Join APECS Oceania Committee

We currently have opportunities for enthusiastic postgrad and early career researchers to join the APECS Oceania Executive Committee.

If you are interested in joining the Executive committee and want to get more involved in APECS events in Australia and New Zealand please fill complete the application form

If you’d like more information about what’s involved and what we do please contact us at:


Communicating Across Borders Workshop – 4 July 2017

Communicating Across Borders: APECS Oceania Workshop

APECS Oceania hosted a two hour workshop for early career researchers in Hobart on 4 July 2017, just prior to the 2017 SCAR Humanities and Social Sciences Depths and Surfaces Conference. Almost 40 early career researchers from all over the world took part in the event, with one third identifying themselves as scientists, one third identifying as social scientists, and one third as humanities scholars. All were united by their interest in communication, and in making connections with others outside their usual sphere.

In today’s research climate, communication is an important skill. Researchers need to be able to not only communicate with colleagues in the same area, but with those from very different backgrounds, and the wider public. A panel session in the first hour addressed the challenges associated with “communicating across borders” and noted that such borders may be disciplinary, geographic, or between areas such as science and policy. Panelists came from a range of backgrounds, and were very responsive to questions from the audience. The panel consisted of:

  • Dr Renuka Badhe (Executive Secretary – European Polar Board)
  • Mr Elias Barticevic (Chilean Antarctic Institute – INACH)
  • Dr Adrian Howkins (Environmental Historian – Colorado State University)
  • Dr Mel Fitzpatrick (Climate Scientist – E & O – Science Communication)
  • Dr Meredith Nash (Homeward Bound programme – UTAS)

APECS Panel Mentors with COMNAP flag. Thanks to COMNAP for sponsoring catering at this event.

The second half of the workshop involved breaking out into three groups to workshop themes that had been flagged as of interest when participants registered. Dr Daniela Liggett, Dr Cornelia Lüdecke and Dr Elizabeth Leane led discussions on “Fostering Interdisciplinary Projects,” discussing their own experiences and then helping workshop participants identify common ground, and providing strategies for planning a collaboration.

When it came to “Fellowships and Opportunities,” mentors provided advice on writing grant applications, from the perspectives of both successful applicants (Dr Rowan Trebilco and Dr Ursula Rack) and those who regularly review such applications (Dr Alan Hemmings and Dr Renuka Badhe). The guidelines for the COMNAP and SCAR Fellowships provided a useful guide, opening the floor for discussions about how to plan for such an application, and ensure it meets the criteria. As one workshop participant put it:

“I really enjoyed having three ”experts” explaining the process of applying for funding. Personally, I have no experience in applying for such grants so it was great to have an examiner detailing what was expected that wasn’t necessarily expressed in the instructions. The experts seemed genuinely keen to help us and the atmosphere, as well as the small size of the group, made it easy to participate. Despite being general, I still got concrete tips that I will for sure use the day I apply for a grant!”

Finally, those interested in “Science Communication” were in for a treat, thanks to the expert tutelage of Dr Mel Fitzpatrick and Stephen Curtain. The small group atmosphere lent itself well to in depth discussions, and left all participants with many elements to consider the next time they explain their research to others.

We thank the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) for their support in providing catering for the event, the mentors for their time, and all those who took part.

This event was organised by Hanne Nielsen, Gabriela Roldan, and Helene Aflenzer, along with Sumi Jayaseelan, Cyril Jaksic, and Ephaphrus Mamabolo

APECS Panel in full force, chaired by Gabriela Roldan

Break out session on fostering interdisciplinary research


Break out session with tips on writing grant applications

Flying Flags to Celebrate Antarctica Day

APECS Oceania (Hobart branch) and the local Young Antarctic Scientists have teamed up to organise a special Antarctica Day event for a class of Grade 4 students at Calvin Christian College in Kingston, who are taught by Chris McMinn, Jono Laning and Christina Flinn. The Young Antarctic Scientists are a group of mainly PhD students from the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. They are led by Guy Williams and are enthusiastic about the outreach of the research being undertaken at these institutes.

The students of Calvin Christian College have been busy creating flags that represent Antarctica, using what they have learnt from the Young Antarctic Scientists, who have previously visited the class this year. As part of the Antarctica Day activities the students will be presenting their Antarctica Flags to Eva Cougnon. Eva is a PhD student at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart and will be taking the flags with her when she travels on board the Aurora Australis to Antarctica in early December. Eva will photograph the flags on their journey to the Antarctic continent and will send this image along with a certificate back to the class so they can see just how far their artwork has traveled.

