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

Call for Polar Film Festival Submissions

USAPESC newIn conjunction with Polar Week this September USAPECS is organizing our third Polar Film Festival! The festival will showcase several short videos on topics related to the Polar regions to the public and broader APECS community. Films will be hosted each day digitally on our website, in accordance with each day’s theme.

This year’s themes are:

  • Tipping the Balance: Exploring rapid changes in polar ice cover
  • Polar Research, Fieldwork and Citizen Science
  • Melt: An Exploration of Life in the Polar Ice Pack
  • Polar Industries
  • Environmental issues in the Polar regions

If you would like to submit or suggest any short films or videos (1-30 minutes long) related to one of this year’s themes for viewing, please submit them using this google form: Submissions of independently created films (created by you or someone you know) are welcomed and encouraged. In the past, we’ve featured works ranging from feature films and documentaries to independently-produced videos, interviews and news reports, so we welcome a diversity of submissions. We are also looking for people to host in-person screenings this fall, so if you’re interested in helping to do so please indicate this as such on the film submission form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We’ve held this event the past two years and had great turn out, so we hope to get similar participation this time. Last year’s videos can be viewed at

Kind regards,


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Looking for early career researchers to attend Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018

amap logoEUPolarNet logo2CAFF greenThe Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and the EU-PolarNet are organizing a stakeholder workshop on „Research Needs on Arctic Biology and Terrestrial Ecosystems“ on 12 October at the upcoming Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018 (Rovaniemi, Finland, 9 - 12 October 2018). They are looking for 2 early career researchers to:

  • attend the Arctic Biodiversity Congress and especially the sessions on Freshwater Ecosystems and Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • summarize the results of these sessions
  • present the results of the sessions as introductory talks at the stakeholder workshop on 12 October

Travel and participation costs in the Arctic Biodiversity Congress will be covered for the two selected early career researchers.

You can apply for this opportunity if you:

  • are an early career researcher (up to 5 years past PhD)
  • are based in at a university / research institution in Europe
  • have a research background related to Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • are able to attend the Arctic Biodiversity Congress

To apply please send the following material to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by no later than 24 July 2018 at 16:00 GMT

  • CV
  • Statement of Interest detailing your:
    • Research background
    • Your motivation in attending the Arctic Biodiversity Congress and the Stakeholder Workshop organized by AMAP and EU-PolarNet
    • Your thoughts on how you would contribute to the congress and workshop (beyond the required tasks listed above) and how this would benefit your career

APECS Executive Committee Elections 2018-2019

Executive Committee 2017 2018The elections for the 2018 - 2019 APECS Executive Committee will be held in September 2018 for the term from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.

APPLY for the APECS Executive Committee to help shape our organisation over the next year and help influence the future of polar research!

Application deadline: 7 September 2018 at 23:59 GMT

The APECS Executive Committee consists of five members, who are elected by the APECS Council to manage the day-to-day decisions of the organization. You can find information about the APECS Executive Committee on the APECS website including some general information, the list of current ExCom members; as well as summaries of their meeting notes.

Elections timeline:

  • 7 September 2018 at 23:59 GMT: application deadline
  • 10 - 18 September 2018: Review period within the APECS Council including Q&A call with APECS Council and ExCom applicants
  • 19 - 23 September 2018: Voting period within the APECS Council
  • 24 - 30 September 2018: Final vote count, review of results, transition process
  • 1 October 2018: Announcement of the 2018 - 2019 APECS Executive Committee and President

The Executive Committee is a rewarding, but high-paced and work intensive committee and its members must be willing and able to contribute actively throughout their term (except of course during e.g. field work, exam periods, holidays). To apply you have to be an APECS member and have prior experience being engaged in APECS or equivalent.

Go to the Executive Committee Elections page to see the full election announcement including the eligibility criteria, how to apply and a more detailed explanation of the election process. If you have any questions, please contact the election committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is this your first time you want to get active in APECS? If you have not previously been involved in APECS (or equivalent organization) and want to gain some experience, we encourage you to rather apply to the APECS Council. The APECS Council is the larger of the two leadership committees of APECS and its members work on various projects, coordinate APECS activities, and govern the organization. Unlike in the Executive Committee, no prior experience in APECS is necessary to join the APECS Council, and we encourage all APECS members to consider applying. Working with APECS as a Council member is a great first step towards becoming active and gaining experience in the APECS leadership. Application deadline for the APECS Council is already on 31 July 2018!


