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

Winners of the Antarctica Day Photo Contest 2018

Thank you to all the participants for their submissions to APECS Antarctica Day Photo Contest 2018 ‘Tell a story’. The entries showed various facets of Antarctica from its natural beauties to the research activities and many more with a short interesting story behind it.

Thanks to all member of the public for voting. After all the votes are in, we are happy to announce the winners of the competition:

1st Prize: Renato Borras-Chavez (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile)

23  renato borras

Location: Livingston Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica; Date: 2017; Story: This Antarctic fur seal female returned from one of its foraging trips to sea but her pup was eaten hours before. A fresh wound resemble a heart, projecting both a physical and emotional cold pain. Research: “living in the fast lane. Foraging behavior at their southernmost breeding distribution”.


2nd Prize: Andrew Corso (Virginia Institute of Marine Science)

17  andrew corso

Location: Near the Western Antarctic Peninsula; Date: January 2018; Story: Many believe the narrow channels that surround the Western Antarctic Peninsula contain the most beautiful scenery in the region. This was a rare sunny and calm day when we passed through the Neumayer. 


3rd Prize: Johanna Grabow (Leipzig University, Germany)

9  johanna grabow

Location: Salisbury Plain, South Georgia; Date: February 2018; Story: Life can be tough, but no matter how hard it is, a colony of penguins will always cheer you up.

Antarctic Science Bursary Webinar: Tips for a successful Bursary Application followed by Q+A session

Antarctic Science Logo copyIn coordination with APECS, Antarctic Science are running a webinar to help potential applicants of the 2019 Antarctic Science Bursary. This bursary runs every year and is for up to £6000 to support PhD or early career researchers to extend the scope of an existing research project. More details here:

The webinar will explain more about the bursary, with advice on how to submit a successful application. This will be followed by a Q+A session, where you can ask any bursary related question to our panel.

Panel members:

  • Professor David Walton: Secretary of Antarctic Science Board and E- fellow at British Antarctic Survey
  • Dr Kate Hendry: Treasurer of Antarctic Science Board and biogeochemist at University of Exeter
  • Dr Anna Mikis: Previous award recipient currently working at BEIS

The webinar will be at 3pm (UTC) and again at 8pm (UTC) on January 24th , please register here:

APECS presents IPCC group review at information event during PAGES conference

IMG 3430 Jilda Caccavo KopieAPECS was invited to contribute to a side-event for early-career researchers (ECR) on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change and the Oceans and the Cryosphere (SROCC) during the Past Global Changes (PAGES) conference in Bern, Switzerland on December 18th, 2018. The half-day event began with an introduction to the IPCC assessment process and tips on reading the reports, followed by personal perspectives on taking part in the compilation and review of IPCC reports.

Following a Q&A session with the speakers, Mathieu Casado, current member and former leader of the APECS Council project group organizing the IPCC group review, introduced APECS and the group review that the project group organized during the 2017-18 Council term to review the First Order Draft (FOD) of the SROCC. Mathieu described how the APECS group review of the SROCC was carried out, and the results of an analysis of the output of the reviewers, including how, based on review comment output, ECR were shown to be just as well qualified as their more experienced peers as reviewers. He also outlined current and future projects of the group and how ECR could get involved, including reviewing the Second Order Draft (SOD) of the SROCC, as well as organizing a group review in collaboration with other ECR networks of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) by the IPCC.

The event was followed by a networking lunch, where Mathieu, Jilda Caccavo (APECS President), and Carla Perez Mon (APECS Switzerland) fielded questions from event participants. Discussions included how to join APECS and/or get involved with APECS Switzerland, as well as how to take part in future group reviews. Mathieu and Jilda also discussed the APECS group review process with speakers from the event, who were keen to learn more.

Dr. Marie-France Loutre, Executive Director of PAGES, who had invited APECS to discuss their work with the IPCC, was keen on continuing to collaborate with APECS in the future via their own ECR network, in particular, by partnering with APECS in the review of the AR6.

Mathieu received support to participate in this event as part of his Humboldt fellowship.

APECS presentation in southern Siberia

IMG 0953 Tayana ArakchaaAPECS held a presentation about APECS at the Tuvan State University, at Kyzyl, Tyva Republic, Russia on December 7, 2018. The presentation was given by Tayana Arakchaa, an APECS Council member and a member of APECS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Group. One of the main goals of DEI group is inclusion of young scholars from indigenous communities. One of the common issues of remote Siberian native communities is that the distance from major population and governmental centers means lack of information about international academic research in other northern regions. The Tyva Republic is unique because 85% of the total population is indigenous and it is a home for two indigenous groups, the Tyva and Tyva-Tozhu. Other indigenous representatives also live in the Republic such as the Khakas, Buryat, Altay, and Yakut. APECS is a great opportunity to make international academic research and knowledge accessible for young Siberian indigenous researchers. Twenty undergraduate students, PhD students, and young researchers from different fields of study attended the presentation. They asked questions about APECS, its partners, and the opportunities they would have with the organization. Also, they were interested in joining APECS. The DEI group hopes that with its contribution an imbalance of indigenous and non-indigenous scholars in APECS will be not so significant in the future.

