ECRs wanted for Polar Week, September, 2019!

APECS Oceania is looking for early career scientists to give a seminar talk during the September APECS International Polar Week! The seminar will be about one polar topic (free to choose!) with three speakers to represent different perspectives, finishing with a panel discussion plus questions from the audience. The seminar will be at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart, limited travel funding is available for speakers and video link can also be arranged.

We are open for ideas about seminar topics and for suggestions of presenters! We also encourage you to organise your own event if you have enough interest locally but get in touch and we can cover different topics on different days.

For further information, please contact or find us on social media – Facebook or Twitter.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Polar Week, March, 2019)

APECS Oceania Stats at a glance (as of March, 2019):

  • 74% female members and 26% male members (globally APECS is 58% female, 41% male and 1% prefer to not say);
  • ~5% of all global APECS members!;
  • 56% PhD Students, 14% Post-doctoral, 12% Master Students;     
  • 128 members (82 from Australia and 46 from New Zealand).

What APECS Oceania is doing to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion:

This year APECS Oceania will be joining up with @PolarPride and @500QS (500 Queer scientists) to help promote diversity, equity and inclusion throughout APECS Oceania from events, online news and social media output as well as at talks, symposiums, workshops and conferences.

APECS Oceania also wants to get more members connected to polar events. If there is a talk, lecture or another public event that you want to participate in, but you cannot attend due to logistics (an event in New Zealand, meanwhile you live in Broome, for instance), please contact us and we will try organise a Zoom meeting so that you can have an online presence. Please keep in mind this is not a guarantee nor may it apply to paid conferences.

This Polar Week (March, 2019), reach out to your known members to celebrate not only polar research, but also diversity, equity and inclusion. In Hobart, we are encouraging all members who can make it to attend a local catch-up that will be held at the Hobart waterfront. It will be a “bring a plate” style picnic, celebrating diversity in people, culture and food requirements, equity in contribution, and inclusion of all members (of course logistics can restrict participation). The picnic will be on Saturday the 23rd of March at 3pm. Please contact us with any enquiries.

If you have any ideas on how to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in APECS Oceania please Contact Us, jump on our website or visit our Facebook page .


Don’t forget membership to APECS and APECS Oceania is free, so tell all your fellow budding polar science peeps to join in! We encourage researchers of all three poles to join (North, South and Himalayas). To join, visit our Join Us page or go to the APECS International website.

APECS Affiliates:

APECS is affiliated with SCAR, IASC, CliC, Antarctic Science Ltd., the Alfred Wegner Institute, The Norwegian Polar Institute, and many more! Visit the APECS International website for a full list of partners and sponsors globally as well as to find job opportunities, scholarships, conferences and much, much more!!


Polar Week, March, 2019

It is the first Polar Week of the year, aligning with the planet’s equinox, between the 17th and 23rd of March, 2019. Because of this special occasion, we are promoting a few things to have a little fun.

First and foremost, because it is polar week, we are encouraging members to wear polar themed clothing to try get conversations going about polar research and APECS Oceania going. As early career scientists and members of APECS Oceania, we are hoping that you can help spread the word about APECS, APECS Oceania and our founding organisation SCAR.

Secondly, we are aware that there are almost 50 members across New Zealand and almost 130 members spread across Australia, making up 5% of the APECS International membership base! We are aware that logistics and travel can be difficult in such a large geography, but we are encouraging local social catch-ups between members to promote a collegial atmosphere within the group.

For those interested, in Hobart between the 17th and 23rd of March, 2019, we are organising a catch-up (be it you live here or you are visiting during polar week). To help us plan an event and to find out what you would like to do, please click on this link and begin voting.

If you are not near, in nor visiting Hobart, we encourage you to contact and reach out to other members in your area to meet-up safely and enjoy the equinox, come Polar Week, together.

Happy voting and have an enjoyable Polar Week.

APECS Oceania members shine at the PAM conference

PhD students Angelique Ray and Alyce Hancock were presented the FEMS Microbiology Ecology Presentations Prizes at the recent 8th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology, 4-8th February Hamilton New Zealand, for the best ECR oral and poster presentation.


Angelique Ray, PhD student in the Ferrari Lab, University of New South Wales, was presented the best oral presentation for her captivating talk on bacterial chemoautotrophy in East Antarctic soils.  Angelique’s is working on mapping the distribution of genes association with a novel form of carbon fixation recently discovered in Antarctic microbes.


Alyce Hancock is a PhD student with Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.  She was presented the best poster presentation for a great summary of the effect of ocean acidification on Antarctic marine microbes using meta-analytic techniques.  Alyce’s PhD is working on the effect of ocean acidification on the diversity, abundance and interactions within a nearshore Antarctic marine microbial community.


Congratulations to Angelique and Alyce for their great presentations!  It is fantastic to see our Polar APECS Oceania ECRs recognised!

Local Social Catch-ups

It has been a very busy summer for many, and Semester is about to begin for 2019. Because of this, we are encouraging local catch-ups for meet-and-greets and to have a relaxed affair.

In Hobart, we will be going to the Antarctica Exhibit at the Tasmania Museum and Art Galley on Saturday the 16th of February, 2019. We will be meeting at 2pm, for those interested, and will be there for an hour or so. Then, we will be getting a bite to eat together afterwards, no obligation (particularly due to the diversity of diets). If you are in the Hobart area, feel free to come along.

Check out the Past Events for photos.

Member of the Week

As you may be aware, either through Facebook or Twitter, APECS Oceania has been publishing small profile snap-shots of members of APECS Oceania, typically on Fridays. The Member of the Week can also be found on the APECS Oceania website under About Us > Members.

If you want to feature in the Member of the Week and you are a current member of APECS Oceania, feel free to contact us via Facebook or via email ( If you want to feature, but you are not a member, join APECS Oceania first, but clicking here.

Happy 2019

APECS Oceania wishes everyone the very best for 2019. As a new year’s resolution, we have updated the APECS Oceania homepage. Take some time to look around. We are trying to have an updated Events section, while looking at improving our Members section. Any feedback will be appreciated.

Before we ended the year, 2018, we has the Annual General Meeting (5th December, 2018) held at the University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. New members of the National Committee were selected. Minutes can be found under News – Meeting Minutes.

This year, APECS Oceania will be contributing towards the SouthCOP 2019 conference in New Zealand, participating in Antarctica Day events, and hosting our 2nd APECS Oceania Symposium. In 2020, APECS Oceania will be involved in the 9th Open Science Conference presented by SCAR and will be held in Hobart, Tasmania!!! Some details can be found under Events – Future Events; while some past events have been updated under Events – Past Events.

If you need to contact us, do not hesitate. Our email is and one our our National Committee members will be in contact with you.

All the best,

APECS Oceania

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