Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

News from and about the wider APECS Network. If you have an article to contribute, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit via our reporting forms for APECS National Committees

APECS Chile Mentor Panel and I Annual Meeting IX Latin-American Conference of Antarctic Science 2017

APECS Chile Mentor Panel 2017 4During the IX Congress of Latin-american Antarctic Science held in Punta Arenas (CLCA, almost 300 scientist from 15 countries), APECS Chile was able to performed a Mentor Panel and our first Annual Meeting.

Three mentors were invited to the Panel: Dra. Maria Andrea Piñones Oceanographer from the center of high Latitudes research (IDEAL), which is the most important long term chilean project in Antarctic science, Dr. Ricardo Jaña, Engineer in Geography and specialized in GIS platform from the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), the main chilean government entity in Antarctic logistic and funding and Dr. Claudio González Marine Biologist from the University of Magallanes, the local university which has recently open a PhD program in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Sciences.

We advertised in our website, social media and the official site of the conference (links below) and prepared the biography of each mentor and suitable question to open the debate.

The whole activity took 40 minutes. The panelist share their experiences and how they got involved in Antarctic research. We were able to share different aspects of being an Antarctic scientist, working opportunities and discuss the importance of networking in Antarctic science. We gave them an acknowledgment award for their participation during the closing ceremony.

After the Mentor Panel, we had time to discuss the idea of APECS Chile as a formal institution, the aims as a National Committee of APECS international and how to work to incorporate more active members in order to achieve our goals. We have more than 50 people on the audience including mentors, undergraduate and graduate students from Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

APECS Chile Audiencia Mentor Panel 2017 2After a long day preparing the Panel and the annual meeting, we went to El Rustico bar, which is a nice and friendly bar in Punta Arenas. Here we ordered Pizza and beers for the members and coordinators which help us during the whole week. We enjoyed the moment and recruited more members as they were able to ask and chat more about APECS initiative after the “formal” meeting. Also, it was an opportunity to discuss with teachers and mentors about our organization and listen their feedback and comments.

In addition, the british Embassy organized a meeting-coctel to talked about possible fundings for Post-doc and early career scientist opportunities invitation that was extended to the APECS Chile members, recognizing the importance of this platform as a direct link with early career scientist. We will put together the information compiled in this meeting to make it available for students the next month.

Our second most important activity was to award the best oral and poster student presentation. We rigorously evaluate more than 200 works (two evaluators per work) and we had the collaboration of mentors and APECS members to do this (almost 10 collabs). It was a huge amount of work, but it was satisfactory to see great level of presentations and the spirit of working together. Thanks to the congress organizers, we were able to used the closing ceremony to gave the awards.

At the closing ceremony, Claudia Maturana, the president of APECS Chile, gave a speech to the audience about the main aims of this organization and how it was clear during the IX CLCA that we have enthusiastic people and we could achieve any goal that we propose with coordination and effort.

After the conference, we received lots of good comments about our activities and performance, several students and mentors are very keen to participate and motivate their students to be part of this initiative. Even Dr. Steven Chown congratulated Claudia for the active participation of APECs Chile at the conference and her speech.

Special Thanks to all the people involved who made this possible: Renato Borrás, Marely Cuba, Gustavo Chiang, Daniel Ramirez, Claudio Gómez, Claudio González, Andrea Piñones, Ricardo Jaña, Zambra Lopez, Javier Naretto, Elie Poulin, Elias Barticevic, Marcelo Leppe, Paulina Rojas, Carolina Lamas, Carlos Pineda

APECS Chile Equipo 2017 3

More information:


IASC Fellowship Program 2018

iasc webAPECS 10 year logoThe International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), invites Early Career Scientists (ECS) to apply for the IASC Fellowship Program 2018.

The IASC Fellowship Program is meant to engage ECS in the work of the IASC Working Groups (WGs): Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Marine, Social & Human, and Terrestrial. Each year, one Fellow per WG is chosen.

IASC Fellows are doctoral or postdoctoral researchers who actively participate in selected activities of the IASC WGs. Fellows are expected to contribute scientifically but also to help organize specific activities and to coordinate the reporting to the IASC Secretariat. Thus, the Fellowship Program provides the opportunity for ECSs to become involved in leading-edge scientific activities at a circumarctic and international level, to build an international network, and also to develop management skills. The level of involvement very much depends on the Fellow's interest - the more you invest, the more you get out of it!