'Young polar researchers in Antarctica' as part of the Spanish XVIII Science and Innovation Week

sign event apecsspain 1 Paula de CastroFour young researchers doing polar science (Andrea Bueno, Miguel Ángel Fernández, Isaac Garrido y Luis Rodríguez), members of APECS Spain, shared through short and dynamic talks at Madrid's 'Museo Geominero' their scientific studies done in Antarctica. They also presented relevant information about Antarctica's organization and history, and about the presence of Spain in the continent.

Firstly, Luis Rodríguez explained the treaties and laws governing the Antarctic territory. He also talked about the studies and campaigns done with the aim of eliminating plant alien species on the continent. Andrea Bueno talked about the research on penguins' different habits of food foraging for breeding their offspring and how they have been affected by climate change and its influence on Southern Ocean waters. Isaac Garrido presented a brief review of the works on Antarctic fungi, emphasising the peculiarities of these organisms and their ability to adapt to the harsh polar conditions. Finally, Miguel Ángel Fernández exposed the characteristics that make Antarctica an environment analogue to that of Mars. He also explained the kind of biological studies that are carried out at this pole aiming to have a better understanding of the life that inhabited the Red Planet in the past. After these scientific talks, Miguel Ángel presented the different infrastructures Spain has in Antarctica: two scientific stations (BAE Gabriel de Castilla and BAE Juan Carlos I) and two research vessels (BIO Hespérides and BO Sarmiento de Gamboa). Also, he briefly presented the transantarctic exploration campaign called 'Unexplored Antarctica 2018' which will be accomplished with a new moving infrastructure designed and built in Spain: the WindSled. There was time for questions from the audience and a discussion with the speakers as a closure of the event.

talks event apecsspain 2 Paula de Castro


2018 APECS Season's Greetings

Dear APECS members, supporters and friends,

APECS had again a very successful year in 2018 and we wanted to thank all of our members, mentors, sponsors and partners for helping us shape the future of polar research!

Enjoy some of our best moments of 2018 in our APECS 2018 Season’s Greetings video.

Happy New Year to all of you! We are looking forward to a fantastic 2018!

Best wishes,

Jilda Caccavo, APECS President 2018-2019
Gerlis Fugmann, APECS Executive Director
on behalf of the APECS Leadership


Seasons_greetings_2018_1080p from APECS Webinars on Vimeo.

Call for abstracts: YES Congress 2019 in Berlin, Germany

yeslogo 1The 5th International YES Congress will be held from the 9th to 13th September 2019 in the vibrant city of Berlin, Germany. The YES Congress in 2019 will be a special opportunity for young scientists from all over the world to share their experiences, their science and culture and to expand their skills. We offer numerous summer schools and a Workshop on Global Geochemical Baselines and Resourcing in the period before and after the congress. Different events, ranging from invited keynote lectures across "elevator pitches" to a "market of opportunities" offer young talents the possibility to introduce themselves to potential future employers from industry, business, universities and public authorities and to discover opportunities for training and research in Germany.

In 2019 the 5th YES Congress will have the theme "Rocking Earth's Future".

Global change confronts us with major challenges such as rapid population growth, increasing urbanization, global warming, soil destruction and water pollution. Globalization processes increase further our vulnerability. For early career researchers, the task is to ensure that humanity is prepared to tackle all these challenges in a smart and sustainable way. This requires hard facts, reproducible and transparent science and a sound commitment.

The YES Congress 2019 will attempt at "Rocking Earth's Future" by focusing on six large topical issues:

  • Ashes to Ashes - Understanding Earth processes
  • Unboxing Earth - Interdisciplinary Problem solving
  • Heritage Earth - Sustainable Resource Management
  • Society at Risk - Impacting Earth Phenomena
  • Brave New World - Advanced Technologies in Earth Sciences
  • Beyond Printing - Communicating Science

For those themes we invite you to submit your abstract proposals for 35 sessions. Submission deadline is 18, February 2019.

You can submit your abstract directly at our website. You will also find further information about the Congress, exhibition and sponsor possibilities and side events activities.

APECS events during the 2019 Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø

January is coming soon and with it the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway, between January 20 and 24! During the Arctic Frontiers conference, you are invited to exciting events where you can present your ideas and research results during the poster session. There, the best presenters compete for the traditional APECS poster awards. The poster sessions will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Clarion Hotel The Edge.

We also invite you to a panel debate on scientific publishing. The panel will focus how publications affect early career scientists; how to judge their quality, how to navigate between discussions about open access and alternative ways of publishing, and how this will affect publications-based judgements of early career scientists (e.g. for applications for future positions and funding). 

