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

The Nansen Early Career Poster Awards 2018

This year the Arctic Frontiers 2018 poster session was held on 24 January and, new this year, in the city centre at the Scandic Ishavshotel. A team of judges helped evaluate the posters across the four themes: Aquaculture in the High North in times of change; Circumpolar Safety, Search and Rescue Collaboration; Resilient Arctic Societies and Industrial Development; and The New Arctic in the Global Context. With more than half of the nearly 70 posters being from early career researchers and the excellent quality of posters, the competition was tough! In the end, after a difficult decision, the three winners were chosen. The excellent prizes sponsored by Arctic Frontiers were awarded at the Science Conference dinner also at the Scandic Ishavshotel. A warm congratulations to:

  • 1st prize: Emmelie Åström – Trophic relationships and community structure at cold seeps in the Barents Sea
  • 2nd prize: Chloé Maréchal – Wasting disease assessment in the northern sub-Arctic seagrass beds
  • 3rd prize: William Hatchett – Reinforcing Reinforcement: Reinforcement in Fucus distichus and Fucus serratus


Arctic Frontiers 2018 Poster Awards2 Kopie

Photos: Alberto Grohavaz

Being a 'real' scientist at the Science for Schools event at Arctic Frontiers

Continuously growing in popularity, this year’s edition of Arctic Frontiers Science for Schools, organized by APECS and the Science Centre of Northern Norway, brought together well over 100 students from five different schools in Tromsø. Living above the Arctic circle means the kids are very familiar with ice and snow, but most of them have so far not had the occasion to see what scientific research really entails. Scientists from five different countries, either living in Tromsø or abroad, shared their first-hand experiences of what it’s like to do research in Polar environments – whether it be drilling ice cores, investigating the rich sea life through diving or deep-sea cameras, or learning about permafrost through cartoons. They were amazed by the beautiful underwater photography of Peter Leopold and fascinated by Kirstin Werner explaining how ocean sediment cores can be used to say what the climate was like thousands of years ago. Thanks to Polona Itkin and Anja Rösel they also nearly all got a chance to saw through a real piece of sea-ice and find out just how salty it really is!

After the presentations and hands-on experiences it was the turn of the students to impress us with their excellent posters. Grade 10 classes presented their projects on Tuesday and Thursday, while the more advanced grade 12 class presented the experiments they had carried out on Wednesday. For many of them this was the very first time they presented a poster at a mini scientific conference – and they did an absolutely fantastic job! The level of English was just astounding, not to mention their enthusiasm as well as the well-thought out research projects.

The excellent quality of all the projects meant that for those of us serving as judges we had an extremely difficult task on our hands! We evaluated the posters and learnt a lot from the students through our discussions about their topics of choice, which ranged all the way from understanding the impact of climate change on different Arctic species through to whether munition from the local shooting range was polluting nearby freshwater streams.

After some very difficult decisions, we chose one winner from each day of the event. They were: My name is carbon, black carbon (Tuesday); Heavy metal seaweed (Wednesday); and An ocean of problems (Thursday). The overall winners of the Grade 10 classes was An ocean of problems. There is definitely enormous potential in the next generation of scientists!

We want to warmly thank all the great speakers who volunteered their time to be part of the Science for Schools event: Anja Rösel, Polona Itkin, Charlotte Havermans, Julie LePage, Kristin Werner, Peter Leopold, Lawrence Hislop, and Mona Fuhrmann.

