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Emma Behr

Political Science

Minors: Arabic and African American Studies, Penn State University

In order to graduate from the Penn State Schreyer Honors College, students are required to write an honors thesis on a topic related to their studies and interests. I have become avidly interested in environmental studies, climate change, and how both affect animals, plants, and more specifically, people (by race, culture, geographic location, etc.). In order to relate environmental studies and climate change to my major for my thesis, I am researching and writing on the politics of climate change and why the United States is the only Arctic country to not partake in the International Law of the Sea Treaty which dictates access to and usage of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. After undergraduate graduation, I plan to obtain a master's degree in environmental studies or environmental policy, and will pursue either a doctorate or a law degree after. After that, I would like to work use my studies and my language abilities (French, Arabic) to advocate the protection of ot only the environment, but also the people who are most vulnerable and affected by climate change.

Eva Beyen

B.S. in Biology, minor in Plant Pathology from Penn State

My research interests mainly lie at the intersection of fungal and plant biology. In my work in Greenland with the Post lab, I assisted on a project focused on studying root growth in a changing arctic climate. Through this work, I've become curious about below-ground ecology and the impact climate change has on interactions between fungal and plant communities.

Pernille Sporon Boving

Cand. Scient, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

As a behavioral ecologist my interests are focused on the intricate relationships between animals, plants and their environments and how the more we try to learn about these relationships the seemingly less we realize we can answer with certainty.

My work in the Post lab consists of logistic management for the Greenland fieldwork since 1991.

Conor Higgins

B.S. in Biology (vertebrate physiology focus) with minor in psychology from Penn State University

My research interests lie mainly in community ecology as it relates to climate change.My time working with the Post lab began with a project studying the potential trophic mismatch occurring between Alaskan avian communities and their invertebrate prey, and I continued to assist with a similarly focused project studying caribou populations in Greenland.I am most curious about how a changing climate directly and indirectly affects communities, how populations respond to these changing conditions, and the potential consequences that a shifting climate has on community stability.

Christian John

MS in Ecology, Penn State University

My career as an ecologist began as an undergraduate assistant with the Post lab, where I worked on projects extending from caterpillar population assessment to caribou demographic measurements.My MS thesis focused on migration phenology in low-arctic caribou, and since beginning work in the Arctic my research interests have become more and more focused on herbivore movement and phenology in response to changing environmental conditions.Coupling cross-scale vegetation indices with population distribution can shed light on how herbivores are able to, or struggle to adapt to rapid climate change and variation.Most notably, the methodologies I employ include multiannual satellite data analysis, intra-annual change detection and photogrammetrics in UAV-derived aerial imagery, observational plant phenology monitoring, and aerial- and ground-based herbivore distribution and demographic surveying.

Elina Kaarlejaervi

Ph.D , University of Umeå, Sweden

I’m interested in how biotic interactions and environmental changes impact plant communities and consequently ecosystem functioning. I study how biodiversity responds to biotic and abiotic changes and moderates ecosystem functions. In the Post Lab my research aims to understand the role of biodiversity for several ecosystem functions including carbon cycling, decomposition and productivity under climate warming and changing herbivore pressure. To answer these questions I model data collected from Eric’s long-term study site in Kangerlussuaq, SW Greenland.

Funding from Swedish Research Council via University of Umeå (International postdoc 2015-2018).

Julianne Pekny

BS in Biology with an emphasis on Ecology from Penn State University

My research focuses on the interaction between biotic and environmental factors and ultimately their impact on community dynamics and stability.I am particularly interested in behavioral plasticity in the face of climate change and its integration into wildlife conservation efforts.

Mason Post

B.S. in Biology and minor in Spanish from Penn State University

My interest in arctic climate change ecology was initially sparked by work as a field assistant in Greenland nine years ago, since then I have maintained this interest by aiding in data collection and analysis through a variety of research projects in West Greenland. Upon graduation from Penn State in the coming year I hope to attend medical school.