CAFF-IASC Fellows in 2018 Erica Oberndorfur and Thomas LamerisThomas Lameris and Erica Oberndorfer are the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellows!

The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) welcome Thomas Lameris and Erica Oberndorfer to the inaugural CAFF-IASC Fellowship in 2018.

CAFF and IASC have teamed up to provide Fellows with an opportunity to identify an area of interest and expertise, participate in and contribute to CAFF’s work, and produce at least one peer-reviewed publication and/or deliverable report to the Arctic Council Senior Arctic Officials.

The selection process was organized in cooperation with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), who managed the applications and coordinated the work of independent, volunteer reviewers to evaluate and recommend the highest quality candidates. The final selection was made in consultation with CAFF and IASC.

Lameris and Oberndorfer will begin their Fellowship by attending the CAFF Board Meeting February 6-8, 2018 in Fairbanks, Alaska. After this initial introduction, they will delve into their respective projects and continue with appropriate meeting(s), and advance the work of the groups on which they will focus. In addition, they are expected to contribute to the program of the Arctic Biodiversity Congress, 2018.

Lameris will focus his activities on CAFF’s Arctic Migratory Birds Initiative (AMBI) and Oberndorfer will focus on CAFF’s Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program’s (CBMP) Terrestrial work.

Lameris is a bird ecologist, mainly focusing on the impacts of climate warming on phenology and reproduction of Arctic migratory birds. During his MSc at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands (2013), he studied the effects of anthropogenic land use changes on breeding birds. He shifted in focus to climate warming effects during his PhD where he studied barnacle geese that migrate from wintering grounds in Western Europe to breeding grounds in Arctic Russia. He is currently finishing up his PhD thesis, and starting his post-doc work on the effects of climate warming on the growth of red knots that breed in the Russian Arctic.

Oberndorfer received her PhD from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) in 2016 and is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Labrador Institute in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Labrador, Canada), where she lives. Her work is guided by plant mentors in the Inuit Community of Makkovik (Nunatsiavut), with a view to understanding how plants are integrated into daily life in the region and how plant communities express the ecological legacy of cultural practices in Labrador. She is currently working on the Makkovik Plant Book, a community book focused on the teachings of Makkovimiut plant mentors.

CAFF and IASC welcome Lameris and Oberndorfer and thank APECS for helping to promote the Fellowship and securing the successful candidates.

Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF)

CAFF is the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council and consists of National Representatives assigned by each of the eight Arctic Council Member States, representatives of Indigenous Peoples' organizations that are Permanent Participants to the Council, and Arctic Council observer countries and organizations. CAFF’s mandate is to address the conservation of Arctic biodiversity, and to communicate its findings to the governments and residents of the Arctic, helping to promote practices which ensure the sustainability of the Arctic’s living resources. For more information:

Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP)

The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) is an international network of scientists, governments, Indigenous organizations and conservation groups working to harmonize and integrate efforts to monitor the Arctic's living resources. The goal is to facilitate more rapid detection, communication, and response to the significant biodiversity-related trends and pressures affecting the circumpolar world. The CBMP organizes its efforts around the major ecosystems of the Arctic: marine, freshwater, terrestrial and coastal. The CBMP has been endorsed by the Arctic Council and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the official Arctic Biodiversity Observation Network of the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEOBON). For more information:

Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.  Arctic Council Member States are Canada, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America. In addition to the Member States, the Arctic Council has the category of Permanent Participants who include the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC), Aleut International Association (AIA), Gwich'in Council International (GGI), Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Saami Council (SC). For more information: 

Arctic States

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Permanent Participants

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