Arctic Frontiers Science for Schools 2018 small

Photos: Alberto Grohavaz

Adventures in the Field - panel discussion at Arctic Frontiers 2018

APECS organized a fascinating panel discussion on Tuesday 23 January during the Arctic Frontiers conference entitled “Adventures in the Field”. Inspired by the work that APECS is doing as part of the INTERACT project, the panel discussion focused on what it takes to do fieldwork in the Arctic. Four speakers, with many years of experience between them, shared many of their stories, anecdotes, and advice with an enthusiastic audience of over 40 people. Ingrid Wiedman (University of Tromsø) shared her experience of doing fieldwork from research vessels and how one needs to ensure excellent planning and communication when one is a scientific cruise leader. Alex Messerli (Norwegian Polar Institute) also highlighted how important it is to have detailed plans as well as several backup plans. She pointed out how essential it is to have a good field team that is well-informed and aware of each of their responsibilities. Morten Rasch (University of Copenhagen) shared a few stories from his perspective as station manager and leader of the INTERACT station manager’s forum. Being well prepared to go out into the field makes the station staff’s lives much easier, and is particularly important in view of safety and avoiding any possible rescue operations. Morten also highlighted how as early career researchers one should focus on the smaller and ‘relatively easy’ to obtain funding opportunities that are available, for example, the INTERACT transnational access programme. Svein Mathiesen (International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry) gave an excellent overview of how fieldwork in the Arctic, particularly through working with local communities, had changed his life. He shared several very funny anecdotes as well as much good advice. A healthy discussion with the audience rounded off a well-appreciated and interesting hour talking about adventures in the field!

Arctic Frontiers2018 panel Kopie

Webinars for Polar Week

APECS will be hosting several events to celebrate the APECS International Polar Week from March 19-25th. Our theme this year will be #PolarPride with a focus on appreciating APECS members from all aspects of polar sciences. We have fantastic members and want to show our pride! We also hope to recognize individuals that are traditionally underrepresented either because of what they study or because of systemic issues of diversity within polar sciences.

During Polar Week, we will be hosting a number of events from a photo competition to social media gatherings to blog posts. One of the events we hope to hold are webinars that directly relate to our theme of #PolarPride. We would love your opinion of which topics to discuss. Please choose your favorite topic with the poll linked below and let us know if you have any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for submitting a response is February 17th. We hope to see you all at our upcoming events.

Webinar Poll:

Thank you,

The Polar Week Organizing Committee

ARICE Press Release: Making the Arctic accessible for excellent science

EU funds an Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium, which will provide researchers with improved access to research icebreakers.

ARICE logo[Bremerhaven, 6th February 2018] Fifteen partners from thirteen countries including two North American partners from USA and Canada have joint forces to improve the capacities for marine-based research in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean. In the project “ARICE- Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium”, they aim at better coordinating the existing polar research fleet, at offering scientists access to six research icebreakers and at collaborating closely with the maritime industry. The European Commission funds the project, which is coordinated by the German Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), with 6 million Euros. The project kick-off meeting takes place at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven 6th to 7th February 2018.

See here the full press release: Making the Arctic accessible for excellent science

Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Loseto, the 2017 APECS Canada - ASA Mentor Award winner!

Lisa LesotoDr. Loseto has been a solid presence in arctic science for several years, and when not in the field, is often found in households and harvesting camps across the north. Her attention to the well-being of northern residents, coupled with her commitment to ensure that Indigenous peoples are involved in the science and study of traditional foods, make her a visible and honoured member of the arctic science community.

One of the central components in Dr. Loseto's impeccable reputation is her drive to serve as a mentor to early career scientists. A work colleague to Dr. Loseto, Dr. Robert Young, says this about her mentorship:

"Since 2008, Lisa has mentored and contributed to the training of over more than 20 northern students through her beluga health research program. These students have had the opportunity to work with her in the field, to travel to Winnipeg to work for periods in the lab as well as to scientific conferences where they were exposed to a range of Arctic research. Many of her students were given the opportunity and guidance necessary to present posters or make presentations on their research projects. Her mentoring efforts have had a profound impact on these students. It has inspired them to gain a new insight into the value of their environment, research and its importance to northern communities. Her leadership has also instilled a sense of self confidence in these students that has contributed to successful careers in range of professions, including polar research, for most of her students. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has benefited because Lisa's approach to research and training has created a highly successful community-based monitoring program and a leader in incorporating traditional ecological knowledge into research and management decision making.

Dr. Loseto has also mentored and trained 18 students at a number of academic institutions. The range in students has been broad and includes supervision and mentoring of high school, postsecondary, graduate (MSc and PhD) students as well as post-doctoral fellows. The mentoring opportunities for these students have been quite varied ranging from field work and conferences to developing highly innovative laboratory techniques and statistical modeling approaches."

One of the greatest and most unique aspects of Dr. Loseto's mentoring approach is found in her commitment to ensure that students are able to connect their work with Indigenous communities and to involve these communities in many phases of the science process. This necessary approach highlights cooperation and strong community-based involvement, which is an essential component in how science is conducted across the Arctic.

