Andrew Fidler is trained as a refrigeration engineer, but he’s also #ScienceHusband to Dr Jennifer Lavers. If there’s one thing Adrift Lab team members have learned, it’s that behind every good scientist (most?), is a qualified tradie! Over the years, Andrew has volunteered his time on countless research projects, sorting thousands of tiny pieces of plastic debris, being bitten by angry seabirds, carrying heavy gear on remote islands, operating the drone, and driving boats.
The team is grateful for his contributions, especially when he quite literally saves the day! More than once, Andrew’s background in electronics has been put to work fixing everything from irreplaceable toasters custom made to fit our research vessel, to the portable centrifuge (which Andrew calls the ‘spinny science thing’) which broke but was urgently needed to process bird blood samples. When we travel to remote areas, like Lord Howe Island and regional Western Australia, we often trade access to accommodation in exchange for Andrew repairing a fridge or freezer – his willingness to fix just about anything has saved the research program thousands and made dozens of local residents very happy.
Most recently, Jennifer and Alex were struggling to find a reliable way to deploy temperature loggers in beach sediment. Not to worry – Andrew to the rescue! A saw, drill bits, and a few cable ties later and the research project was safely on its way.