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Shedding Light on Arctic marine ecosystem services

International Ph.D. School

July 12 to 24, 2018, Baffin Bay (Nunavut), Canada


Under the leadership of the Sentinel North program of Université Laval (Quebec City, Canada), the International Ph.D. School (IPS) provides international students with a unique opportunity to interact with high-profile scientists as part of a transdisciplinary and highly technological training program aiming to demystify the role of light in driving arctic marine food webs, ecosystems services, and human health in the North.

Taking place on board the Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen deployed in Baffin Bay and the Fjords of Baffin Island, Nunavut (Canada), the school will provide participants with a hands-on and integrative experience with a wide range of disciplines such as optics / photonics, Arctic marine biology and ecology, marine physics, biochemistry, remote sensing and human health. Under the supervision of renowned researchers and experimented professionals, school activities will be conducted as part of an actual ocean research program, deploying state-of-the art samplers and sensors.



Read the field report


  • Program overview

    The school will maintain a sharp focus on the themes detailed below. The school favors a multi-faceted approach that includes lectures, case studies and a strong hands-on component supervised by experts from various disciplines.

    In addition to the scientific training program offered on board the icebreaker, the school will promote knowledge-transfer through conferences and activities within the community of Iqaluit.​


    The fundamental role of light in the Arctic Ocean

    • Light regimes at the cryosphere-hydrosphere interface and impacts on Arctic marine food webs
    • Changes in light availability in a context of climate change and consequences for ecosystems: from microscopic to planetary

    The potential of light to study the changing Arctic Ocean

    • Deployment and use of optical tools and instruments to explore the Arctic environment: from stereo microscopes to satellite imagery
    • Innovative light-based technologies to monitor marine ecosystems and their impact on human health in the Arctic

    Light-driven processes and Arctic marine ecosystem services

    • Provisioning services – fisheries resources
    • Regulating services – carbon storage, climate control
    • Cultural services – recreation, tourism, pedagogy
    • Supporting services – ecological functions that underlie and shape all services


    The school will also foster the development of transversal skills such as networking and international scientific collaboration, as well as creativity, communication and planning in a transdisciplinary research context.

    During the school and in the following weeks, participants will also be invited to actively contribute in the analysis of the data collected and in the writing of a scientific paper in collaboration with mentors and research professionals.

  • List of mentors

    • Marcel Babin, Professor, department of biology, Université Laval, laureate of the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier and Director of Takuvik

    • Emmanuel Boss, professor, marine optics, Inherent optical properties, School of Marine Science, U. Maine, USA

    • Lee Karp-Boss, associate professor, phytoplankton ecologist, School of Marine Science, U. Maine, USA

    • Christian Katlein, Sea Ice Physics, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

    • Simon Lambert-Girard, post-doctoral fellow, marine and sea-ice optics, Takuvik, Université Laval

    • Martine Lizotte, Research associate, Takuvik, Université Laval

    • Claudie Marec, Research engineer, bio-argo floats, Laboratoire d’Océanogaphie Physique et Spatiale, CNRS

    • Marc Picheral, diversity of zooplankton using UVP, Laboratoire océanographique de Villefranche-sur-Mer (LOV), France

    • Eric Rehm, Research professional, under-ice gliders and marine optics, Takuvik, Université Laval
  • Selection process

    Applications will be assessed by the Sentinel North IPS Steering Committee according to the evaluation criteria below.

    Knowledge transfer is a major goal and objective of the IPS. For this reason, participants will be selected based not only on academic excellence, but also on their disposition towards knowledge sharing and their openness to think and learn “outside the box”. Gender equality and geographic representation will also be considered.

    Evaluation criteria include:

    • Academic excellence
    • Aptitude for research and leadership
    • Relevance of the candidate’s research field with the IPS themes

    Participants will be notified of the final selection around mid-March, 2018.

  • Registration fee

    Registration fee: $1900*

    This amount includes:

    • Registration
    • Flight from Quebec city to Iqaluit (round trip)
    • Pedagogical and scientific materials
    • Food (3 meals a day + coffee breaks)
    • Lodging in Iqaluit (double occupancy)
    • Lodging onboard the icebreaker (double occupancy cabins)
    • Activities for the duration of the session

    Registration fee does not cover:

    • Your transport to Quebec city and return (including airfare, Visa fees, etc.)
    • Meals in Iqaluit
    • Additional excursions and activities not included in the program
    • Personal expenses
    • Health insurance (mandatory)

    Payment must be received in full at least one month prior to the start of the session. Payment details will be provided to the selected candidates.

    *Amount is in Canadian dollars



amundsen science

nunavut research institute


university of maine


Alfred Wegener Institute




inukpak outfitting


For more information, please contact:

Marie-France Gévry

Training programs coordinator
418-656-2131 ext. 8910