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About APECS

IPY-OSC Francisco Fernandoy-46
APECS is an international and interdisciplinary organization for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, early faculty members, educators and others with interests in Polar Regions and the wider cryosphere. Our aims are to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations, and develop effective future leaders in polar research, education and outreach. We seek to achieve these aims by:
  • Facilitating international and interdisciplinary networking to share ideas and experiences and to develop new research directions and collaborations;
  • Providing opportunities for professional career development; and
  • Promoting education and outreach as an integral component of polar research and to stimulate future generations of polar researchers.

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lauramckinnonUniversité du Québec à Rimouksi

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of biology at the Université du Québec à Rimouksi. My research interests lie in the fields of ecology, evolution and behavioural biology. I am particularly interested in the evolution of mating systems and migration in Arctic-nesting birds. During my Master's degree at Michigan State University, I combined behavioural observations and genetic markers to study kin-based female social structure in Arctic-nesting Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) under the supervision of Dr. Grant Gilchrist (CWS/Carleton Unversity) and Dr. Kim T. Scribner (Michigan State University). As a Ph.D. student at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, under the supervision of Dr. Joël Bêty, I have combined multi-site observational and experimental techniques in the field to study the effects of trophic interactions (predation, food availability) on the reproductive ecology of Arctic-nesting insectivores (shorebirds and songbirds). My ultimate professional goal is to generate interesting hypotheses and produce high quality results that will contribute to the conservation of Arctic wildlife.

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Featured Member

ChristieWoodClark University, Massachusetts, USA

I am a graduate student in the Geography department at Clark University in the United States. I work with Professor Karen Frey as part of her newly formed Polar Science Research Lab. I am interested in how variations in climate impact the Arctic marine system. In particular, I am looking at how changes in Arctic sea ice affect the ecology and biogeochemistry of the Arctic Ocean. My dissertation research focuses on understanding the impacts of sea ice decline in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas on the dynamics of dissolved organic matter, which plays an important role in the marine ecosystem as both a carbon source for the microbial food web and as an inhibitor of light. This work is carried out through a combination of field measurements (as part of NASA’s ICESCAPE mission), lab experiments, and satellite remote sensing observations.

Prior to working at Clark, I earned two bachelors degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The first was in mathematics and the second was in earth, atmospheric and planetary science. After that, I completed a master’s degree in physical oceanography in the joint program between MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

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