POLAR2018 Poster Award Winners


Over 150 early career researchers recently show-cased their reserach as part of the poster competition held during the POLAR2018 conference (Davos, Switzerland, 15-26 June). The well-deserved prizes (based on geographical region) were awarded at the closing ceremony.  The competition was organised by APECS and coordinated by Ruth Vingerhagen on behalf of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) . We sincerely thank all the judges who contributed their time to judge the posters!

POLAR2018 poster winners

The six winning posters

Africa and Middle East
Winner: Luca Stirnimann, University of Cape Town, "The Island Mass Effect (IME) on carbon cycling in the plankton ecosystem around the Prince Edward Islands archipelago".
Runner-up: Daniela Monsanto, University of Johannesburg, "Genetic patterns at fine spatial scales: complex findings in a complex landscape".

Winner: Gautami Samui, ESSO-National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, "Nutrient cycling in supraglacial ecosystems in Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica".
Runner-up: Shridhar Jawak, ESSO-National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, "Mapping surface facies of selected alpine glaciers from Himalaya using worldview-2 imagery".

Winner: Sandra Brugger, University of Bern, "Five millennia of environmental dynamics from an ice core in the Mongolian Altai".
Runner-up: Ewa Poniecka, Cardiff University, "The secret life of bactiera: Ecological function in cryoconite hole environments".

POLAR2018 poster runnerup

The six runner-up posters

North America
Winner: Joel Singley, University of Colorado Boulder, "Sub-daily biogeochemical cycling in sediment of an ephemeral meltwater stream".
Runner-up: Mark England, Columbia University, "The contribution of internal variability to recent sea ice loss across the Arctic".

Winner: Kara Layton, The University of Western Australia, "A newly discovered radiation of endoparasitic gastropods in Antarctica".
Runner-up: Wilma Huneke, University of Tasmania, "Deep bottom mixed layer instability drives variability of Antarctic slope front".

South America
Winner: Elisa Seyboth, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, "Isotopic-based warming effects on the northern Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem".
Runner-up: Sérgio Gonçalves Jr., Federal University of Paraná, "Aerosol integrated analysis in central west Antarctica: Brazilian standalone unit".

POLAR2018 poster winnerpeople

L to R: Luca, Sandra and Elisa, winners of Africa and Middle East, Europe and South America respectively. Hanne Nielsen, president of APECS presenting Luca with his award. Steven Chown and Larry Hinzmann, presidents of SCAR and IASC respectively, presenting Sandra with her award. Elisa.

2018 APECS International Mentorship Award Recipients: Dr. Aleks Terauds and Dr. José Xavier

APECS is very pleased to announce our 2018 APECS International Mentorship Award recipients - Dr. Aleks Terauds and Dr. José Xavier! The mentorship awards were established in 2016 as a meaningful way to recognize the efforts of those mentors within the international polar science community, and to honor those who have devoted significant time and energy towards building a supportive community for early career professionals.

This year, we received several deserving nominations for both categories and it was genuinely difficult for our award committee to select the winners. Thank you to all of those who nominated mentors, and to the Mentorship Award committee members who handled the nomination and award process. Both Aleks and José have devoted significant time to training, advising, and assisting those at the start of their careers, as seen by the following highlights from both of their nominations:

Alex Terauds.jpgDr. Aleks Terauds (Australian Antarctic Division, Australia) is the 2018 recipient in the “member category”. APECS members were invited to nominate someone who has been an outstanding personal mentor to them in their career. Aleks was nominated by Jasmine Lee, Meagan Dewar, Hannah Wauchope and Jarod Hodgson, who emphasise that Aleks is an exemplary role model to early career Antarctic scientists across the world. They wrote that “Aleks is an approachable and engaged mentor… this approachability is a welcome relief, fostering a collegiate and collaborative dynamic,” and described him as “the perfect mix of academic support and career guide who has ensured that I already have a flourishing career.” Aleks makes time to support and provide opportunities to those in early career stages, and has helped to shape the career paths of many young researchers. He genuinely cares about integrating early career voices into the Antarctic community, and is invested in setting them up to successfully work with and contribute to policy-making. In addition, Aleks regularly contributes his expertise and time to APECS events, such as the 2017 APECS Oceania Symposium. APECS is therefore honoured to recognise Aleks with an APECS Mentor Award for the significant contribution he has made to fostering early career researchers.