The total duration of the IASC Fellowship Program is 1+2 years. In their first year, selected Fellows will receive travel support to attend two consecutive Arctic Science Summit Weeks (ASSWs) where the annual WG meetings are held. After the first year, Fellows have the opportunity to stay involved for up to 2 more years without dedicated funding support from IASC. Note: The travel support during the first fellowship year is the only financial remuneration for the Fellows. Salary is not included during the fellowship.

For more information please see the IASC website or contact the IASC Fellowship Coordinator Maja Lisowska (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the APECS Executive Director Gerlis Fugmann (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

For this round of applications, interested ECSs must fulfill the following criteria:

  • PhD student/candidate or postdoctoral researcher (up to 5 years past the PhD)
  • Able to commit to participating in the activities of one of an IASC WG for at least 1 year
  • Able to attend the two upcoming ASSWs: 15-18 June 2018 in Davos, Switzerland (as part of POLAR2018), and Spring 2019 in Arkhangelsk, Russia
  • Located in an IASC member country
  • Have a good command of English

How to apply:
If you are interested in this amazing opportunity then please fill out this application form. If you have problems accessing or submitting the form, please contact the APECS Executive Director Gerlis Fugmann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a Word version of the form.

Selection process:
The selection of candidates is coordinated by APECS and will be only based on the material you provide in the application form. So be as specific as possible. Applications will be reviewed according to multiple criteria including your research background and the quality of your statement of interest of why you would like to be come an IASC fellow. Top candidates will be suggested to the WG Steering Committees, who will decide on their IASC Fellow 2018.

Application deadline is Monday 20 November 2017 at 13:00 GMT. Late applications will not be considered. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of the year.

APECS Italy Workshop: Climate, humans and the environment: a lengthy history

Notte della ricerca Venezia 09 2017As part of the Venice VeneTOnight event series ‘Notte della Ricerca’ (Night of Research), taking place on September 29th, in three cities across Veneto on the same evening, APECS Italy was represented together with the University Ca’Foscari of Venice and IDPA-CNR at the ‘Climate of the Past’ stand, where researchers offered the public a glimpse of how polar research is organized. Real ice cores, a poster and a hands-on component using an artificial ice core helped to engage visitors by bringing to life the techniques used and the impacts of the data acquired when engaging in this type of polar research.

Meet APECS at Svalbard Science Conference

SSC logo horisontalAre you are attending the Svalbard Science Conference in Oslo next month, or are based nearby?

APECS has reserved a room on 6 November from 14:00 to 14:30 in the conference venue (Scandic Fornebu) so that we can meet each other!

This is a chance to meet other ECR and ask any questions you may have about APECS' activities.

Volunteer opportunities available for MEASO18

The Association of Polar  Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the organizers of the Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO18) Conference (9-13 April 2018, Hobart) are excited to announce nine volunteer opportunities relating to the MEASO18 conference, which are now available for early career researchers interested in attending the conference. The positions are well suited to those with backgrounds in marine or polar ecology, policy, or polar science. Some of the positions are open to only local early career researchers but others also open to anyone interested in applying no matter where you are located.

The following positions are available:

1) MEASO18 conference: support for theme contributions

Available positions: 4 (local or remote)

Research Background: Marine/Polar Ecology

Time commitment: October 2017-May 2018

These roles will assist with contributions to the four MEASO themes (one role for each theme). The themes are:

  1. Assessments of status and trends in habitats, species and ecosystems, and the causes of change
  2. Responses of species to changing habitats, including ocean acidification, sea ice and temperature;
  3. Modelling and analytical methods to assess status and trends; and
  4. Implementation of observing systems to estimate dynamics and change.