The panel debate is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22, 18:30-19:30 o´clock at Fram Centre. We have invited 3 panelists (see below) with diverse backgrounds to include a variety of different angles, to trigger discussions and to exchange experiences. The panel will be open to all interested early career scientists. Please bring your own non-alcoholic (!) beverages and snacks or dinner to-go! 

More information can be found in the APECS Event Calendar and on the Arctic Frontiers conference program.



Kathrin Helen Hopmann

Kathrin is Associate Professor in Computational Chemistry at UiT. She is investigating and developing organometallic catalysts for conversion of biomass and CO2 to products with higher value. Since 2014, Kathrin is leading her own research group at UiT, the CHOCO group. She is also leading the Nordic Consortium for CO2 Conversion and is Principal Investigator in the Hylleraas Centre of Excellence. Since 2018, she is Associate Editor for the ACS Journal Organometallics.

Helle Valborg Goldman

Since 1998 Helle is the Chief Editor of Polar Research, the Norwegian Polar Institute's international peer-reviewed journal. Before becoming a publication expert, she developed a background in social anthropology and conservation studies.

Tom Arne Rydningen

Tom Arne is Associate Professor at the Department of Geosciences at UiT. His research is focused on high-latitude continental margins, including onset and evaluation of ocean current, glacial history as well as quantification of erosion and sedimentation rates. He is also very active in teaching Bachelor and Master level courses in Marine Geology. 

APECS represented on IPCC panel on ECS engagement at COP24

Photo4 Jilda CaccavoDuring the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hosted a series of symposia, one of which, titled ‘Partnering with the IPCC - Early Career Scientists’ included two representatives from APCES on its panel, Jilda Caccavo (APECS President) and Mathieu Casado (current member and former leader of the Council project group organizing the IPCC group review). The session was chaired by Sarah Connors, a Science Officer in the Technical Support Unit of Working Group 1 (WG1) of IPCC, and included Valérie Masson-Delmotte, the IPCC WG1 Co-Chair, as well as two chapter scientists, Tania Guillen and Kiane de Kleine, and Gaby Langendijk, a representative from the early career network Young Earth System Scientists (YESS).

In a joint talk, Jilda and Mathieu introduced APECS and the group review that the APECS Council project group organized during the 2017-18 Council term to review the First Order Draft (FOD) of the Special Report on Climate Change and the Oceans and the Cryosphere (SROCC). Jilda provided an overview of APECS, its role in the polar early career researcher (ECR) community, and with its partners (such as the IPCC). Mathieu described how the APECS group review of the SROCC was carried out, and the results of an analysis of the output of the reviewers, including how, based on review comment output, ECRs were shown to be just as well qualified as their more experienced peers as reviewers.

The session included four short talks, followed by a Q&A session. There was interest from the audience about how to join the group review of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC, which the APECS Council project group is leading in collaboration with other early career networks. In addition, the audience was keen to learn more about ways to engage with the IPCC report production, as well as how networks like APECS could help to introduce their members to international partners such as the IPCC.

This is the first time APECS was invited to participate in a COP conference.

Photo6 Jilda Caccavo

PYRN-APECS Workshop dedicated to Proposal Writing at the 10th AK Permafrost in Bremerhaven

IMG 3756 APECS informationOn November 30th, 16 young researchers met in Bremerhaven for the PYRN-APECS Workshop during the 10th meeting of the Working Group Permafrost of the German Society of Polar Research (DGP) in Bremerhaven (30 Nov – 1 Dec 2018).

Two months earlier, the representatives of PYRN DACH (Germany, Austria & Switzerland) started a survey among the community in order to identify the workshop topic of most interest. As a result, proposal writing was clearly the top topic to be discussed (2nd and 3rd favorite topics were acquisition of third party funds and commucation with media).

In the beginning of the workshop, the organizers introduced PYRN and recent developments of PYRN DACH which included a symbolic baton handover of the German representation from Josefine Lenz (since 2014) to Matthias Winkel.

To learn about the art of grant writing, we gratefully received valuable input from our speaker Imke Fries from the research support department of the Alfred Wegener Institute. Many questions and a lively discussion indicated great interest and after a coffee break we did some „living statistics“. By orientating ourselves in the room, we found out we had about the same amount of people presently being M.Sc., PhD or Postdoc. The majority had no or limited experience with grant writing and was very interested starting to do so soon.

Prof. Michael Krautblatter (TU Munich) presented his perspective of a University Professor and potential funding schemes for different career stages. By the end, Josefine Lenz (AWI) introduced PhD scholarships as alternative and independent funding sources.

We would like to thank all speakers and the participants for a fruitful discussion.

Samuel Weber (PYRN DACH/Switzerland), Ingo Hartmeyer (PYRN DACH/Austria), Matthias Winkel (PYRN DACH/Germany starting 2018) and Josefine Lenz (PYRN DACH/Germany terminating 2018, APECS Germany Chair)

IMG 3736 APECS information

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
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