Executive Committee

Nathalie Morata (Chair)
University of Western Brittany

Nathalie Morata is a research scientist in marine ecology at the Laboratory of Marine Sciences (LEMAR), in Plouzané, France. Her research interests include the use of field observation and manipulative experiment to address issues related to carbon cycling and organic matter fluxes to the seafloor. She is currently the PI of the French project “ECOTAB” (Effect of Climate change On The Arctic benthos), aiming to investigate how climate-induced changes in biological (food sources) and environmental conditions (pH, temperature, salinity) will impact the Arctic benthos in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard.

Allison Fong (Co-chair)
Alfred Wegener Institute 
Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Allison Fong is a postdoctoral scholar in the Polar Biological Oceanography Section of the Alfred Wegener Institute. She works at the interface of marine biogeochemistry and molecular ecology to identify mechanistic underpinnings of scales of oceanographic patterns in carbon, nitrogen, and microbial diversity. Her research is centered on elucidating connections between microorganisms, the geochemical processes they catalyze, and the roles these interactions play in organic matter cycling. She is particularly interested in how particle-associated consortia and processes shape our conceptual models of marine biogeochemistry and ecology. Additionally, she has extensive professional service experience as a former elected board member of the Association for the Sciences of Limnologyand Oceanography (ASLO) and currently, as an Early Career Fellow in the Marine Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC).

Renate Degen (Co-chair)
University of Vienna

Renate Degen is a marine ecologist and postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests are functional ecology and in particular the ecology of marine polar systems, which is also the title of her lecture. In her current project, Renate uses trait-based approaches to analyze benthic functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in different regions of the Arctic Ocean with regard to environmental drivers and stressors. The goals are to understand small and large scale patterns in benthic ecosystem functioning and to identify regions and functions most susceptible to the effects of climate change observed in the Arctic today.

Helen Findlay

Plymouth Marine Laboratory
United Kingdom

Helen Findlay is a Research Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory in Plymouth, UK. Her research combines observations, experiments and models to investigate the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on marine organisms and ecosystem function. Her recent work has involved investigating carbon biogeochemical cycling in the high Arctic in seawater and under sea-ice, with a focus on assessing the relative contribution of biological, physical and chemical processes in impacting the seasonal cycle.

Michael Fritz

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Department of Periglacial Research

Michael Fritz is a Research Associate in the Department of Periglacial Research at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany. His current research focuses on land-ocean interactions and coastal permafrost dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea area. It involves the study of coastal erosion and material transport pathways with special regard to the delivery of organic carbon and other nutrients from the onshore to the nearshore zone. As a geoscientist Michael has a background in reconstructing the late Quaternary environmental development in the western Canadian Arctic. This involves the investigation of permafrost deposits, ground ice and lake sediments in periglacial landscapes by means of sedimentology, stable isotope geochemistry and palynology. Since 2012 he has served as a member of the executive committee of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN).

Sanna Majaneva

University of Helsinki / Department of Environmental Sciences
Finnish Environment Institute / Marine Research Centre

Sanna Majaneva is a researcher in marine ecology at the University of Helsinki and Finnish Environment Institute / Marine Research Centre in Finland. Her research interests include the use of field observation and manipulative experiment to address issues related to pelagic communities of the Arctic marine ecosystem and how different aspects of the changing climate could affect these communities. Her PhD research has involved investigating the gelatinous part of the Arctic and Baltic Sea zooplankton community, with a focus on assessing the relative diversity and their role in the food web. Since 2011 she has served as a council member of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and since 2013 as APECS representative for ICARP III steering group.

Alexey Pavlov

Norwegian Polar Institute
Fram Centre

Alexey Pavlov is a physical oceanographer by training and is currently a sea ice postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE), Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø, Norway. Alexey has worked on linkages between physical, biogeochemical and biological processes in the Arctic Ocean, and particularly on marine optics and contribution of dissolved and particulate matter to the absorption of light in surface waters of the Fram Strait. His ongoing work focuses on interaction between solar radiation and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean within a project STASIS and a EU-funded project ICE-ARC. In the meantime, Alexey blogs about polar research on Twitter at @mvpgeo.

Kirstin Werner

Alfred Wegener Institute
Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven

Kirstin Werner has worked as a postdoctoral fellow in paleoceanography at the Byrd Polar Research Center in Columbus, Ohio (USA). During her PhD and postdoc at GEOMAR (Kiel, Germany) and INSTAAR (Boulder, USA) she studied high-resolution sediment cores from the eastern Fram Strait in order to understand the variability of heat transfer to the Arctic Ocean and corresponding changes of the sea ice extent during the past ca 10,000 years including a strong warming event in the present, anthropogenically influenced period. Now based at Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, Kirstin is working as the project officer in the International Coordination Office of the Polar Prediction Project (polarprediction.net) which will be organizing the Year of Polar Prediction (mid-2017 to mid-2019).

Christopher Horvat
Harvard University
United States

Chris Horvat is a PhD student at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, focused on polar oceanography and climate modeling. His research is motivated by the need to understand and model links between small (below the climate model grid) and large scales in Earth climate system. This includes developing of a model for the sea ice floe size and thickness distribution, and examining how floe sizes couple with ocean eddies to influence the melting of sea ice. In addition, he focuses on modeling phytoplankton blooms that occur underneath regions covered by ice and the impacts they have on polar ecology.

Jinyoung Jung
Division of Polar Ocean Environment
Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon
South Korea

Jinyoung Jung is a chemical oceanographer and a senior research scientist at Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI). During his PhD at the University of Tokyo, he worked on atmospheric nitrogen deposition and its impact on marine ecosystem. His current research focuses on investigating the impact of environmental change on the biogeochemical cycles of dissolved and particulate organic matters and nutrients in melt ponds and seawater of the Chukchi Sea. This project ist part of the multi-disciplinary, international research project Korea-Arctic Ocean Observing System (K-AOOS).

Kathrin Keil
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Potsdam


Kathrin Keil is a Project Scientist at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) where she is leading the Arctic research project SMART (Sustainable Modes of Arctic Resource-driven Transformations), which focuses on stakeholder engagement and governance challenges in the resource-driven transformations in the Arctic and the feedback effects between Arctic and non-Arctic regions. Kathrin received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2013. In her dissertation she researched the international politics of the Arctic, with a focus on international regimes and institutions in the areas of energy, shipping and fishing. She is also the Europe Director of The Arctic Institute – Center for Circumpolar Security Studies where she regularly writes about and comments on current Arctic developments. Further, Kathrin is part of the official German observer delegation to the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council.

Allyson Tessin

Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan
United States

Allyson Tessin recently defended her PhD in Geology at the University of Michigan. Her PhD research focused on intervals of enhanced organic carbon burial in shallow marine environments during the Cretaceous (~86 million years ago) to assess how the marine carbon cycle changed under greenhouse climate conditions. This work involved investigating changes in reactive iron availability, redox conditions, organic matter preservation and nutrient recycling. This fall, Allyson will begin a Marie Curie fellowship at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom to study carbon and nutrient cycling in the Arctic Ocean over the last ~150 thousand years.