Antarctica Day is a great outreach opportunity for APECS Oceania, and though this is the first time the Antarctic Flags activity has been run locally we are looking forward to getting more schools involved next year and establishing a stronger link between local students and the researchers who study and work in Antarctica.

For other information on similar Antarctica Day events please check out OurSpaces

Survey Participants Sought

Two groups of researchers based in NZ and Australia are currently studying the well-being of people working in Antarctica. One survey is for anyone who has been to Antarctica (first paragraph and link), the other is for those who have worked there specifically during the polar night (Austral winter) (second paragraph and link). Please find information and links to the surveys below.

Have you worked in Antarctica? This is your opportunity you to have a voice, share your story of your time in the Antarctic and help in the development of supports for future Antarctic personnel working in Antarctica. Dr. Kimberley Norris and student researcher Clare Hawkes from the University of Tasmania Australia are investigating the experience of Antarctic employment, as told by past Antarctic Personnel. The aim of this study is to better understand how Antarctic employment impacts personnel and how best to study it. Participation in the study involves completing a survey consisting of short answer and rating-based questions, which will take approximately 30 minutes of your time to complete. If you are interested in participating, please follow the link below for further information and access to the survey. Thank you in advance for your time.

Any former winter-overs would be ideal participants for Cyril Jaksic‘s study, which consists of an online questionnaire of approximately 20 minutes. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and participants will not be asked to disclose their name, guaranteeing their anonymity. This study aims to investigate the psychological factors related to adjustment to Antarctic stations. Specifically, we are interested in predicting one’s social fitness to the station, job satisfaction, job performance, mood, sleep quality and cognitive performance. This study is being conducted as part of a PhD project through Lincoln University (New Zealand). If you are interested, click on the link below to know more about it and to take part in it: If you have any questions, feel free to contact: Cyril Jaksic 

International Representatives

APECS Oceania members are also represented at the international level, on the APECS Council and Executive Committee:

We have a representative at the Executive Committee: Hanne Fønss Nielsen (University of Tasmania), and three representatives at the Council: Adam Campbell (University of Otago), Meagan Dewar (Deakin UniversityInternational Penguin Early Career Scientists) and Gabriela Roldan (Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury)

Meet your reps here and wish them good luck!


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events for the 2017 term and beyond include:

APECS Oceania plans to have a presence at each of these events. If you are aware of any upcoming events that should be added to the list, or would like to volunteer to help at any of the events, please do get in touch.

Social Media Workshop

This Polar Week (September 2016), communication was in the spotlight for APECS Oceania. On Monday 19 September (1300 AEST), Indi Hodgson-Johnston from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (Hobart) presented an introduction to “Social Media for Marine and Antarctic Scientists.” Tune in to a recording of the talk to learn about the various social media platforms, how to use a hashtag, networking effectively online, and ways to promote your research.

Social Media for Marine & Antarctic Scientists from APECS Webinars on Vimeo.

APECS Online Conference

The 2016 APECS Online conference will be held on 18 May. This conference will encourage scientific dialogues between early career scientists from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, with presentations on new research perspectives from a range of research fields. With increased attention on the changing polar environment and the future challenges this will bring, this conference aims to convey the broad range of new research currently being conducted internationally.

Session Themes

  • Biological – marine/freshwater/terrestrial
  • Geological/Environmental/terrestrial cryospheric environments
  • Atmospherics/Climatology
  • Oceanography/Sea-ice
  • Cultural/Historical/Policy/Education

To register for the audience, and learn all about the future of polar research, please sign up here. For details on conference sessions, click here.

Antarctic Science Travel Funding

Thanks to support that APECS received from Antarctic Science Ltd., APECS is happy to announce the availability of travel funding for early career Antarctic researchers.

Antarctic Science Logo copyapecs logo web

We will offer a limited number of partial awards to present Antarctic research at conferences through October 15, 2016, including the SCAR Open Science Conference in Kuala Lumpur in August 2016.

To apply, please fill out this online application form. Application deadline is on 6 May 2016 at 23:59 GMT. Late applications cannot be considered this time.

If you have questions, please contact . A word version of the form is available upon request if you have problems accessing the online form.

Are you attending the SCAR Open Science Conference 2016? The APECS workshop on 21 August is now open for registration. You can find more information on the workshop website.