Dr. Loseto, congratulations on being recognized as a leader in arctic science mentorship. Your work is commendable, and your commitment to engendering both students and community members is exemplary!

Call for Abstracts now open for the APECS International Online Conference 2018

Online Conference logo 2018 3 no dayThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) is proud to announce the 4th annual APECS International Online Conference to be live-streamed on 16 May 2018. This year’s theme, “Butterfly Effect: Small Changes, Big Impact,” challenges polar scientists to communicate the impacts of changes occurring in and connected to polar and alpine regions, including their environment, local communities, science methods, and policy and education.

The Poles are dynamic and complex regions, vulnerable to the effects of climatic and other changes, and inextricably linked to the rest of the globe. The concept of the butterfly effect was originally coined by Edward Lorenz to illustrate how a tornado could be affected by minor changes, such as the flapping of butterfly wings far away and several weeks earlier. This concept also has broader applications. For example, a change in the mid-latitudes can effect changes at the Poles and vice-versa; minute temperature changes can significantly impact local communities or ecosystems; the development of new scientific methods and technologies can generate answers to outstanding questions and open new fields of research; in the wake of shifting global politics, a small alteration to a document can modify treaty impacts and lead to significant consequences; a small act in your community, such as sharing your science at a local school, can inspire and mold future visions for our planet.This year, APECS challenges the scientific community to make an impact by presenting the large and the small of their research ideas, methods, and outcomes: a short presentation in our one-day virtual event can have a significant impact, both on you and the audience of the 4th APECS International Online Conference!

Abstract submission is now open until 2 March 2018 at 22:00 GMT. More detailed information on the call for abstract, the presentation formats, abstract guidelines as well as the abstract submission form can be found on the APECS International Online Conference 2018 website.

We will award three prizes this year for the best Oral Presentations (Arctic and Antarctic) and the best Innovative Communication!

POLAR2018 ECR Poster Awards (and judges!)

apecs logo web

iasc webSCAR logo white backgroundAPECS, SCAR and IASC are organizing an Early Career Research Poster Award. If you would like to be included in this competition, please fill in this form. There are no strict definitions of 'early career'; SCAR and IASC generally consider early career to be within 5 years of a terminal degree, but we trust your judgement! You will be judged on both the visual AND oral presentation of your poster, and you should therefore plan to be present at your poster during the relevant poster session.

In order that the poster competition is a success, we require the help of volunteer judges (of all career stages, as long as you are not entered in the competition!). As a judge, you will be asked to evaluate and provide constructive feedback on a handful of posters using a set of defined criteria. Your help would be very much appreciated by the ECRs! Please also fill in this form if you would be able to help at one or more of the poster sessions.

Travel Awards available to attend POLAR2018 - Apply by 28 February!

apecs logo webSCAR logo white backgroundiasc webPOLAR2018The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) in cooperation with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) are pleased to announce the availability of travel support for the POLAR 2018 Conference  (15 - 26 June 2018, Davos Switzerland)

Travel support via this process is currently available for:

  • Early career researchers up to 5 years past PhD with an Arctic and / or Antarctic and / or Cryospheric research focus (an allowance will be made for career breaks such as parental leave)
  • Indigenous researchers of all career stages (defined as researchers who are of Arctic Indigenous heritage, in particular those represented by the Arctic Council Permanent Participants)

APECS will be administering the funds provided by IASC and SCAR and will coordinate the application and distribution process of the funds on behalf of these organisations. We are continuing to work with other polar organisations to raise additional funds and encourage our partner organisations to get in touch with the APECS Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to take advantage of having your early career travel funds for the conference distributed via this APECS-led application process.

These travel awards will only be able to cover part of your travel costs and the costs will be reimbursed after the meeting based on receipts that you provide (unfortunately, upfront payment is not possible).

Please read the more detailed announcement text and requirements for the funding and submit your application via the online form on the APECS website.

Application deadline for the Travel Awards will be on 28 February 2018 at 23:59 GMT. Late applications will not be considered. No exceptions will be made.

