Professor Josephine Arendt
I first met Jo in a pub opposite St Mary’s Hospital over a pint after a lunch time talk. I had joined the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and there was an idea to study melatonin secretion during the Antarctic year. As a young medic I had the opportunity to do some research and Jo was very enthusiastic and supportive of this – and of me! We designed a study to measure the secretion in spring, summer (sun did not set), autumn and winter (continuous darkness) and to expose half the subjects to sunlight simulating light after the winter sampling. It was an ambitious project and I returned to Surrey with 1500 samples. Jo and her team taught me – having never really worked in a lab and certainly never having undertaken, the radio immuno assay technique – what confidence she must have had in me. We showed that we could shift the secretion pattern from winter to summer by light exposure. This was the start of a long collaboration with the BAS culminating in her being able to visit the base to see where her studies had taken place.
Jo was such a lovely person, hugely knowlegable about so many subjects, a wonderful mentor, a lover of good food and wine, a wonderful host, an inspiration, and she became a good friend. I never did submit a thesis but the papers we produced enhanced my CV to enable me to progress my career. The world will be a poorer place now she has gone.