Specific tasks include:

  • Assist in maintaining databases of contributors
  • Assist with email contact to contributors - seeking and guiding input as appropriate
  • Assist with theme report generation

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to establish networks with working group contributors, and to be involved in workshops. Travel support to attend the MEASO18 Conference in Hobart is also available (amount TBC)


2) MEASO18 conference: support local organisation

Available positions: 2 (only local)

Research Background: Polar Science, with interest in Southern Ocean Ecosystems

Time Commitment: February 2018-April 2018

These roles will assist with local conference organisation and running tasks. The two volunteers will act as contact points, and assist with general tasks in the immediate lead up to the MEASO18 conference, and during the event.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to establish networks with conference attendees, and will have the conference registration fee waived.


3) MEASO18 Policy Forum Co-organiser

Available positions: 3 (local or remote)

Research Background: Policy and/or Conservation for Polar Environments

Time Commitment: October 2017-May 2018

These roles involve working with Professor Tony Press to coordinate the one-day Policy Forum as part of the MEASO18 conference.

Specific tasks include:

  • Contact and invite contributors
  • Plan and help coordinate the running of the day
  • Assist in generating summary outputs 

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to establish networks with working group contributors, and to be directly involved in both the policy forum and the rest of the conference. Travel support to attend the MEASO18 Conference in Hobart is also available (amount TBC)


To apply for any of these positions, please fill in the application form by 18 October 2017.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the conference, please see

APECS - EPB Webinar: The Antarctic Treaty and the protection of the environment

APECS - EPB Webinar: The Antarctic Treaty and the protection of the environment

23 October at 14 GMT

Speaker: Yves Frenot, Director, Institut polaire français Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV)

Registration Link

The Antarctic Treaty, signed in Washington on December 1, 1959, has the purpose to ensure that "in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue for ever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord". Signed in 1991, the Protocol on Environmental Protection (the Madrid Protocol) to the Treaty, designates Antarctica as “a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”. This webinar will give an overview of how the Antarctic Treaty and its Madrid Protocol work, and how the Treaty system is used to protect the Antarctic environment.

This webinar series is jointly organized by APECS and the European Polar Board (EPB)

Announcing the APECS Leadership 2017-2018

APECS 10 year logoAPECS is excited to announce that another leadership term has begun on 1 October 2017!

APECS Executive Committee 2017-2018:

APECS’ eleventh Executive Committee (ExCom) is now in place and ready to continue to shape the polar world.

  • Jilda Caccavo (University of Padua, Italy)
  • Jean Holloway (University of Ottawa, Canada)
  • Hanne Nielsen (University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Gabriela Roldán (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
  • Alex Thornton (University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States)

have been elected to form the ExCom, the main leadership body of APECS. Ruth Vingerhagen (Norway) and Alice Bradley (United States) will serve as ex-officios and support the new ExCom over the coming year. And of course, Gerlis Fugmann, the APECS Executive Director will continue to support and foster the group from the International Directorate Office in Potsdam, Germany. More information on the APECS 2017-2018 Executive Committee can be found here.

Hanne Nielsen 2017


APECS President 2017-2018:

With a new term, comes a new president, and this year Hanne Nielsen will be taking on this role. Hanne recently completed her PhD at the University of Tasmania, where she analysed representations of Antarctica in advertising material. She is a 2017 SCAR Fellow, and an active member of the SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group. Hanne has been involved in APECS leadership for the past three years, and is also a member of APECS Oceania.

More information on Hanne can be found here. 



APECS Council 2017-2018:

In 2017-2018 the APECS Council is made up of 65 very enthusiastic members from 24 countries: 

