Click on the links Plenary sessions or Topical sessions for speaker bios.
Áslaug Geirsdóttir is a Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland focusing on paleoclimate and glacial geology. She has studied the dynamics of glaciation in Iceland since its onset at ca 3 ma. Her recent research focus is on the evolution of Holocene climate (the last ca 11 ka) derived from lake sediments. She is Affiliate with INSTAAR and has a Graduate Faculty Appointment at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has collaborated with colleagues from Europe, Canada and the US in large international projects synthesizing high latitude climate change on millennial timescales. Lately her interests have been devoted to the question of the origin of soil erosion and landscape instability in Iceland, isolating the potential impacts of climate, volcanic eruptions and human colonization of Iceland on the landscape by the use of biomarkers and sedimentary ancient DNA.
Robert DeConto is a Professor of Geosciences and co-Director of the School of Earth & Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rob´s background spans Earth science, climate physics, and glaciology. His research on the dynamic behavior of ice sheets, the role of ice sheets in past and future sea level rise on coastlines and people has been highlighted on the cover of Nature and on the cover of the New York Times. He has served as a selected lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and he is a recipient of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. Rob serves on a number of national and international science boards and advisory panels.
Valerie Masson-Delmotte's research has evolved around documenting past climate variability using natural archives (ice cores, tree rings) and stable isotope tools. She has studied the climate variability of the last centuries, abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period and the glacial-interglacial cycles. She has worked on projects in Greenland, Antarctica, Tibet, and Europe. She has also used climate models to simulate past changes on different spatial and temporal scales. Valerie has a long-term involvement in the sharing of results from climate science with stakeholders, children and the general public. She has also been involved in multi-disciplinary research projects and committee work with scientists from the life, health, and social sciences on topics related to water, climate-change impacts, perception, adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Eric Rignot studies the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they affect global sea level. His research groups at UC Irvine and JPL combine satellite remote sensing techniques (imaging radar interferometry, laser altimetry, optical imagery), airborne geophysical surveys (gravity, radar depth sounder), shipborne surveys (multi-beam echo sounding, conductivity-temperature-depth profiles, robotic devices), and field surveys (ground penetrating radars, ground portable radar interferometer, GPS) and numerical modeling (ice sheet models ISSM, and ocean models MITgcm). The group's work is about the causes and effects of climate change on ice sheets, but also connects with solutions to climate change and adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Jason Box is a professor in Glaciology and Climate at the Geologic Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). Since 1994, he has made 30 expeditions to Greenland to install and maintain measurement networks on Greenland ice. He is a lead author for Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) and a contributing author to the most recent three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports. He is an outspoken advocate for climate change risk management, including having joined panels to evaluate climate altering technologies.
Mark Serreze´s research has encompassed all aspects of the planet's cryosphere – i.e. snow and ice cover – with special emphasis on the Arctic. His research interests include atmosphere–sea-ice interactions, synoptic climatology, boundary-layer problems, and climate change. He has conducted field work in the Canadian Arctic on sea ice and ice caps, and on the Alaskan tundra. Efforts over the past ten years have increasingly focused on trying to make sense of the rapid environmental changes being observed in the Arctic. Mark is a leading authority on Arctic climate and his books include the award-winning textbook The Arctic Climate System (2005) and Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North, which has received critical acclaim for its impact on audiences beyond academia.
Julia Boike's passion is the multidisciplinary science of permafrost – understanding the the frozen Earth and how it is tied to our global climate system. She has travelled to Arctic field sites every year for more than 25 years and observed the on-going changes at remote places, such as Arctic Canada, Alaska, Eastern Siberia, and Svalbard. She uses innovative instruments that allow her to observe these changes at different scales, from the microscopic structure of snow and permafrost to the landscape-sized distribution of patterned ground. Together with her research group she undertakes long-term studies to find out more about how permafrost affects the exchange of energy and water between the ground and the air. Working together with climate modellers, her data provide the basis for including permafrost in models of the Earth’s climate system.
Olga Makarieva's scientific interests are cold region hydrology with focus on river flow-permafrost interactions and their changes in a non-stationary environment. She has worked on the development and enhancement of a process-oriented, robust, hydrological model, which can be applied in different permafrost landscapes with the ability to use observable characteristics of watersheds as parameters. Her research is focused on the impact of climate and landscape changes on the hydrological regime, engineering calculations of runoff, remote sensing data, the transformation of the hydrological regime, groundwater, the influence of the active layer of permafrost on runoff formation and mountain hydrology.
Mandira Singh Shrestha has 20 years of experience in water resources management including transboundary flood risk management, hydraulic and hydrologic modelling and hydropower projects. Prior to joining ICIMOD, she worked for several organisations; in the USA as a water resources engineer for hydro-electric and water resources projects, and later for the Association for Research and Management, Norplan, Butwal Power Company, and Care Nepal. At ICIMOD she coordinates regional programmes on transboundary flood risk reduction in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region and application of satellite based rainfall estimates for flood prediction. She is the Executive Secretary of HKH-FRIEND, an IHP/UNESCO programme, coordinating all activities with international and regional collaborating institutions.
