Thapelo obtained his MSc in Analytical Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2021. He then joined SOCCO as a PhD student intern in 2022. He focuses on the physical speciation of iron and manganese from land mass effects, in the vicinity of the Gough and Marion Islands. This is coupled with a 1D Box model which compares the land mass effects to open ocean environments. His research aims to feed into trace metal biogeochemical models by providing important observational data on the sources and sinks of trace metals from land mass effects. He has received expertise in hands-on training at the GEOTRACES summer school in Germany (2022) for sample analysis, interpretation, and modelling.