Jose Xavier.jpgDr. José Xavier (University of Coimbra, Portugal) is the 2018 recipient in the “APECS category”. APECS committees were encouraged to nominate a mentor who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of APECS, and José was nominated by several National Committee, including APECS Portugal, as well as several individual APECS members. They remarked upon the way he brings people together and “is constantly identifying and introducing ECRs to leaders in their scientific field and marking introductions,” and described APECS as “José’s second love, scoring close to science!” José is an excellent example of how APECS is now growing its own mentors. He has been actively engaged with APECS since our establishment in 2007, held a vital role in helping to develop our organisation, and over the years he has participated in numerous panels and workshops as a mentor. José is also dedicated to building capacity around the world, and has supported the creation of several APECS National Committees. In addition, he has mentored numerous students in his career - regardless of whether he was their supervisor or not - leading them to professional success. This support has ranged from guidance during Antarctic fieldwork to helping students learn how to best take advantage of time at international conferences, or to become better educators themselves. José is an enthusiastic communicator who inspires not only the people of Portugal, but also the entire APECS community with his infectious enthusiasm. We therefore congratulate José on a well-deserved award.

On behalf of all APECS members, we would like to sincerely thank José and Aleks for all that they have done as mentors for both our organization and so many early career researchers as individuals. The 2018 APECS International Mentorship Award is a small token of our gratitude for all of the time, wisdom, and passion they have shared. We look forward to working with both of them further in future. Both awards were handed out during the POLAR2018 Conference in Davos.


Mentors come in many guises – if there is someone who has made a difference in your career who you think deserves recognition, please do put them forward for next year’s awards. Nominations for the 2019 APECS International Mentorship Award will be announced early in 2019 on our website, and you can learn more about this year’s nomination process through our archived page.

Award Committee (2017-2018):

José Queirós, University of Coimbra, Portugal (Chair)
Julie Bull, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health / University of New Brunswick / University of Toronto, Canada
Natalie Freeman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, United States
Laura Hobbs, University of Strathclyde / Scottish Association for Marine Science, United Kingdom
Nadya Yanakieva, Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, Bulgaria
Gabriela Roldan, Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Alex Thornton, ARCUS, United States
Gerlis Fugmann, APECS / Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany (ex-officio)

APECS International Online Conference 2018 Prizes announced

Online Conference logo 2018 1The 4th APECS International Online Conference was held on 16th of May 2018. 22 early career researchers presented over 4 sessions than ran over 17 hours to accommodate time zones across the world. This year’s theme was: “Butterfly Effect: Small Changes, Big Impact!.”.

APECS congratulates the three prize winners, all of whom have won funds towards future conference travel:

  • Arctic: Mariama Dryak, Climate Change Institute, Earth and Climate Sciences; University of Maine, “Understanding Ocean Forcing of Polar Glacier Change Using Remotely Sensed Iceberg Melt Data” (Session 3)
  • Antarctic: Amy Kirkham, University of Alaska Fairbanks, “How do hormones and the skin transcriptome influence molt in a polar pinniped?” (Session 4)
  • Innovative Communication: Allison Lee, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, “Antarctic Ambassadors Learning to Love Fjord Phytoplankton” (Session 4)

A very big thank you to our keynote speakers: Nicole Biebow (AWI) and Veronica Willmott (AWI) - Session 1, Margareta Johansson (Lund University) and Sarah Baatout (SCK•CEN) - Session 2, James Overland (NOAA/PMEL) - Session 3.

We are also grateful to all the presenters and volunteers who made the conference possible.

For links to the conference recordings, and to view all abstracts of the 2018 Online Conference on the APECS website.

Elizabeth Orr to join the editorial board of the SESS report


We are delighted to announce that Elizabeth Orr (University of Cincinnati) has been selected to join the editorial board for the 1st issue of the State of Environmental Science in Svalbard (SESS) report published by SIOS (Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System). SIOS plans to publish the report in January 2019 during the SIOS Polar Night Week in Longyearbyen.

Elizabeth is currently a PhD student and her research focuses on the reconstruction of Quaternary landscape and glacial histories of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen.apecs logo web

The selection process was organised 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 by SIOS.