Kelsey Aho (USA), Stefano Ambroso (Spain), Atreya Basu (Canada), Liz Bowman (USA), Julie Bull (Canada), François Burgay (Italy), Emily Choy (Canada), Nicolas Champollion (Germany / Switzerland), Henrik Christiansen (Belgium), Casey Clark (USA), Matteo Luciano Contu (UK), Jennifer Cooper (USA), Jim Crowell (USA), Adrian Dahood (USA), Donovan Dennis (USA), Meagan Dewar (Australia), Denis Doronin (Russia), Clare Eayrs (United Arab Emirates), Alevtina Evgrafova (Germany/ Switzerland), Natalie Freeman (USA), Yi-Ming Gan (Belgium), Vikram Goel (Norway / India), Christel Hansen (South Africa), Laura Hobbs (UK), Juan Höfer (Chile), Bruno Ibañez (Peru), Cyril Jaksic (New Zealand), Shridhar Jawak (India), Meric Karahalil (Turkey), Hanna Maria Kauko (Norway), Amy Kirkham (USA), Nikita Kuprikov (Russia), Sasha Leidman (USA), Josefine Lenz (Germany), Arinda Mandal (India/ Germany), Sebastián Marinsek (Argentina), Claudia Maturana (Chile), Kyle Mayers (UK), Swati Nagar (India), Ozgun Oktar (Turkey), Ankit Pramanik (Norway), José Queirós (Portugal), Kabir Rasouli (Canada), Corinna Röver (Sweden), Paul Rosenbaum (France), Morgan Seag (UK), Jose Seco (Portugal / UK), Elisa Seyboth (Brazil), Grace Shephard (Norway), Neelu Singh (India), Runa Skarbø (Norway), Petr Sorokin (Russia), Kent Spiers (Canada), Sara Strey (USA), Greta Carrete Vega (Spain), David Velazquez (Spain), Florian Vidal (France), Deniz Vural (Turkey), Gary Wesche (USA), Nadya Yanakieva (Bulgaria), Sinan Yirmibesoglu (Turkey)

Additionally, TJ Young (UK), Tristy Vick-Majors (Canada), Yulia Zaika (Russia) and Scott Zolkos (Canada) remain on the Council in an ex-officio role. More information on the APECS 2017-2018 Council can be found here.

Once again, we thank the many APECS leaders that have come before us and have helped guide and foster many of those serving today! We look forward to another year with the projects that are currently underway, and continue to look for more ways that we can improve and expand this organization and assist early career polar researchers around the world.

APECS Oceania Symposium

1st APECS Oceania Symposium

"Addressing Future Antarctic Challenges from an Oceania Perspective"

  • 18th -19th September 2017
  • Monash University, Melbourne (Australia) 

Symposium Summary:

The inaugural APECS Oceania Symposium was held during Polar Week on the 18th and 19th of September 2017 at the Monash University Conference Centre, Melbourne. Twenty early career researchers (ECRs) attended the symposium in person, with at least another dozen attending remotely.

Eighteen ECRs presented their work during the symposium, with five remote presentations from ECRs in New Zealand and Tasmania. Two keynote presentations were given by Dr Gwen Fenton and Dr Aleks Terauds.

 APECS Oceania Symposium openedDr Gwen Fenton presents speaker awards

The best ECR presentation was awarded to Kara Layton from the University of Western Australia for her presentation on the diversification of parasites in gastropods (pictured above with Dr Gwen Fenton) and the runner up prize was awarded to Cyril Jaksic from Lincoln University (NZ), for his presentation on predicating the human response to extreme environments.

Three early career workshop sessions were run to help support ECRs with career advice, CV writing and optimising social media impact. The symposium was well represented on facebook and twitter, with over 100 tweets generated and the symposium hashtag #APECS17 trending on the Australian twitter. The symposium can be considered a success on all accounts.

This conference was made possible with the support of Monash University, the Australian Antarctic Division and APECS International.

ECR presentations on Day 1Future of APECS Oceania discussed

Session Overview:

Day 1

The symposium was opened by Jasmine Lee with a brief overview of APECS Oceania and a summary of the greatest challenges Antarctica faces into the future, as described by Antarctic scientists and policymakers across Oceania.

Dr Gwen Fenton, Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Division, delivered the first keynote address for the symposium. She provided an overview of the Australian Antarctic Division's 20 year Strategic plan and the level of investment Australia is making in Antarctica and Antarctic research, including the construction of the new Icebreaker which will be equipped with state of the art equipment and technology to facilitate innovative and strategic scientific research. Gwen also unveiled the new Antarctic Foundation which will provide funding for research in Antarctica for Australian Scientists. Gwen highlighted that this is an exciting time for ECRs to be involved in Antarctic science and asked for feedback on how the Antarctic Division could better support ECRs.

The following three sessions consisted of 18 presentations by early career scientists from Australia and New Zealand across a range of disciplines including psychology, social sciences, climate modelling, invasive species, parasites and microbes.

