Why studying the Arctic?
The Arctic represents something unique in each of our minds. This frozen world, a crucial habitat of emblematic species, feeds the imagination of kids as well as adults. But many people are so far removed from the North Pole that they are not aware of the major issues reshaping its face. Warming of the Arctic is more rapid than the global average and triggers loss of Arctic sea ice, which, eventually, might completely disappear during the summer. Moreover, there are increasing interests for industrial developments in the Arctic Ocean. Given those interacting and complex changes, research is needed to develop baseline knowledge on Arctic systems, to evaluate how ongoing changes may affect those systems, and in turn, to guide sustainable development in the North.
The Arctic has long fascinated me, and I am interested in understanding how the Arctic marine ecosystem functions, how it provides ecosystem services to local and global communities, and how it is impacted by ongoing changes. Indeed, the Arctic marine ecosystem plays an important role in maintaining human well-being locally and globally. For instance, it provides important benefits to northern communities who depend directly upon marine wildlife for subsistence, cultural and socio-economic purposes, while the cooling effect of the Arctic Ocean on the Earth’s climate benefit all societies.
My background and current research
In my Master’s thesis, I studied how climate-related invasions of boreal fish species in Arctic waters could lead to rapid changes in the marine food web. These findings raised many questions to my mind about how changes in the Arctic marine ecosystem unfold. Do they interact? If so, can they cause social-ecological feedbacks? What are their implications for northerners? To answer some of these questions, I developed an interdisciplinary PhD research to study the Arctic marine ecosystem and the benefits - or ecosystem services - it provides to northerners in the context of environmental changes. Arctic change will have ecological and social impacts that can interact in complex ways. To untangle those interactions, I am using an integrated social-ecological approach that builds on resilience thinking.
I am highly active in science communication and outreach both in the North and the South of Canada. I organize workshops and conferences, and I write articles for different media outlets about Arctic issues. I have been actively involved on the board of APECS Canada - Canada's National Council of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists - since 2015, including as the Chair in 2017-18. We pursue different outreach activities related to polar science, and work to foster networking and cooperation among international and national early career polar scientists. Furthermore, I am interested in how researchers can best engage with northern indigenous communities. I co-organize a student-led workshop for early-career researchers on this topic (the Intercultural Indigenous Workshops).
Please, contact me if you have any questions!
Onboard the CCGS scientific icebreaker Amundsen