If you have any questions please contact the APECS Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UK-Russia Arctic Research ECR Collaborations

UK Russia Workshop2018The National Committees of APECS in Russia (APECS Russia) and the UK (UK Polar Network), NERC Arctic Office, The Faculty of Geography Lomonosov Moscow State University, Marine Research Center of Lomonosov Moscow State University in partnership with the UK Science and Innovation Network in Russia and the British Embassy in Moscow will held the UK-Russia ECRs workshop devoted to the Arctic research priorities and collaborations on 1-2 March 2018, at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

The Workshop will get together 50 participants including 40 early-career researchers to discuss the ongoing bi-lateral research projects and future priorities for joint scientific collaborations, and possibilities to build longstanding partnerships.

Links to APECS Russia:
Links to UKPN:

APECS Norway is seeking a logo

APECS Norway logo competitionThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) aims to stimulate interdisciplinary and international research collaborations in polar research. APECS Norway is a newly formed chapter to connect those based in or interested in activities in Norway.

In order to share this exciting news and the role of our broader organization, we would like find a new APECS Norway logo. We would like to invite all members to design and create an APECS Norway logo which reflects the polar regions, and with a bit of Norwegian 'inspirasjon'.

We invite all APECS members to send us a logo in .pdf .eps .jpg .png or .tif-format by Tuesday 20th February 2018 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! All entries will be uploaded to the APECS Norway facebook page after this date where the public can see and vote for their favourite until 6th March (note, that you don't have to be a facebook member in order to vote in the poll). The top 5 will be reviewed by members of the APECS Norway National Committee who will choose the best logo! The design will be used on APECS Norway materials so plenty of future glory for the winner.

The original APECS logo in various formats is available on the APECS website. N.b. the orange colour is (RGB 241,106,34) and the Blue is (RGB 0,77,140), and the text font is Optima Bold. Though you are encouraged to be creative - check out the various other National logos.

Any questions: please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Lykke til/Good luck!

Erica Oberndorfer and Thomas Lameris are the Inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellows!

CAFF-IASC Fellows in 2018 Erica Oberndorfur and Thomas Lameris
Thomas Lameris
and Erica Oberndorfer are the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellows!

The Conservation of Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) welcome Thomas Lameris and Erica Oberndorfer to the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellowship in 2018.

CAFF and IASC have teamed up together to provide Fellows with an opportunity to identify an area of interest and expertise, participate in and contribute to CAFF’s work, and produce at least one peer reviewed publication and/or deliverable report to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

The selection process was organized in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), who managed the applications and coordinated the work of independent, volunteer reviewers to evaluate and recommend the highest quality candidates. The final selection was made in consultation with CAFF and IASC.

Lameris and Oberndorfer will begin their Fellowship by attending the CAFF Board Meeting February 6-8, 2018 in Fairbanks, Alaska. After this initial introduction, they will delve into their respective projects and continue with appropriate meeting(s), and advance the work of the groups on which they will focus. In addition, they are expected to contribute to the program of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, 2018.

Lameris will focus his activities on CAFF’s Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) and Oberndorfer will focus on CAFF’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program’s (CBMP) Terrestrial work.

Lameris is a bird ecologist, mainly focusing on the impacts of climate warming on phenology and reproduction of Arctic migratory birds. During his MSc at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands (2013), he studied the effects of anthropogenic land use changes on breeding birds. He shifted in focus to climate warming effects during his PhD, where he studied barnacle geese that migrate from wintering grounds in Western Europe to breeding grounds in Arctic Russia. He is currently finishing up his PhD thesis, and starting his post-doc work on the effects of climate warming on the growth of red knots that breed in the Russian Arctic.

Oberndorfer received her PhD from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) in 2016 and is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Labrador Institute in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Labrador, Canada), where she lives. Her work is guided by plant mentors in the Inuit Community of Makkovik (Nunatsiavut), with a view to understanding how plants are integrated into daily life in the region, and how plant communities express the ecological legacy of cultural practices in Labrador. She is currently working on the Makkovik Plant Book, a community book focused on the teachings of Makkovimiut plant mentors.

CAFF and IASC welcome Lameris and Oberndorfer and thank APECS for helping to promote the Fellowship and securing the successful candidates.

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A43
14473 Potsdam
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