Astrid Ogilvie is a climate historian and human ecologist. Her overarching career goal is to build bridges between the arts, humanities, and the natural sciences, in order to foster interdisciplinary cross-fertilization. Her research focuses on environmental and climatic history, and human ecology in North Atlantic and Arctic regions, in particular Iceland, Greenland, Norway, and Labrador/Nunatsiavut. Her particular expertise is the analysis of primary historical texts in the Scandinavian languages, including Icelandic.
Further areas of interest include: The historical climatology of northern Europe; the reconstruction of historical sea-ice records, in particular Iceland; long term human eco-dynamics; the comparison, integration and syntheses of climate proxy time series; and changing seasonality in the Arctic. In addition to her appointment in Iceland, Astrid is a Fellow at INSTAAR (the Insitute of Arctic and Alpine Research) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, an Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, New York, and Royal Roads University, Canada, a Visiting Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall, Orkney, and a Visiting Fellow at the Climate Research Unit, Norwich, UK. She was Nansen Professor of Arctic Studies at the University of Akureyri, Iceland in 2014.
Helgi Björnsson has led groundbreaking work on basic topics of glaciology in Iceland: description of surface and bedrock topography, glacier-volcano interaction, subglacial lakes, jökulhlaups, surges, glacial hydrology and meteorology, mass- and energy balance. The resulting data have been used to force and validate models of past and future glacier evolution in Iceland. Helgi is the author of a large number of research papers in international journals and he has published books on Icelandic glaciers in Icelandic and English. He was co-editor of the geoscience journal JÖKULL in 1977-1985 and 1989-1998 and President of the Iceland Glaciological Society in 1987-1998. He served as Vice-President of the International Glaciological Society in 1999-2001.
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen's research has focused on the reconstruction of past climates from deep ice cores drilled on the Greenland ice sheet. She has led several deep drilling efforts in Greenland, including the NEEM and EGRIP projects and participated in the EPICA project in Antarctica. The ice core data have yielded detailed knowledge on climate conditions during past glacial and interglacial periods and Dorthe's group has intensively studied periods of rapid warming during the last glacial period, the Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Dorthe has also used borehole thermometry to reconstruct past temperature changes and developed ice-flow models used in the dating of ice cores. She studies the mechanical properties of ice, the development of anisotropy in ice sheets and the flow behaviour of ice streams. As research chair at the University of Manitoba, Dorthe focuses on the effects of freshwater input to the ocean due to increased melting of the ice in Greenland and Arctic Canada.
Marcel Nicolaus is a sea ice physicist and climate scientist. His research focusses on the energy and mass balance of sea ice (radiation measurements above, in and below sea ice) and on the properties of snow on sea ice. Much of his work and results are based on measurements with autonomous systems (buoys) and with remotely operated vehicles (ROV) under the sea ice. Observing the remote areas of ice-covered oceans over a full annual cycle is a main challenge of his work. Marcel Nicolaus took a leading position in the general coordination and especially the sea ice and snow program of the MOSAiC expedition. During the one-year drift of the research icebreaker Polarstern, he himself spent five months on board of the vessel. Overall participated in more than 30 research campaigns with icebreakers or at research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Regine Hock´s research focuses on assessing and modeling the effects of climate change on glaciers on scales ranging from individual glaciers to global with focus on impacts on global sea level and streamflow. Regine´s appointments include:
Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and the Cryosphere in a Warming Climate (2017-2019).
President of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) (2017-2021)
Chief Editor of Frontiers in Earth Science - Cryospheric Sciences, since Jan 2015
Vice president of the International Glaciological Society (IGS) (2012-2015)
Tandong Yao’s research addresses how the cryosphere in the Third Pole is changing and how its change is interacting with the hydrosphere and atmosphere and impacting the functioning of the Asian Water Towers. His focus is largely on the cryosphere changes recorded by glacier mass balance and ice core climate parameters in the Third Pole region. His research reveals the north-south contrast pattern of glacier fluctuations in the Third Pole under influence of the westerly and Indian monsoon interaction. He has been co-chairing the Third Pole Environment program since 2009. This international program is focusing not only on Third Pole environment change, but also on knowledge transfers to raise public awareness of climate changes and to enhance human adaptation to the changing environment. Prof. Tandong Yao is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Michael Zemp´s research has evolved from glaciers and climate studies in the European Alps to global assessments of glacier changes and related contributions to sea-level rise. Besides his studies he has worked in the Natural Catastrophe Risk Management at Winterthur Insurance and later as GIS specialist at ESRI Switzerland. Since 2010, he has been leading the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) and he has been involved with various scientific projects of the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich.
Peter Bijl's research interests can be summarized in the theme: Climatic and environmental evolution of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. He uses sedimentary archives from drilling programs now known as the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). He has worked on the reconstruction of the climatological evolution of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Cenozoic transition from the hot early Eocene to the middle- and late Eocene cooling and the Oligocene-Neogene icehouse. He has also studied the consequences of the formation of the Antarctic Ice Sheet for ecosystems, sea level and ocean current systems. He currently leads the research project OceaNice, funded by the European Research Council, focussing on the role of ocean conditions on the melt of Antarctic ice sheets during past warm climates. In 2014, Peter recieved the EGU Arne Richter Award for outstanding young scientists and in 2018 the Heineken Young Scientist Award from the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences.