Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network Newsletter
December 2020
Welcome to the fifth issue of the Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network (IMECaN) newsletter!

If you are interested in providing ideas, contributing a story or being featured in the newsletter, contact us at or @IMECAN4.

In this newsletter:
  • Introducing the new committee members
  • New mentoring program
  • Contribution from Alexis Bahl
  • Upcoming events and opportunities
Introducing the new committee members
The IMECaN organizing committee has grown and we now have 12 members in the committee!!!! Check below for more information on our new members:
Ana Helena Bevilacqua
Ana Bevilacqua did a Master’s degree focusing on the Brazilian Amazon, followed by a PhD in Human Ecology. Her work has focused on socio economic aspects of small-scale fisheries in Brazil. She worked for a government fisheries institute (FIPERJ) and is currently working at the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (FUNBIO) where she manages projects financed through legal obligations, such as fishery compensation payments.

Shan Jiang
Shan Jiang is a post-doctoral researcher at the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research (SKLEC) at the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai. He is a chemical oceanographer with a Master’s degree in ecology and PhD in biogeochemistry. During the past 10 years, Shan has studied the transport and transformation of nutrients and organic matter in several coastal/marine ecosystems (e.g. Rajang, Malaysia; Sanggou Bay, China; West Pacific Ocean). Shan’s current research interest focuses on the impacts of anthropogenic activities and climate change on nitrogen and carbon cycling in water and sediment environments.

Laura Kaikkonen
Laura’s research deals with ecological risks of human activities on marine ecosystems, with a particular focus on emerging industries both in coastal areas and the deep sea. She is interested in the interlinked societal and ecological challenges that shape marine ecosystems and how we perceive the risks associated with offshore activities. Laura is a doctoral student in interdisciplinary environmental science at the University of Helsinki, Finland and is currently working as an associate professional secretary at the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.

Carl Peters
Carl Peters is the Research & Transnational Projects Manager at the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) in Halifax, Canada. There he manages various research programs, projects, and seminars and serves as a point of contact for OFI’s early career researcher network ‘ECOFIRE’. Originally from Bremen, Germany, Carl worked and studied at several renowned marine research organizations in Australia, Germany, and Canada. His research expertise includes marine geosciences and geochemistry.
Expression of interest for IMBeR mentoring initiative
IMECaN and IMBeR would like to establish a one-year pilot IMBeR Mentoring Initiative to strengthen their networks by contributing to the development of future leaders and bringing the IMBeR and IMECaN communities closer together. Complete this short survey to express your interest in participating in the program. 

The aim of the IMBeR Mentoring Initiative is to support and guide mentees - IMECaN early career researchers (ECRs) - to assist in advancing their career trajectories and helping to integrate ECRs within established and trusted scientific networks. Mentors will be established researchers, who would volunteer to share their experiences and provide professional guidance to a small group of 2-4 ECRs. The maximum time commitment for mentors would be 12 hours during the year, depending on the number of ECRs that they commit to support.

While the details and focus of discussions of each mentoring relationship will be agreed jointly by the mentor and mentees, it is envisioned that the mentor will meet with their mentees both in small groups to talk about common themes, and also one-on-one to discuss individual questions. We suggest having four meetings over the course of one year, twice with the small mentoring group, and twice individually between mentor and mentees.

The IMBeR Mentoring Initiative will be coordinated by the IMBeR International Project Offices (IPOs). Mentees and mentors who sign up to participate, will be matched according to research interests, disciplines or areas of career guidance in which both parties have expressed interest.

Please note:

  • Mentorship meetings will be held online, unless opportunities arise for physical meetings.
  • The number of mentees will depend on the availability of mentors. In case of limited availability, preference will be given to ECRs who are nearing the end of their degree or are from underrepresented demographics (see IMBeR Policy on Equality and Diversity)
  • Mentees are required to be IMECaN members (register here).
  • Mentees will share the responsibility for arranging, preparing, and planning the meetings with the mentor.
  • Mentors are not expected to act as Research Advisors or comment on specific thesis chapters or publications, but rather share general advice and / or personal experiences to help the mentee rather than solving specific issues.
  • In principle, mentors and mentees will be asked to commit for one year.  
  • In cases where the mentor-mentee match does not work for whatever reason, the IMBeR IPO may try to arrange new partnerships.
  • The IMBeR IPO will act as the primary contact point if any parties have questions or concerns about the IMBeR Mentoring Initiative.
  • The outcome of this pilot initiative will be evaluated and reviewed after the initial first year.
  • The IMBeR Mentoring Initiative is free.

Contribution from Alexis Bahl, PhD. student at the university of British Columbia
I am a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia studying biological oceanography. I arrived at this point in my career by tackling an array of interdisciplinary science learning curves and saying “yes” to every opportunity that came my way. While pursuing my M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, I worked as a Research Assistant with Dr. Anand Gnanadesikan and jumped into the deep end of fluid mechanics and earth system modeling. Our research focused on a single coefficient responsible for mixing tracers along neutral water densities (isopycnals). We found that different model parameterizations can impact biogeochemical processes both linearly and nonlinearly. This is important because earth system models are most commonly used to project future impacts of climate change. Understanding where current model limitations exist and how to improve them is a necessary focus area for oceanographers and policy stakeholders alike. The three years I worked with Dr. Gnanadesikan inspired me to study biological oceanography.
Fast forward to 2020, where I write to you from Vancouver, BC. My Ph.D. research is supported by Dr. Evgeny Pakhomov and focuses on micronekton diel vertical migration in the Southern Ocean. I seek to improve an understanding of micronekton, a small (2-20 cm) but mighty taxa linking ocean primary production to higher-level predators, migration and how it actively contributes to transporting surface water carbon to the depths of the mesopelagic. I am employing my past experience by reconstructing these biogeochemical processes in an ecosystem model to forecast change. In an effort to communicate the science to policymakers and fishery managers I am involved with organizations ICED, APECS, and IMECaN. I ultimately chose to pursue research on plankton species in the Southern Ocean because it occupies a major gap in understanding how the ocean will change. Plankton are often overlooked - they’re difficult to sample, to model, and to charismatically characterize to the public - but nonetheless, they are extremely important for transporting the ever-increasing CO2 concentrations to the deep ocean for long periods of time, and thus mitigating climate change impacts.

Upcoming events and other opportunities
  • The SOOS Southern Ocean Weddell Sea and Dronning Maud Land Sector Regional Working Group (WS-DML RWG) is looking for an ECR to join them as their APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) representative. The successful applicant will have working knowledge of observational research of the Southern Ocean with a particular interest in the Weddell Sea and Dronning Maud Land. Questions on this position should please be directed at Alyce Hancock. The position will be for 2 years and non-salaried, but there will be travel reimbursement for attending one meeting if the working group holds a meeting during your term, and potential for co-authorship of publications. To apply, you need to be an early career researcher (up to 5 years past PhD) and have a research background that fits the focus of the group. To apply send your CV and statement of interest & research background (1 page long), your motivation in joining the working group, your thoughts on how you can contribute to the group and how this would benefit your career to by 15th December 2020.
  • The Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Research Chair: Oceans Economy and the CPUT Centre for Sustainable Oceans are seeking a suitably qualified candidate for an exciting fully funded, post-doctoral fellowship in novel ocean accounting. Candidates interested in applying for this fellowship should contact Prof Ken Findlay for further information by Friday 24 December, 2020.
  • Postdoctoral researcher in Management Strategy Evaluation.
  • Several postdoc positions at IFREMER. Apply by 19/01/2021.
  • Post-Doctoral Research Position in Integrated Coastal Ecology Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Apply by 15/12/2020.
  • Showcase your research on social media by participating in an account takeover with twitter @sharktagging. All marine science disciplines welcome! Email Delaney Reynolds if interested in participating.

Share job opportunities with us by sending an e-mail to or tweeting @IMECaN4