Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

ExCom Prag

The elections for the 2017 - 2018 APECS Executive Committee will be held in September 2017 (application deadline 8 September) for the term from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018.

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

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 tlmeline:

  • early July 2017: announcement of elections
  • 8 September 2017 at 23:59 GMT: application deadline
  • 11 - 20 September 2017: Review period within the APECS Council including Q&A call with APECS Council and ExCom applicants
  • 21 - 25 September 2017: Voting period within the APECS Council
  • 26 September - 1 October 2017: Final vote count, review of results, transition process
  • 2 October 2016: Announcement of the 2017 - 2018 APECS Executive Committee

Who can apply? 


How do you apply?


What is the process for applicants after the applications deadline?


Applicants will be listed below in alphabetical order (by last name):

Applicant: Jilda Alicia Caccavo - The University of Padua - Italy

Jilda Alicia Caccavo.jpg

My apartment in Italy is home to an Antarctic researcher plush toy my parents gave to me when I began my PhD at the University of Padua studying the population structure of the keystone species the Antarctic Silverfish. Attached to the toy is a note I found in one of my childhood drawers which reads: Name: Jilda Alicia Caccavo, Age: 9, Job: Future Marine Biologist.
I am proud to say that 20 years later, I am fulfilling that dream, employing multidisciplinary techniques including genetics, otolith chemistry and trophic analyses to understand the health of Antarctic fish populations in order to gauge what impacts climate change and anthropogenic disturbances will have on them.

Becoming involved in the Antarctic sphere during my PhD and having worked on the APECS council for the past year in multiple capacities, I’m eager to work with the APECS Executive Committee to support like-minded, passionate, Polar scientists in their initiatives and pursuits.

Applicant: Jennifer Cooper - University of Kansas - United States

Jennifer Cooper

I am currently a Self Graduate Fellow at the University of Kansas in the Department of Physics and Astronomy pursuing a PhD. I study the evolution of galaxy clusters using the Hubble Space Telescope and the detection of cosmic neutrinos from Antarctica with the ARA and ANITA groups. I recently received a Msc in Physics from Cal State Los Angeles (2017) and I completed my undergraduate degree (2014) in Geophysics, Astrophysics, and Archaeology at Cornell University where I studied volcanoes around the world, including those in Antarctica. I'm also the APECS representative to SCAR Astronomy & Astrophysics (AAA) and SCAR Antarctic Volcanism (AntVolc).




Applicant: Jean Holloway - University of Ottawa - Canada

Jean Holloway

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa, Canada. My research interests are focused around determining how permafrost is responding to climate change in the Canadian Arctic. After completing my MSc (Geography) at Queen’s University, I joined the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at the University of Ottawa. At Queen’s, I worked in the Canadian High Arctic looking at features related to permafrost thaw, and during this time I fell in love with the North!
My current research is focused on determining the impacts of forest fires on discontinuous permafrost in the south-western Northwest Territories, Canada. Little work has been done to quantify the impacts of fire on permafrost in this region, even though the increasing frequency and magnitude of fires has the potential to accelerate permafrost loss.

Working on large multi-disciplinary projects in northern communities has made me realize that science communication is a vital part of conducting research, and I strive to make this an important part of my projects moving forward.

Applicant: Swati Nagar - National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research - India

Swati Nagar newConnecting the gap between science and community is what I am working for. Science is progressing at a very fast pace, creating a gap between scientist and common people. Outreach activities, by one way or another, connects the common people to science, creating a sense of appreciation for the scientific endeavors. To understand and increase our efforts in making a scientifically aware citizens, I am working as Project Scientist B at National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa. Besides, outreach, my area of interest is Lake Ecosystem.




Applicant: Hanne Nielsen - University of Tasmania - Australia

Hanne Nielsen 2017My name is Hanne Nielsen, I live in Hobart, and I have a passion for all things Antarctic. Over the last 3 years I have been writing my PhD 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 (New Zealand), 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 Executive 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. I have been involved in both the APECS leadership since 2014, and with the local APECS Oceania branch since 2012.

Applicant: Gabriela Roldan - Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Gabriela Roldan 1My name is Gabriela and I live in beautiful New Zealand! I'm a social scientist in the making, as I'm finishing my PhD this year. My research interests are in Antarctic geopolitics and Polar community identity, particularly in the gateway cities. I am also interested in the science-policy interaction and how to bridge these two working environments for the benefit of the Polar Regions. I am passionate about Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and I have an extensive experience in Antarctic tourism, education and outreach. I have an Honours degree in Tourism Management from the University of Patagonia, Ushuaia Campus (Argentina) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies from University of Canterbury (NZ). I have recently started a postdoctoral position as Gateway Antarctica (NZ) and I have been awarded the COMNAP Fellowship 2017.
Before getting involved in academia, I worked extensively in project management with an Antarctic focus, particularly implementing marketing strategies to develop the Antarctic tourism industry, developing curriculum-based Antarctic Education Programmes for children and Community Engagement programmes in Antarctic matters. In addition, I have collaborated with the Council of Managers of Antarctic National Programs (COMNAP) annual meetings, I have represented the regional government at the Reunion of Managers for Latin American Antarctic Programs (RAPAL) and currently, I am a member of the steering committee for SCAR Capacity Building, Education and Training Advisory group (SCAR-CBET). In addition, in my spare time, I work for a small non-profit foundation for ecological restoration in remote islands ( and I travel frequently to Antarctica working as a naturalist for ecotourism expeditions.

Applicant: Neelu Singh - National Centre For Antarctic and Ocean Research - India

Neelu SinghI am Neelu Singh from National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), India. I have nearly 7 years and 4 months of R&D experience in the field of environmental chemistry in Polar Regions. During my research career as a Ph.D. student at NCAOR, I have gained extensive working experience on the study of Trace Metals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Polar Regions. These research work experiences confer me a command over the topics and global climate issues related to the environmental subject. Instead of locked behind fence my job responsibilities provided me unequaled opportunities to participate in scientific expeditions and platform to interact with the student to scientists from various backgrounds and ethnicities. I participated in several national expeditions those were carried out at different global hot spot study locations like Antarctica (Indian Antarctic Expedition 2008-09), Arctic (Indian Arctic expedition-Summer period 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and Indian Ocean Sector of Southern Ocean (Indian Southern Ocean Expedition 2010). I have undergone training cum course work on "Arctic Environmental Pollution: Atmospheric Processes and Distribution" at the University of Svalbard, Norway during 2014. Consequently, I participated in the Arctic Frontiers Ph.D. workshop in 2015. Presently, I 'm about to submit my Ph.D. thesis. And I am eager to serve the APECS Excom!

Applicant: Alexander Thornton - University of Alaska Fairbanks - United States

A.E.Thornton 2016I am a Master’s student in Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I research feeding ecologies of Pacific walruses in a changing Arctic using stable isotopes from growth layers of teeth. I received my first Master's from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where I studied marine biodiversity and conservation of Earth's polar regions and completed analyses with NOAA’s SWFSC on how different mating strategies affect recovery rates of dolphins impacted by fisheries. Outside of school, I co-founded a SCAR EG-BAMM working group to investigate new, non-invasive field DNA sequence approaches and am training my shelter dog for wildlife detection. I am also currently one of APECS’ Executive Committee members and Representatives to SCAR’s CBET Committee. In my lifetime, I hope to produce scientific content that positively influences dynamic ocean management and communicate the global value of polar science to a broad audience. I believe that STEAM fields are empowered by diversity and multi-disciplinary approaches, so am proud to work alongside early career scientists from around the world as we make strides towards meeting intersectional goals.

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Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
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