Aleks Terauds gives keynote at APECS Oceania SymposiumAPECS Oceania Symposium


Day 2

The second day began with a workshop from Prof Michael McCarthy from Melbourne University on career skills, including writing CVs, understanding and applying for both academic and non-academic jobs and tips for career progression from post-doctoral to fellowship or lecturer stage.

Dr Aleks Terauds gave the second keynote presentation for the symposium on the pathway to impact: undertaking science that can impact Antarctic policy. This was followed by a session on utilising and optimising social media by Jasmine Lee and Hanne Nielsen.

The symposium concluded with a panel session focusing on challenges facing ECRs and potential solutions. The panel consisted of Dr Aleks Terauds, Dr Gerlis Fugmann (APECS Director), Dr Helena Baird from Monash University and Hanne Nielsen, and was chaired by Dr Meagan Dewar and Jasmine Lee.

The first APECS Oceania Symposium was organised by Meagan Dewar, Jasmine Lee, Gabriela Roldan, and Hanne Nielsen.

Recordings of the sessions are avialble via vimeo:

For more on APECS Oceania activities, see,, or follow 

Thanks to our sponsors

APECS - PEI Polar Week Webinar: Kids are not your peer reviewer

PEI Webinar Polar Week KopieAPECS - PEI Polar Week Webinar: Kids are not your peer reviewer

24 September at 19:00 GMT

Speaker: Julia Dooley (Polar Educators International)

Registration Link

If a six-year old can talk about a Tyrannosaurus and describe how it differs from a Stegosaurus, they can engage with some of the big ideas in your research. You just have to remember they are not your typical science audience. Julia Dooley, President of Polar Educators International and Primary level teacher of Gifted and Talented students will share a few teacher tools, and ideas for making your classroom visits engaging, and actually a little fun.

APECS Polar Week Webinar on 23 September

APECS Polar Week Webinar: How to get involved: Insights from EPB, IASC and SCAR fellows

23 September 2017 at 13:00 GMT

Registration link


  • Joseph Nolan, Junior Policy Officer, European Polar Board (EPB)
  • Alevtina Evgrafova, 2017 Fellow, International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) 
  • Lavenia Ratnarajah, 2016 Fellow, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)
  • Jilda Caccavo, 2016 Fellow, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Whether you research phenomena in the Arctic or Antarctic, there are worldwide committees available to you. International collaboration is an integral part of polar research for early career professionals and beyond. How do you get involved? Just ask our panel! The webinar will be convened by Sara Strey form our APECS Polar Week Committee.

webinar poster



Fiona Tummon to join the APECS International Directorate as new Project Officer in October

FionaTummon photoAPECS is excited to announce that Fiona Tummon will be joining the APECS International Directorate as new Project Officer on 1 October 2017. Fiona will be based at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway and will be responsible for managing the UiT tasks focused primarily on training and outreach activities that complement APECS activities within the recently funded Horizon 2020 EU projects APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArcitC ClimATE change) and INTERACT (International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic). In addition, she will contribute to other APECS activities in the APECS International Directorate.

Fiona grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, where she completed her undergraduate education in Oceanography and Zoology. In 2007 she started a joint PhD between the University of Cape Town and the Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse-III focused on the regional climatic effects of aerosols, which she completed in 2011. Thereafter she shifted focus (and countries!), moving to Zurich, Switzerland, to work for the World Climate Research Programme’s Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC) project. There, she spent half her time doing research focused on atmospheric chemistry and the other half of her time doing work for the SPARC project office. She has extensive experience with science communication, organising scientific workshops and meetings, and coordinating international scientific research.

Fiona first joined the APECS community in 2016, inspired by a visit to the high-altitude Swiss research station at the Jungfraujoch organised by APECS Switzerland. She also has been very involved with the YESS (Young Earth System Scientists) community and hopes to provide a nice link between the two active networks.

As a participant in the recent Antarctic Circumpolar expedition, Fiona fulfilled part of a dream of going to the Antarctic (although she’s yet to make it on to the continent itself!). She’s very excited to join the APECS team and learn more about the polar regions and their importance for the global Earth system.

Welcome Fiona!

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Sponsors

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