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Welcome to the BREATHE team! Click on project member names for detailed information.


UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Karley is the lead investigator of the BREATHE project. She studies the microbial communities of sea ice to better understand their role in polar marine ecosystems. Why are some species of ice algae more abundant that others? What controls the photosynthetic activity of these algae? How do they influence ocean biogeochemistry? Her work helps to answer these questions using laboratory and field-based experiments, and newly developing methodologies like oxygen sensors. 


University of Calgary


Brent is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, University of Calgary. His expertise is primarily in greenhouse gas exchanges in Arctic aquatic systems. In this project, he will contribute his expertise in using underwater eddy covariance to study exchanges of oxygen at the ice-ocean interface. This technique will help the BREATHE project understand how ice algae drive net ecosystem exchange, and how the turbulent transfer of material at the ice interface might supply nutrients to ice algae.

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Norwegian Polar Institute

Sebastien is a sea ice and ocean biogeochemist working at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway.​ His research focuses on phytoplankton and the biogeochemical cycle of carbon of polar oceans. He investigates these questions by using field observations, satellite data as well as 1D and 3D models.


Norwegian Polar Institute

Philipp is a biological oceanographer at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway, with 20 years of polar research experience, including 9 years from the Arctic. His main scientific interests and expertise cover sea ice and plankton ecology, biogeochemistry and interdisciplinary studies on bio-physical coupling in marine ecosystems.


Norwegian Geotechnical Institute

At NPI Ben led a Fram Centre Flagship project Physical drivers of ice algal HOTspots in a change Arctic Ocean (PHOTA) and is working within the HAVOC and MOSAiC projects. His research specializes in bio-physical interactions at multiple spatial scales using various approaches such as ground based measurements (e.g., ice coring, drilling, EM31), autonomous instruments (e.g., buoys), underwater systems (e.g., ROV, AUV, SUIT), airborne systems (e.g., UAVs, helicopter EM) and satellite remote sensing (e.g., SAR, CryoSat-2, MODIS).


Norwegian Polar Institute

Pedro is a marine biologist working as a senior research scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway. His main scientific interests and expertise cover physical-biogeochemical modelling of the ocean and the sea ice, combined with more than seven years of Arctic field experience. The focus of his modelling work is about the feedbacks between physical and biological processes, towards a better understanding of the effects of global warming on primary and secondary production in the Arctic.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway


Zoe is a postdoc in physical oceanography. Her main scientific interest is the ocean dynamics of the Arctic Ocean, and more specifically the ice-ocean interactions. She investigates these questions mainly using in situ data, but also when needed modelling-based approaches and satellite products. 

Marja Gächter

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

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Marja is a PhD candidate studying marine biogeochemistry and microbiology at UiT, Tromsø, Norway. Her main scientific interest lies in looking deeper into the interactions between marine biogeochemical cycles and microorganisms. She also wants to find out how climate change will affect these systems

Aarhus University / University of Manitoba

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Søren has a background in ocean biogeochemistry working at the Arctic Research Centre at Aarhus University, Denmark. His research focuses on ice-ocean interactions and on carbon and nutrient cycling in Arctic waters. Over the last 30 years he has led many field campaigns into the remote Arctic – all with a holistic view to understand the underlying processes of the arctic marine ecosystems. He is a true fan of observations and experiments.


Rosalie McKay

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Rosalie is a PhD candidate studying marine biogeochemistry at UiT, Tromsø, Norway. Her main scientific interests are how regional and seasonal variations affect microbial sea ice communities, and what this in turn means for the global carbon cycle. She is also keenly interested in how sea ice microbes have adapted to survive the polar night. Linking fieldwork to experimental studies, she hopes to highlight how methodologies may impact sea ice biogeochemical measurements.


Megan Lenss

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Megan is a Fulbright grantee alumni and MSc student at UiT. She is currently working on a collaborative project between Norwegian Polar Institute and UiT that seeks to characterize phytoplankton production in the eastern Wedell Gyre, Antarctica. She is interested in the relationship between sea ice and primary production and intends to pursue dual-pole research in her graduate school career. 

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Giulia Castellani

Norwegian Polar Institute


Giulia Castellani is a postdoc in sea ice biogeochemical modeling at the Norwegian Polar Institute. Her scientific interests span over a very interdisciplinary field covering sea ice physics, ecology and biology, with a specific interest in how sea ice physical properties affect sea ice biology and biogeochemistry. In her job she combines in-situ data, the development of new platforms for data collection, and physical-biogeochemical modeling.


UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Rolf has been working on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice algal and phytoplankton diversity since 1984. His major research interest has been linking diversity to ecosystem function. He has been lead PI of the Arctic Ocean Biodiversity Project in the Census of Marine Life.


UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Jack is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations (CIRFA), UiT The Arctic University of Norway. His primary interest is in developing optical and microwave remote sensing methods for monitoring the physical properties of Arctic sea ice. He has used terrestrial and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), as well as satellite laser and radar altimetry, to study the multi-scale properties of sea ice surface roughness and understand the atmospheric/oceanic controls on sea ice melt. He has participated in more than 45 weeks of field-based research on sea ice in the Canadian sector of the Arctic. 

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