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IAATO/COMNAP/SCAR name Antarctic Fellowship recipients

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From left, Eduardo Pizarro González, Antonio Polo Sánchez, Hanna Yevchun and Aanchal Jain
A trio of Antarctic organizations named recipients of Antarctic Fellowships on the anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, Dec. 1.

The annual fellowships, awarded by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), are an investment in the professional development of talented early career researchers and aim to further the understanding of human presence in Antarctica.

Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation SCAR Fellowship

The 2022 Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation SCAR Fellowship goes to Hanna Yevchun from the State Institution National Antarctic Scientific Center, Kyiv, Ukraine.

IAATO and COMNAP joined forces to award their fellowships to three early career researchers.

IAATO's $15,000 fellowship goes to postgraduate student Eduardo Pizarro González from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. COMNAP and IAATO are jointly funding an $8,000 fellowship for Antonio Polo Sánchez from Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, and COMNAP's grant goes to Aanchal Jain from Chile's Universidad Mayor.

'We were delighted to work with COMNAP to award three Antarctic Fellowships to talented early career researchers this year,' said Amanda Lynnes, IAATO director of environment and science coordination.

Multinational collaborations

'The exciting projects, involving multinational collaborations, will equip the fellows with valuable skills and knowledge while having long-lasting impact within the Antarctic community and beyond.'

The announcement comes on the 63rd anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, known as Antarctica Day.

It was in support of the Antarctic Treaty’s mission that IAATO came into being 31 years ago, and in 2019 launched the Antarctic Fellowship with the intention of supporting talented early-career researchers, scientists, engineers, environmental managers, and other professionals. The purpose is to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as climate, biodiversity, conservation, humanities, and astrophysics research by providing annual funding opportunities.

Eduardo Pizarro González

Pizarro González's focus will be patterns of distribution, abundance and population trends of six Antarctic and sub-Antarctic penguin species affected by climate change, through the implementation of different approaches to ecological niche modelling. His research will help develop conservation strategies for these species and further explore modelling approaches to account for global change processes in wildlife conservation.

Antonio Polo Sánchez

Polo Sánchez's project will enhance understanding of volcanic processes in Antarctica's Bransfield Strait by studying two submarine volcanoes (Three Sisters and Orca) and one subaerial volcano (Deception Island) through Noble Gas geochemistry. Ultimately his work will contribute to explain why volcanic activity is more concentrated in some areas of Bransfield Strait than others, with implications for volcano monitoring.

Aanchal Jain

Jain’s project aims to identify plastic pollution in the Antarctic Treaty area and to understand how policies can be implemented to reduce plastic waste. Her project aligns to one of the priority projects for COMNAP, understanding sources of plastic waste and removal options.

Hanna Yevchun

Yevchum's is the first SCAR Fellowship to be funded as part of the Polar Initiative. She will visit the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, for her project, 'Remotely detecting and mapping biodiversity in Antarctica using VHR satellite and UAV data.' It aims to assess the effectiveness of different techniques for semi-automatic or automatic mapping of the main Antarctic plant communities, as well as penguin and kelp gull nesting sites.

Additional SCAR Fellowships will be announced in the coming weeks.

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