Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

APECS is very pleased to have elected our 10th Executive Committee. These leaders are responsible for working with our members, advisors and partner organizations to continue to develop our organization to be a resource for early career scientists interested in the polar and cryospheric regions.

They meet every two weeks on a conference call to discuss new opportunities to help us all develop our careers. Read the summaries of their meetings and find out more about the role and responsibilities of serving in this capacity.

If you would like to contact the Executive Committee, just send them an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alice Bradley - APECS President 2016-2017

Alice Bradley 2016PhD student, University of Colorado Boulder, United States

I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder with the Aerospace Engineering department and the Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Sciences focus area. My research looks at how changes in sea ice cover lead to warming in the upper layers of the Arctic Ocean, how that heat delays freeze-up in the fall, and how the whole process manifests as thinner first-year ice cover the following spring. I also work on projects developing novel observational methods for Arctic research, including microbuoys and unmanned-aircraft based systems. Prior to coming to CU Boulder, I grew up in Alaska and went to Dartmouth College.


Josefine Lenz - APECS Vice-President 2016-2017

Josefine LenzPhD Candidate, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

I'm just about to finish my PhD in Geology at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam/Germany. My research focusses on the investigation of landscape changes in permafrost regions. Here, I'm especially interested in using lake sediments as archives to study past environments and carbon dynamics. As I always loved travelling the world, I think I found the perfect profession to explore remote areas, e.g. the Alaskan and western Canadian Arctic, and satisfy my curiosity to understand how our earth has formed but also how it is currently changing. I'm glad to continue working with thaw lakes together with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Hanne Nielsen - APECS Vice-President 2016-2017

Hanne Nielsen 2016PhD student, University of Tasmania, Australia

I am a PhD student at the University of Tasmania, where I split my time between the English Department and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. My research looks at representations of Antarctica in advertising media – I ask how Antarctica has been used to sell various products and services over time. This topic reflects my wider research interests in Antarctic Humanities and Social Sciences research: In 2013 I completed a Masters of Antarctic Studies at the University of Canterbury, examining representations of Antarctica upon the theatrical stage, and I am currently the Early Career representative on the SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Expert Group Steering Committee. I first travelled to Antarctica in 2011 as part of the University of Canterbury’s Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies, and I have since returned for several seasons, spending time lecturing on Antarctic cruise ships.

Alexander Thornton - APECS Vice-President 2016-2017

A.E.Thornton 2016Graduate Student / Teaching Assistant, University of Alaksa Fairbanks, United States

I am a graduate researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Through partnerships with subsistence communities, my current Master's work has me exploring isotopic trends in diet variation of individual walruses and within the Pacific walrus population, encompassing previous and current climate anomalies as well as regime shifts. I received my first Master's from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where I extensively studied conservation science in Earth's polar regions and completed research with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on recovery rates of delphinids impacted by tuna fisheries in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. In my career, I hope to play an active role in producing rigorously-tested, scientific content capable of positively influencing dynamic ocean resource management for today’s and future generations. I believe that STEAM fields are empowered by diversity and multi-disciplinary approaches, so am enormously proud to work with other early career scientists from around the world as we make great strides towards meeting intersectional goals.

TJ Young - APECS Vice-President 2016-2017

TJ Young 2016 small

PhD Student, British Antarctic Survey / University of Cambridge /Scott Polar Research Institute, United Kingdom

I am currently a PhD student at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge, with the Scott Polar Research Institute. My PhD research integrates electrical engineering, numerical modelling, and field glaciology to investigate the basal and englacial processes of glacier motion of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the mass loss induced through these processes. Specifically, my field research involves using phase-sensitive Radio Echo Sounders (pRES) to observe and measure glacier flow, englacial deformation, and subglacial melt rates to high (millimetre) accuracy on Store Glacier, northwestern Greenland. Despite growing up in the islands of subtropical Taiwan and Hong Kong, my interest in the polar landscape originated from my academic background in marine mammal science. As part of the Marine Conservation Ecology group at Duke University and the Duke Marine Lab, where I completed my undergraduate degree, my research focused on the foraging ecology and spatial modelling of endangered seals and whales in western Antarctica.

I have been active with APECS at the national level for a number of years, having been a past president of the UK Polar Network (UKPN).

Heather Mariash - ex-officio

Heather MariashPost-doctoral fellow, Canada

APECS Executive Committee Member 2014 - 2016

Currently I am a W. Garfield Weston Postdoctoral Fellow, working with the National Wildlife Research Centre, Ottawa studying the effects of overabundant geese on the tundra wetlands in the Canadian Arctic. My research focuses on the effects of environmental change on freshwater habitats, for example we are seeing shifts in community composition, life history strategies, and food web dynamics in the tundra wetlands. Understanding the mechanisms of change within the aquatic community can help make informed conservation and management strategies.

It is this extreme seasonality in the Arctic that drives both my passion for the north and my research objectives. I earned my masters and PhD in aquatic ecology from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland studying arctic lakes in Lapland, Greenland, and Svalbard. I have been an active member of APECS since 2010 and look forward to taking on a leadership role for the 2014-2015 term.

Trista Vick-Majors - ex-officio

Trista Vick-MajorsPostdoctoral Research Fellow, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

APECS Executive Committee Members 2014-2016

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Quebec in Montreal. I have worked in the Antarctic since 2008, when I began my International Polar Year MSc research focusing on the responses of aquatic microorganisms to the annual Antarctic sunset. My PhD work focused on the interactions between microbes and the carbon cycle in a subglacial lake (800 m beneath the surface of the Antarctic Ice Sheet) and in the ocean under the McMurdo and Ross ice shelves. For my postdoctoral work, I have switched hemispheres and am now studying the interactions between microbes and dissolved organic matter in boreal aquatic environments. The boreal biome covers much of Northern America and Eurasia, from ~50 to 70 degrees north. Of that vast area of land, much of it is covered in water. These inland waters are key players in the global carbon cycle, and their high degree of connectivity with the surrounding terrestrial environment makes them excellent places to study land-water-atmosphere carbon interactions. Dissolved organic matter is also abundant in these systems - they are ideal places to study the relationship between microorganisms and dissolved organic matter. My research focuses on the use of high-resolution molecular characterizations of dissolved organic matter combined with detailed data on microbial community structure and function across ecological continuums. I aim to use these combined datasets to further our understanding of the coupling between microorganisms and their carbon sources.

Ruth Vingerhagen - ex-officio

Ruth Hindshaw 2015

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

APECS President 2015-2016

APECS Executive Committee Member 2014 - 2016

My research aims to understand biogeochemical processes in polar/alpine environments with the main focus on constraining how chemical weathering is affected by glaciation. The chemical weathering of silicate rocks is a key feedback mechanism for the stabilisation of Earth’s climate by regulating the carbon cycle. I work with isotope tracers (Ca, Sr, Li) in stream water, together with the analysis of rock samples and laboratory experiments in order to identify which chemical reactions are occurring, with a particular focus on seasonal variations.

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

APECS Directorate Sponsor
AWI WortBildmarke Farbe RGB
Further Sponsors and Partners for APECS projects, activities and events