COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship

COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship, the IAATO Antarctic Fellowship, the SCAR Fellowship & the CCAMLR Scholarship

The Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the ​and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) have been working together for many years to provide fellowships. In 2019 these Antarctic organisations were joined by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) to support talented early-career researchers, scientists, engineers, environmental managers, and other professionals to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in fields such as science support and facilitation, environmental management implementation, and climate, biodiversity, conservation, humanities and astrophysics research by way of an annual funding opportunity.

COMNAP & IAATO announce 2020 Fellows!

COMNAP & IAATO announcement for Antarctic Fellows 2020 can be found here.

Cinthya Elizabeth Bello Chirinos, COMNAP Antarctic  Fellow 2020
Cinthya is a biologist with a Master of Science in Integrated Watershed Management, and currently a PhD candidate at the National Agrarian University La Molina, Peru. Her research uses remote sensing tools and field data measurements to understand the glaciers dynamics on the King George Island ice cap. She worked as a researcher in the Marine Institute of Peru (2008-2012) and, since 2013, she is an environmental specialist at the Division of Antarctic Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru. Cynthia participated in different Peruvian expeditions to Antarctica. She is a member of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS) and an individual council member of the APECS Council 2020-2021.

Miguel González Pleiter, Joint IAATO/COMNAP Antarctic Fellow 2020
Miguel obtained a PhD on Microbiology from Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, in 2017. He currently holds a postdoctoral position at the University of Alcala, Spain, where his research is focused on the effects of microplastics on ecosystems. In particular, he is studying the environmental distribution and fate of microplastics, the ecotoxicology of microplastics and the potential role of the microplastics as a vector for microorganisms and antibiotic resistance genes.


The COMNAP Antarctic Research Fellowship Recipients 2011-2020

The COMNAP Antarctic Fellowship was offered for the first time in 2011. It is designed to encourage the active involvement of early career Antarctic persons and to strengthen international capacity and cooperation in the spirit of the Antarctic Treaty. It is intended to allow people from a COMNAP Member National Antarctic Program country to undertake short-term visits to major international laboratories, field facilities, and/or home institutions in or operated by other COMNAP Member National Antarctic Programs (for a list of members, please visit the “Our Members” page of the COMNAP website). The fellow’s project should contribute to the objectives of the home or host National Antarctic Program’s objectives.

The following were awarded COMNAP Fellowships.  Their reports are also available below.

2011-2012 Amelia Marks “Characterisation of bidirectional reflectance of Antarctic surface
Royal Hollaway UK to ENEA/PNRA Italy

2012-2013 Ursula Rack “Reconstructing historic Antarctic climate data
Canterbury University NZ to Scott Polar Research Institute UK

2012-2013 Jenson George (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) “Influence of small scale mixing on the primary productivity and water mass formation in the Southern Ocean” NCAOR India to GEOMAR Germany

2013-2014 Charlotte Havermans “The impact of environmental changes on a key component of the Southern Ocean“, Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences Belgium to Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Germany

2013-2014 Luis Rodriguez Pertierra (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) “Niche modelling as a tool for invasive risk assessment of vascular plants in terrestrial Antarctica“, Autonomous University of Madrid​ Spain to Australian Antarctic Division

2014-2015 Sandra Potter “Quantifying factors limiting implementation of Annex III of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty“, University of Tasmania​ to Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) / Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE)

2014-2015 Keith Soal “Characterisation of Ice-Structure and Fluid-Structure Interactions on Polar Vessels using Operational Modal Analysis“, (Full title: Characterisation of Ice-Structure and Fluid-Structure Interactions on Polar Vessels using Operational Modal Analysis), University of Stellenbosch, South Africa to Germany and Finland

2015-2016 Alejandro Velasco Castrillon “Limno Terrestrial Microfauna“, “100 years on: a re-evaluation of the first discovery of limno-terrestrial microfauna of the McMurdo Sound region”, University of Adelaide/South Australia Museum to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

2015-2016 Inka Koch (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) “Airborne Ice Penetrating Radar“, “Detecting marine ice internal layers and thickness in an Antarctic ice shelf with airborne ice penetrating radar”, University of Otago, New Zealand to University of Texas, USA

2016-2017 Ronja Reese “Importance of Ice Buttressing in Antarctica Ronja Reese Report”, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, to the British Antarctic Survey

2016-2017 Blanca Figuerola “Vulnerability of Antarctic bryozoan communities to environmental change”, University of Barcelona, Spain, to the Australian Antarctic Division

2016-2017 Christopher Horvat (Awarded a joint SCAR/COMNAP Fellowship) ” Modelling the Antarctic Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution”, Harvard University, USA, to the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, New Zealand​

2017-2018 Maria Gabriela Roldan ” Inviting Antarctica into your home: an evaluation of public engagement with Antarctic science, science support, policy and technology”, Gateway Antarctica, New Zealand, to the Institute Antartico Chileno (INACH), Chile

2018-2019 Mikolaj Dziurzynski  “Omics-based modelling of metabolic processes of Antarctic bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis TACI25, in response to selected heavy metals”, University of Warsaw, Poland, to the University of Florence, Italy

2019-2020 Miguel González Pleiter (Awarded a joint IAATO/COMNAP Fellowship) “Understanding the consequences of microplastics introduction in the Antarctic environment: the Plastisphere Resistome”, University of Alcala, Spain, to the University of the Republic, Uruguay

2019-2020 Cinthya Elizabeth Bello Chirinos “Surface velocity and facies classification of Znosko glacier, King George Island, Antarctica, using SAR satellite data time series”, National Agrarian University of Molina, Peru, to the Institute of Oceanography Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil

Other Opportunities

University of Canterbury Summer Scholarship Scheme

Each Austral summer, the University of Canterbury which hosts the COMNAP Secretariat in Christchurch, New Zealand, offers senior students an opportunity to work on a summer project. COMNAP has participated in two such projects and reports from each one are below.

2010/11 Max Gallagher “Impacts of Tsunami on National Antarctic Program Operations and Personnel in Coastal Antarctica“.

2013/14 Hanne Nielsen “From Shelter to Showpiece: The Evolution of Antarctic Station design“.