V Symposium APECS-Brazil - Achievements and challenges in a decade of changes in national and international scene

V Symposium APECS-Brazil - Organizing Committee.jpgThe V Symposium was held at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil from May 15 to 18, 2018. The event connected 68 researchers and students from 30 different institutions. It is important to emphasize that this is the only scientific meeting focused on polar science in Brazil. In the first day of event, the members of the APECS-Brazil ministered the mini-courses “Political and environmental aspects of the Antarctic treaty: structure and functioning of the Madrid protocol”, “Polar science in basic education: from scientific literacy to school practice”, “Pollution in the Antarctic environment” and “Antarctic mycology”. On this day, also had a scientific communication activity “Talking with Polar Scientists: Antarctic experience” that gave lectures to over 600 children of basic education activities. In the next three days, guest speakers gave lectures in the most diverse areas: archeology, mycology, parasitology, medicine, education, geology, geopolitics, marine biology, paleontology, botany, ecology, evolution and climate change were performed. The roundtable discussed the achievements of the APECS-Brazil, which for 10 years are promoting and disseminating knowledge about the Polar Regions in Brazil.

Also, during the symposium, the polar early career scientists presented the abstracts - oral and mini video. As a way to stimulate them, the best works presented were awarded at the end of the event. The whole event was broadcast live on Youtube and can be watched on the Channel CAC UFMG through the link:

We thank the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), APECS-International and the other supporters.

V Symposium APECS-Brazil - Oficial picture.jpg

Big advantages, small downsides. Tips from APECS panel on opportunities for ECR to be involved in large international Antarctic initiatives.

APECS in collaboration with the Marine Ecosystem of the Southern Ocean (MEASO) and the IDEAL research center of Chile held a panel in Hobart Australia on April 8th. This panel was one of several workshops preceding the first MEASO conference. The two hour event discussed how early career researchers (ECR) can get involved in large international initiatives that are shaping Antarctic research and policy. Our panel covered topics such as: advantages/disadvantages of being involved, when and how to get involved as an ECR and best ways to make an impact on politics. The panel consisted of: Dr. Aleks Terrauds (AAD and chair of SCAR standing committee on the ATS), Indi Hodgson-Johnston (IMOS and ECR rapporteur for ATS and CCAMLR), Dr. Nadine Johnston (BAS and ICED program manager) and Dr. Stephen Nicol (UTAS and Australian delegation to CCAMLR). The panel was moderated by APECS ExCom member Jilda Caccavo. Twenty-two ECRs attended the panel.









According to our panelists ECR should try to get involved with these initiatives as soon as possible. They highlighted the many advantages participating in these groups, and noted that the only downside is that it is time consuming and represents an extra workload during your PhD or post-doc. However, all the panelists agreed that being involved is an excellent way to raise your professional profile and increase the impact of your research. Involvement in these large international initiatives would also give you plenty of opportunities for networking and influencing policy. The panel noted that there are many ways to get involved as there are many different initiatives. . The panel recommend looking for a group that matches your interests, be thy research, policy or career development interests, and becoming involved. The group noted that most scientific meetings and the Antarctic Treaty System require rapporteurs for their large meetings. Rapporteuring is an excellent opportunity to become more actively involved in the groups, network, and learn the very useful (and marketable!) craft of writing reports. The panel highlighted that organizations differ in how easy it is to get involved. For example, CCAMLR is more political and participants in CCAMLR process need to be invited into the group. Invitations can take the form of CCAMLR scholarships, internships or jobs such as, rapporteuring. Other organizations, like ICED, are more open and you only need to browse through their website and register yourself to participate. Finally, being involved gives you an outstanding platform for your research to impact policy. Many of the scientific organizations (like SCAR and ICED) have an established reporting chain to political bodies such as, CCAMLR and the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. High quality research with a crystal clear message is always helpful to impact policy. It is also helpful to cultivate relationships with policy makers who can carry your message into the decision making processes. Maintaining these relationships is time consuming, but it is a very effective way to ensure that your science influences policy. A less direct, but also effective way to have your research message reach policy makers is to engage in outreach and publishing “non-academic” abstracts for larger audiences (e.g. twitter, websites, etc.).

apecs logo webIDEAL.jpgMeaso_3.jpg


Apply for the APECS Council 2018-2019 by 31 July 2018

Foto World SummitDo you want to get (or remain) active in APECS and the APECS leadership? The applications for APECS Council 2018-2019 are open now! Application deadline is 31 July 2018 at 23:59 GMT

About the Council

The APECS Council is the larger of the two leadership committees of APECS. Its members work on projects (e.g. webinars, workshops, Polar Weeks), coordinate APECS activities, and govern the organisation.

