Fred is currently a researcher at Geosciences Paris Sud (GEOPS) in Orsay near Paris, France, and participates in the ‘Make Our Planet Great Again‘ initiative launched in 2017 by the French President. He has a geology background, but later specialized in ‘paleolimnology’, the history of lakes. He has conducted dozens of fieldwork campaigns in lake-rich permafrost landscapes of the Canadian North, and more recently in Siberia. Fred is also deeply interested in teaching and scientific outreach, the main reason for launching and leading this project. According to our spies, he can play several instruments in a musical band – literally and figuratively.
Michael is a Research Associate at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, and specializes in coastal permafrost dynamics in the Arctic. Michael has led and participated in seven expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic where he became an expert in sampling of permafrost, lake sediments and marine sediments.
Julie is a geological engineer doing her PhD at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. She is among those whose job is to make sure that permafrost underneath roads and airstrips stays frozen and stable for a long time. She visited the Yukon Territory for the first time in 2009, and since then, she got hooked and went back every summer. She also did some fieldwork in Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Svalbard. Julie has now been living in Norway since 2016. She is currently collaborating with the Norwegian University of Sciences and Technology in Trondheim for her PhD project.
Alexandre is a PhD student in Physical Geography at the Institute of Geography and Land Management, working on the analysis of relict slope deposits in Serra da Estrela Mountain, Portugal and a researcher of the Centre of Geographical Studies of the University of Lisbon. He has a MS in Physical Geography on the thermal regime of the active layer and permafrost in the Hurd Peninsula (Livingston Island, Antarctica). His research interests focus on geomorphodynamics of polar and mountain environments. He participated in five Antarctic campaigns between 2006 and 2012 with the Bulgarian, Brazilian and North-American Antarctic Expeditions and in one in the Arctic in Adventdalen and Sassendalen, Svalbard.
Michel completed his PhD at the University of Montreal, Canada. He has research interests in geomorphology, which is the science studying the evolution of landscapes and landforms. A member of the Centre for Northern Studies and of the Geocryolab, he spent many summers in a polar desert site at Canada’s most northern lake, where he became pretty good at sampling permafrost, lake sediments, water and snow. He also wears the typical geoscientist beard, although he claims he “had it before it was cool”.
Ashley is a Research Scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa, Canada. She completed her PhD at Queen’s University and has had the opportunity to complete 8 seasons of permafrost field work in multiple locations throughout the Canadian Arctic. To learn more about Ashley and the research she has done check out her website.
Matthias was born on a volcano, learned to crawl in the Andes and to swim in the Sahel. He lived in seven countries on four continents and is now working at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University in Sweden. His research is focused on high-latitude ecosystem carbon storage and properties of permafrost-affected soils. He specializes on using high-resolution images from satellites and drones to map vegetation and soil organic carbon. Matthias has been involved in permafrost research since 2009 and has participated in fieldwork in the Siberian, European and North American Arctic where he took a lot of photos.
Ylva Sjöberg is a Swedish permafrost enthusiast with a particular interest in water, which has brought her the arctic areas of Alaska, Scandinavia, Greenland, and Russia. At the moment, she leads two parallel lives as a researcher, one in Sweden and one in Alaska. She enjoys digging for permafrost and groundwater, as well as climbing trees to acquire a broader perspective on her surroundings. She enjoys opportunities for exchange during conferences, workshops and courses, and she uses these occasions to stimulate the interest of younger scientists, an endeavor that once brought her all the way to the North Pole in an Olympic Torch Relay.
Audrey Veillette is a masters student who had the chance to visit Nunavut for the first time in 2011. Since then, she spent every summer in northern Canada. Permafrost and ground ice are her main research topics, and she is particularly interested in evolution of thermokarst. She’s quite skilled at chopping ice with an axe, and paticularly successful operations landed her the surname “big chunk”. Her field trips led her to witness incredible natural treasures, but her visit in communities of Nunavik and Nunavut showed her a lot about the social riches of the North too.
Stefanie Weege was born in Berlin, but visited Svalbard for the first time in 2007 where she fell in love with the Arctic. She spent time studying (and watching some of the amazing wildlife too!), and later came back to work on several occasions. Her time on Svalbard inspired her to undertake a PhD in Arctic science, focused on how fast permafrost thaws on warm and sunny summer days. This brought her back to the Arctic on two occasions, but this time to Herschel Island in northwest Canada. There she set up weather stations, although she wasn’t always so lucky in getting a lot of observations – grizzly bears loved to have a good old scratch on the poles and often times she was left with just a piece of fur as a memory.
Jon Harbor is a professor at Purdue University (USA) who works with a wide range of students and communities in research on paleoenvironments, environmental management, and ways to teach and learn about geosciences. Building on his work on public outreach to diverse communities for science education, he serves as an advisor on this project.
Prof. Dr Joachim Otto Habeck is an anthropologist at the University of Hamburg. Earlier (2003-14) he was coordinator of the Siberian Studies Centre, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, in Halle, Germany. His research profile comprises land-use practices, gender roles and the public sphere of culture in the Far North of Russia and other postscocialist regions of Eurasia. His ethnographic field research with reindeer herders in the Northern Urals and a recent study on permafrost and pastoralism in Yakutia (Sakha) provide the basis for joint publications, e.g. with Kirill Istomin, on indigenous land users’ perceptions of environmental change in Northern ecosystems.