Success in the UK & Canada Arctic Partnership Bursaries Programme (2018) for CAO investigators

5th February 2018

Drs Tom Brown and James Grecian, both investigators in the CAO Programme, have been successful in the recent round of awards made through the UK and Canada Arctic Partnership Bursaries Programme. The funding in the Bursaries Programme is aimed at increasing the links in polar science between the UK and Canada to tackle urgent research questions about the consequences of rapid change in the Arctic region.

The programme is funded by the UK Department for Energy, Business and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), working with the British High Commission Ottawa and the NERC Arctic Office. The results of this second round of bursaries were announced on Friday 2 February 2018.

Dr Tom Brown is a co-investigator in the Arctic PRIZE, ARISE and DIAPOD projects in the CAO programme. His successful proposal in the Bursaries Programme is called “Lacustrine Ecosystems under ICE (LAkE-ICE)”. He will be working in close collaboration with Assistant Professor Bailey McMeans of the University of Toronto Mississauga to identify the consequences of climate change in the high Arctic on fish populations in lakes. They will gather data from lakes across the Arctic region, spanning Canada, America and Norway, and compare the results to more southerly lakes that could represent future conditions for these Arctic lakes. Ultimately this research will help develop targets for the fisheries industry to protect valuable species.

Dr James Grecian, a post-doctoral research in the ARISE project, has received funding for his proposal “Understanding the canary in the cage: harp seals as indicators of climate change impacts in the Arctic.” This research will be carried out in collaboration with Garry Stenson and Alejandro Buren at the Canadian Department for Fisheries and Oceans. The project aims to understand how foraging behaviour influences body condition during migration. The team will use photogrammetry to estimate individual body condition and deploy satellite relay data loggers. The data from these loggers will be used in tandem with custom-designed algorithms to identify changes in diving behaviour during migration. The research from this project will strengthen the capacity of Canadian and UK scientists to assess how climate change driven reductions in sea ice cover will impact key Arctic marine predators.