Meet the BIOPOLE ECRs

Amy Swiggs

I am a PhD researcher with the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds. I’m also the BIOPOLE ECR Representative for 2022-2023. 

In my PhD I use satellites to study trends in Arctic sea ice thickness, and investigate how these changes will impact climate, ecosystems, and the economy. In particular I use satellite altimetry to measure the elevation of sea ice, which can be converted to estimates of sea ice thickness. In BIOPOLE, my role is to provide sea ice data and particularly sea ice thickness estimates. Currently I also represent the ECRs on the Executive Board and help to maximise engagement with BIOPOLE ECRs. 

Outside of my PhD, I love scuba diving and am always trying to save up for my next trip! I’m originally from Southwest England but have loved living in Yorkshire for the past 5 years, having done my undergraduate and master’s degrees in Sheffield. Living so close to the Peak District has really developed my love for hiking and I go as often as I can.

Chelsey Baker

I am an early career researcher working in the Marine Systems Modelling group at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. I have a background in observational marine biogeochemistry and switched to marine biogeochemical modelling after my PhD. My main interests are focused on the global carbon cycle, with a specialist interest in the Southern Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, and long-term carbon sequestration and how it may shift under future climatic changes. My research within the BIOPOLE project is focused on three main strands: 

  1. Analysing IPCC class models to investigate how primary production and nutrient fluxes from the polar regions changes in future centuries. 
  2. Undertaking high-resolution particle-tracking model simulations to determine how nutrient pathways might change out to 2100.    
  3. Undertaking high-resolution particle-tracking model simulations to determine the fate of carbon transported by the seasonal migration of high-latitude zooplankton to the interior ocean.  

I am excited to get stuck into these various scientific questions throughout BIOPOLE and hope to help increase of understanding of the sensitivity of the nutrients in the polar regions to climatic changes. 

Outside of work I enjoy spending my time reading, gardening, and spending time outdoors.

Jen Freer 

I am an early career researcher working within the Ecosystems Team at the British Antarctic Survey. As Ecosystem Modeller, part of my job involves bringing together multiple types of data, from oceanographic (such as sea temperature) to biological (where a species is found for example). Using these data within models can help us to understand the factors driving species distributions and abundances, how these biological processes contribute to ecosystem function, and how environmental change may impact them. 

For BIOPOLE, colleagues and I will collect specimens of small zooplankton species (mainly copepod crustaceans) and use statistical models to map their distribution in the Southern Ocean. Knowing their preferred location and depth during both summer and winter is really important information for modellers to be able to predict how much carbon they help sequester into the deep ocean. We will also team up with colleagues who study the seafloor to look at how the overwintering population of copepods overlap with the distribution of organisms living on the seabed, as these interactions are poorly understood.  

The aims and objectives of BIOPOLE necessitate a truly interdisciplinary team of researchers which I am really excited to be a part of. When not in the office I am happiest on or by the sea, so in my free time I make as many trips to the coast as possible to surf, swim or stroll! 

Anne Braakmann-Folgmann 

I am a final year PhD student with the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds. My work focuses on satellite remote sensing of icebergs. Giant icebergs hold vast amounts of ice together with terrigenous nutrients and can drift for multiple years before they disintegrate. Therefore, the goal of my PhD is to quantify where how much freshwater is released into the Southern Ocean from giant icebergs.  

Within the BIOPOLE project my role is to contribute these estimates of iceberg freshwater flux. I am excited to collaborate with a wide range of researchers in this project and to learn more about the impact that icebergs have on their environment. 

In my free time I like to go climbing and enjoy walks out in nature – especially by the coast. 

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