Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


1st APECS Oceania Symposium

"Addressing Future Antarctic Challenges from an Oceania Perspective"

  • 18th -19th September 2017
  • Monash University, Melbourne (Australia) 

Symposium Summary:

The inaugural APECS Oceania Symposium was held during Polar Week on the 18th and 19th of September 2017 at the Monash University Conference Centre, Melbourne. Twenty early career researchers (ECRs) attended the symposium in person, with at least another dozen attending remotely.

Eighteen ECRs presented their work during the symposium, with five remote presentations from ECRs in New Zealand and Tasmania. Two keynote presentations were given by Dr Gwen Fenton and Dr Aleks Terauds.

 APECS Oceania Symposium openedDr Gwen Fenton presents speaker awards

The best ECR presentation was awarded to Kara Layton from the University of Western Australia for her presentation on the diversification of parasites in gastropods (pictured above with Dr Gwen Fenton) and the runner up prize was awarded to Cyril Jaksic from Lincoln University (NZ), for his presentation on predicating the human response to extreme environments.

Three early career workshop sessions were run to help support ECRs with career advice, CV writing and optimising social media impact. The symposium was well represented on facebook and twitter, with over 100 tweets generated and the symposium hashtag #APECS17 trending on the Australian twitter. The symposium can be considered a success on all accounts.

This conference was made possible with the support of Monash University, the Australian Antarctic Division and APECS International.

ECR presentations on Day 1Future of APECS Oceania discussed

Session Overview:

Day 1

The symposium was opened by Jasmine Lee with a brief overview of APECS Oceania and a summary of the greatest challenges Antarctica faces into the future, as described by Antarctic scientists and policymakers across Oceania.

Dr Gwen Fenton, Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Division, delivered the first keynote address for the symposium. She provided an overview of the Australian Antarctic Division's 20 year Strategic plan and the level of investment Australia is making in Antarctica and Antarctic research, including the construction of the new Icebreaker which will be equipped with state of the art equipment and technology to facilitate innovative and strategic scientific research. Gwen also unveiled the new Antarctic Foundation which will provide funding for research in Antarctica for Australian Scientists. Gwen highlighted that this is an exciting time for ECRs to be involved in Antarctic science and asked for feedback on how the Antarctic Division could better support ECRs.

The following three sessions consisted of 18 presentations by early career scientists from Australia and New Zealand across a range of disciplines including psychology, social sciences, climate modelling, invasive species, parasites and microbes.

Aleks Terauds gives keynote at APECS Oceania SymposiumAPECS Oceania Symposium


Day 2

Thanks to our sponsorsThe second day began with a workshop from Prof Michael McCarthy from Melbourne University on career skills, including writing CVs, understanding and applying for both academic and non-academic jobs and tips for career progression from post-doctoral to fellowship or lecturer stage.

Dr Aleks Terauds gave the second keynote presentation for the symposium on the pathway to impact: undertaking science that can impact Antarctic policy. This was followed by a session on utilising and optimising social media by Jasmine Lee and Hanne Nielsen.

The symposium concluded with a panel session focusing on challenges facing ECRs and potential solutions. The panel consisted of Dr Aleks Terauds, Dr Gerlis Fugmann (APECS Director), Dr Helena Baird from Monash University and Hanne Nielsen, and was chaired by Dr Meagan Dewar and Jasmine Lee.

The first APECS Oceania Symposium was organised by Meagan Dewar, Jasmine Lee, Gabriela Roldan, and Hanne Nielsen.

Recordings of the sessions are avialble via vimeo:

For more on APECS Oceania activities, see,, or follow

Contact APECS

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

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