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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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Kristen_GormanSimon Fraser University, Canada

Kristen Gorman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University. Kristen has conducted ecological research since 1994, primarily focusing on birds. Her field experience ranges from the forests of tropical Australia, New England and the Rocky Mountains, to coastal-marine systems of the Pacific Northwest including Alaska, and the western Antarctic Peninsula. She is especially interested in global change biology, high latitude ecosystems, evolutionary ecology and physiology. Her MSc research involved extensive fieldwork at a US Geological Survey field camp located on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, western Alaska, which resulted in 4 scientific publications on the reproductive energetics of female greater scaup.

Kristen’s dissertation, in collaboration with the Palmer Station, Antarctica, Long-Term Ecological Research Program, US National Science Foundation, is examining nutritional and physiological correlates of variation in breeding performance by three closely related species of penguin (genus Pygoscelis) demonstrating pole-ward shifts in breeding bio-geographic range in response to regional climate warming throughout the Scotia Arc and Antarctic Peninsula. She also is developing a population genetics component to her dissertation that will use microsatellite genetic markers to provide a quantitative understanding of the relative importance of demographic parameters (fitness versus dispersal) in driving observed shifts in Pygoscelis breeding range.

Kristen has deployed on 8 expeditions to the Antarctic since 2005, and has published 10 scientific manuscripts on the nutritional ecology, evolutionary physiology, and life histories of birds. She has won research and scholarship awards through the American Ornithologists’ Union, Explorers Club, American Museum of Natural History, Anne Vallée Ecological Fund, Antarctic Science Ltd, and Simon Fraser University. She has served as a peer-reviewer for scientific journals such as Journal of Avian Biology, Marine Ecology-Progress Series, Biology Letters, Waterbirds, and the Journal of Animal Ecology. Kristen is the current graduate student representative to the US LTER network for her Antarctic research group and was co-organizer of the seminar series, Les Ecologistes, at Simon Fraser University (2010/11). She is a passionate trail runner, rock climber, backcountry skier, and surfer. These outdoor pursuits have been key in her continued experiential learning and in leading a balanced life style. She also is particularly fond of her dog, Yugi.

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