The Council has two categories of members:

  • individual Council members (any APECS member who wants to serve on the APECS Council as an individual);
  • representatives from APECS National Committees and organisational members of APECS (i.e., partner organisations).

The 2018-2019 Council term is from 1 October 2018 through 30 September 2019. In September 2018 we will run several orientation webinars for new Council members and you will get an introduction to our Council project groups, so you are well prepared to start your term on 1 October.

More information on the Council, the Council member categories and their tasks, rights and responsibilities can be found in the Council Charter and on our Council pages. Please also get to know our current Council members and read notes of our meetings. No prior experience with APECS is necessary to join the Council, and we encourage all APECS members to consider applying!

Why should you get active in APECS? Being involved in the APECS Council provides you with opportunities to engage internationally and across disciplines with other early career researchers and professionals who are interested in the Polar and Alpine regions and the wider Cryosphere. Within our projects, you can develop valuable skills in project management, leadership and communication skills in a friendly and supportive environment that will help you in your future careers no matter if they will be in academia or non-academic professions. APECS Council members value the international networks they develop through the council, as well as the recognition and accomplishments through their work.

How to apply?


For both new applicants and returning applicants, the Executive Committee will vote on your application at the end of August and inform you of the outcome of your application.

If you have any questions, or you want any general information about the APECS Council please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We really appreciate all our APECS volunteers and their commitment to paving the way for the future of polar research!

Press Release - Statement of collaboration: UKPN - APECS Russia

UKPN and APECS Russia Presidents Archana Dayal and Yulia Zaika meet at Polar2018 to continue to build links and collaborations between UK and RussiaThe UK Polar Network and APECS Russia, national committees (NCs) of APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists), collaborated on organizing activities in 2017-18 with mutual interests benefiting early career researchers from the UK and Russia. The NCs organized 2 workshops in Moscow and Cambridge in February and March 2018, which saw an exchange of 20 Arctic early career researchers with a focus on learning about working in the Russian Arctic in the future. These were funded and organized in collaboration with the NCs national bodies - NERC Arctic Office, British Antarctic Survey, UK Science and Innovation Network, Marine Research Centre and Geography faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University and Embassies.

This resulted in some unique and great deliverables, including a publication of a joint opinion piece in Nature ( and the creation of a website (, a great resource in-the-making for further research and outreach opportunities.

In order to continue and build on this collaboration, the NCs have recently successfully submitted and won a joint funding bid to the Foreign Commonwealth Office for an interdisciplinary field course workshop in the Russian Arctic, to be organized in February – March 2019.

The NCs are extremely grateful to have been mentored by APECS Executive Committee and Council members over the years, who have provided their guidance and support in all their endeavors. They therefore commit to cooperate, foster links and build relationships for future scientific advancements and progress.

UK Polar Network President – Archana Dayal
APECS Russia President – Yulia Zaika


UKPN and APECS Russia polar early career researchers meet at Polar2018 for a meeting

Looking for early career researchers to join new SOOS regional group on Weddell Sea - Droning Maud Land

SOOSLogo1aThe Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) are looking for one or two early career scientists for a new regional working group on the Weddell Sea - Droning Maud Land. The objective of the working group will be to coordinate the international long-term observation of the Weddell Sea – Droning Maud Land.

The selected candidates, will contribute to the work of the group helping among others with scientific / management input (e.g. discussions, workshop), and eventually writing papers and contribute to a special issue on present research in the Weddell Sea – Droning Maud Land.

This is a volunteer position for a term of minimum 3 years with no associated direct funding. However, if e.g. a workshop is organized, early career scientists of the working group will be considered first for available early career funding.

There will be a meeting of the working group in Davos at the POLAR2018 conference and those selected early career researchers, who are attending the conference are welcome to join this meeting. More information will be sent to the selected early career researchers before the conference. You can also apply for this opportunity if you are not attending the POLAR2018 conference.

To apply, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • early career researcher (up to 5 years past PhD)
  • previous experience in Southern Ocean research (ideally focused on the Weddell Sea - Droning Maud Land area)
  • Country restrictions: We welcome applications from early career researchers worldwide and especially encourage applications from Asia, South America and Africa. Due to the composition of the already existing group members, early career researchers from Germany and Norway are unfortunately not able to apply for this opportunity.

How to apply?

Please send the following information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by no later than 14 June at 23:59 GMT

  • your CV
  • Statement of Interest (max one page), including your research background, your motivation in joining the working group, and your thoughts on how you can contribute to the group and how this would benefit your career

Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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