Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


The SCAR Open Science Conference and Biennial Meetings 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (20 - 30 August 2016) attracted nearly 1000 Antarctic researchers and managers from around the world. To acknowledge the outstanding presentations (oral and poster) given by the many early career researchers, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) awarded prizes for the best oral and poster presentations by region and one each for the best overall.

The Award Organizing Committee (Heike Link, Johanna Grabow, Gerlis Fugmann and Jenny Baeseman) would like to especially thank the many conveners and conference participants that helped with the judging for those awards!!!

Congratulations to the recipients are listed below:


  • Best Overall Early Career Oral Presentation: Theresa King (University of South Florida, United States) - Mid-20th century intrusion of Circumpolar Deep Water on Ross Sea and Wilkes Land continental margins evidenced by stylaster-coral isotopic signals.
  • Best Overall Early Career Poster Presentation: Francyne Elias-Piera (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) - E-learning course on the Antarctic environment: An interdisciplinary and collaborative production

ASIAN Region:

  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Wee Cheah (Academia Sinica, Taiwan) - The role of mixing and silicate in regulating phytoplankton community structure in the iron-limited Antarctic Polar Front
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Abiramy Krishnan (University of Malaya, Malaysia) - Influence of temperature on amylase and cellulase activity from polar and tropical soil microfungi
  • Best Early Career Poster: Shridhar Jawak (National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, India) - Empirical modelling of bathymetry of Antarctic lakes using high-resolution multispectral imagery


  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Jean Loock (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) - The seasonal distribution and controls of bioactive trace elements cadmium and cobalt in the southern ocean, Atlantic sector.
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Trevor McIntyre (University of Pretoria, South Africa) - Long-term niche fidelity in southern elephant seals: Do individuals display unique foraging strategies?
  • Best Early Career Poster: Ryan Cloete (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) - The distribution and controls of bioactive trace elements (Cu and Zn) in the Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean.


  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Taryn Noble (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Australia) - Testing the ice-ocean feedback mechanism: Reliable extraction of proxy data from surface sediments on the East Antarctic margin.
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Hanne Nielsen (University of Tasmania, Australia) - Hoofprints in Antarctica: The significance of Byrd’s polar dairy.
  • Best Early Career Poster: Diana King (University of Wollongong, Australia) - Semi-automated Antarctic vegetation monitoring using digital photography


  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Muhammed Jeofry (Imperial College London, United Kingdom) - Geophysical investigations of the subglacial embayment in the Institute Ice Stream of West Antarctica
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: George Roth (Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway) - Quantarctica 3.0: A Cross-Platform, Full-Featured Open GIS for Antarctic Research
  • Best Early Career Poster: Rachel Downey (Senckenberg Natural History Museum and Research Institute, Germany) - Biogeographic review of carnivorous sponges in the Southern Ocean


  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Cassandra Brooks (Stanford University, United States) - Competing values and political complexity in the Southern Ocean: CCAMLR and the challenge of marine protected areas
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Michelle Shero (University of Alaska - Anchorage, United States) - Do Weddell seals “freeze” pregnancy? Intra-specific variation in gestation of a top Antarctic predator
  • Best Early Career Poster: Jade Lawrence (Louisiana State University, United States) - Subsurface hypersaline brine discharge from Taylor Glacier into Lake Bonney at depth


  • 1st Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Camila Signori (University of São Paulo, Brazil) - Assessing the impact of climate change on microbial diversity across environmental gradients in the southern ocean
  • 2nd Place Early Career Oral Presentation: Claudio Rivas (Austral University of Chile, Chile) - Stress response in Chlorella sp. isolated from snow community in King George Island
  • Best Early Career Poster: Patricia Saez (University of Concepción, Chile) - Diffusive and biochemical limitations to photosynthesis in Antarctic plants from two populations in Antarctica

The Co-Chair of the Conference Sciencific Organizing Committee, Irene Schloss, presented recipients with a certificate and a copy of “Polar Science and Global Climate: An International Resource for Education and Outreach” at the Closing Ceremony hosted by Dato’ Dr. Mohd Azhar Bin Hj. Yahaya, Secretary General, Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation. Oral and poster presentations were judged in 3 categories: scientific content, quality of presentation and capacity to contribute with the research to the session and a broader context.

CONGRATULATIONS to all recipients and we hope to see you in two years at the POLAR 2018 Conference in Davos, Switzerland!

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