University of Liège, Belgium
APECS Council Member 2016-2017
I have been fascinated with the Polar Regions since I was an undergraduate student in Brazil. I started working with Antarctic microbial communities during my master’s studies. During this period, I became more and more interested in polar research. I was surprised by how little we know about the microbial communities thriving in cold environments, especially if we acknowledge the vital contribution of psychrophilic microorganisms to global energy cycles and climate maintenance. After obtaining my master’s degree, I decided to continue my studies abroad. I am currently a PhD student at the University of Liège (Belgium), working with the diversity, ecology and (meta)genomics of polar cyanobacteria. After a couple of years working with material that had been collected beforehand, I finally had the opportunity to experience a polar environment. During four months, I carried out research and fieldwork in Svalbard. This unique experience was life changing for me; to fulfill a personal dream of going to a polar region, to finally experience the environment that I had been studying for many years, and to witness the beauty and fragility of the Arctic.
Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS), United States
APECS Council Member 2016-2017
Greetings from Fairbanks, Alaska. I am an early career student/professional hybrid with a background in International Relations focused on Arctic Policy. I have a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Idaho and am pursuing a Master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Arctic and Northern Studies. Over the past several years, I have worked on a variety of initiatives and programs to advance the understanding of the Arctic. Nowadays, I am located at the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S., where I work on a projects focused on connecting the Arctic science community. Outside of my professional life, I like to spend time with my family, travel, and meet new people.
University of Victoria, Canada
APECS Council Member 2016-2017
I am an award winning researcher of mixed Inuit descent with 15 years of experience working in research involving Indigenous people (in Arctic and non-Arctic contexts). My own research focuses on the governance of research/research ethics for research involving Indigenous people using community-based participatory-action approaches and Indigenous methodologies. I also work in a variety of projects at the intersection of research, policy, and Indigenous community development. I currently teach in the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria and in the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Toronto and am an invited lecturer and speaker at many events around the world. I also facilitate training sessions at the Canada School of Public Service and am a mentor in the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership at the Coady International Institute at St. Frances Xavier University. I am dedicated to ensuring more Indigenous content, education, engagement, and collaboration between Indigenous people in the Arctic, researchers, and policy makers.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, United States
APECS Council Member 2016-2017
I am a postdoc in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. My research addresses the fate of terrestrial materials, such as organic matter and nutrients, in aquatic and estuarine environments. As an undergraduate at Clark University (2010), I had the opportunity to travel to northeast Siberia as part of the Polaris Project (2009). My interest in arctic river chemistry was solidified by this experience, and I began graduate studies at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute to continue pursuing this research. My PhD (2016) focused on using satellite imagery from the past thirty years to estimate dissolved organic matter (DOM) in major Arctic rivers across Alaska, Canada, and Russia. More broadly, I continue to pursue research on how different biomarkers – ranging from optical measurements of fluorescence to lignin concentrations – can be used to trace the sources and transformation of terrestrially-derived material in lakes, rivers, and the coastal ocean. Particularly in the Arctic, where surface waters abound and the carbon cycle teeters on the precipice of climate-driven change, improving our understanding of systems on a watershed scale could prove essential.
University of Alberta, Canada
APECS Council Member 2015-2017
I am a PhD Student in the biological sciences program at the University of Alberta. My graduate focus in ecology stems from my longstanding fascination with the impact of climate change on Earth systems. After completing my B.A. in environmental science at Middlebury College (2011), I joined the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) as a Research Assistant. For 2.5 years at WHRC, I was part of research teams investigating the impacts of climate change and land disturbance on river chemistry and land-ocean linkages (Global Rivers Observatory), with much focus on the Arctic. My participation as a team member on the international Polaris Project expedition (2012) to the Siberian Arctic inspired me to pursue graduate studies in arctic science. As a graduate student in Dr. Suzanne Tank's lab, I am studying the influence of massive permafrost degradation on carbon cycle dynamics and aquatic ecosystems in the Peel River watershed (Northwest Territories, Canada). I find this research rewarding and fascinating because I work with a fantastic group of international researchers and Northern communities to understand the impacts of climate change on arctic ecosystems.
APECS Vice-President 2016-2017
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).
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Past APECS President 2015-2016
APECS Executive Committee Member 2014 - 2016
ex-officio APECS Executive Committee Member 2016-2017
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.
APECS Executive Director
Gerlis has been actively involved in the APECS leadership since 2009 and assumed the position of APECS Executive Director at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Norway) on 1 October 2013 leading the APECS International Directorate. She completed her PhD in Geography at the Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany in 2011 and worked afterwards for two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Her research focused on projects in the Canadian Arctic and Sub-Arctic as well as Northern Scandinavia, addressing questions of comparative economic deveopment, entrepreneurship, tourism, resource development and Northern engagement and participation in innovation and the knowledge economy.
Throughout her involvement in APECS, Gerlis has contributed significantly to the organization working with numerous APECS members and partners and helping to shape and manage many of the projects, events and resources made available through APECS. Between 2009 and 2011 she served as an Executive Committee member and afterwards continued to mentor and advise the Executive Committee in an ex-officio role. Gerlis also served as the elected APECS President during the 2009 – 2010 term. She has a great interest and appreciation for the polar regions and polar research and very much enjoys collaborating with researchers from around the world. Gerlis is a strong advocate of early career scientist participation, recognizing the importance of networking, professional development, and extra-curricular training in the polar and cryosphere communities.