freshman chemistry class so much, she moved into that field.“I liked chemistry because it was very well-defined in terms of being quantitative and having clear-cut problems with definite solutions,” Pearson said. “I found it to be rewarding rather than challenging.”After graduating with a chemistry degree in 1992, Pearson joined the Peace Corps, drawing on her family farm experience to work as an agricultural volunteer with sheep ranchers high in Ecuador’s mountains. She recalled applying for graduate school from her chilly house two miles above sea level.On her return, she entered the oceanography program run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. After a brief postdoctoral fellowship at Woods Hole, Pearson came to Harvard as an assistant professor in 2001.Pearson is the 2009–10 Radcliffe Alumnae Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her project is titled “Investigating the Deep Biosphere.”last_img read more