On July 28th I returned to America after attending the Plant Functional Trait Course in Svalbard with a plethora of unexpected but appreciated information. For instance, I learned that many Norwegians find me ever-excited and hyper-outgoing, but most importantly, a fellow student informed me that I am a “handsome” lady—a […]

PFTC4 wrap up

The course is now over, and I have had two weeks to digest what an experience it was. Or more precisely, I would have had the time to digest it unless we had our own field work campaign at Svalbard right after the course. So here I am still. Looking […]

#PFTC4 – the resolution

My primary stated goal in attending the course on Svalbard was to learn to fly a drone. Mission accomplished! Then failed (see pictures)! Then accomplished again! We collected a ton of really fun data by flying these drones and photographing the sites our excellent plant researchers had their noses in. […]

Mission accomplished! Then failed (see pictures)!

  Realizing goals We are still here – no worries, not in Pyramiden! Me and Pekka stayed here for an additional 17 days to conduct field research related to our earlier work. I am happy to say that so far, we have implemented few new things we learned during the […]

Still here

After being introduced to traits based ecology earlier this year, I wanted to gain a better understanding of how plant functional traits links to larger ecosystem processes, such as carbon exchange between atmosphere, plants and soil. This is the reason why I participated in the carbon flux group. I learned […]

Lovely Arctic

After being back south (never thought I’d refer to mainland Norway as being south) for almost a week it is time to reflect on the two-week adventure that was Plant Functional Trait Course 4. It has truly been a unique experience to do field work and learn about different approaches […]

Arctic input

Hei! After two weeks on Svalbard, I’m still digesting everything that I learned and experienced. I had a fantastic time such that it was really difficult to say goodbye to everyone (and our cozy dinners). It was wonderful to be around other plant oriented people and learn not only about […]

Arctic takeaways

Before arriving at the North Pole my main expectations about the PFTC4 were to expand my theoretical and analytical knowledge in functional plant ecology,and to experience the Arctic by conducting fieldwork activities. Those goals were indeed achieved along the course. Firstly, by attending interesting lectures, specially Aud’s talk about data […]

Experiencing the North Pole

What is your background? Where are you from? What do you study? What are you most interested in, scientifically? Hey! My name is Shuli Chen. I am a Ph. D student in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology at University of Arizona. A year ago, I just finished my master degree in […]

Shuli’s PFTC4 first blog post

Hi all, my name’s Adam. My background is in computer science, converted to the plant sciences and ecology through an interest in the history of our planet. I’m more or less bred from Arizona but born in Texas. America. I got into computers from a love of graphics and interactive […]

#PFTC4 blog post 1

I’m an ecologist with a background in forest ecology, watershed management, and arid-land botany. I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona completing a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology and just finishing an MS in watershed management and ecohydrology at the University of Arizona. My master studies have focused […]

Plant Function Traits Couse IV Svalbard Blog Post I

  Background & interests As an arctic plant enthusiast by heart and a physical geographer by training, my focus is on soil moisture and vegetation relationships. Soil moisture is one of the key environmental variables for all terrestrial vegetation, which makes it a hot topic due to the on-going changes in […]

Found myself in Svalbard

My name is Håvard Kristiansen. I am a PhD-student at the University of Oslo, and I am from Oslo. Three years ago, I got a master’s degree in nuclear chemistry from the University of Oslo. After that, I worked for a year for the city public waste management, dealing with […]

Heading to Svalbard

My name is Silje, and I just recently graduated from the University of Bergen with a MSc in Biology. I was born and partially raised in Sweden, but lived most of my life in Bergen, Norway. I did my BSc at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and for both […]

They talk about global warming

Having grown up in a Portuguese-Canadian-Irish household, and living in a few countries along the way has instilled in me a deep concern for the global impacts of climate change on our ecosystems. Through my academic work I am determined to better understand their severity and scope. During the last […]


There are few professions where workers interact with “skeptics” or “deniers.” Singers do not hear from “song-skeptics” and bakers do not interact with “donut-deniers,” yet the same is not true for unfortunate climate scientists. Climate scientists overwhelmingly believe that global climate change is caused by human activity1, yet many American […]

The Highs and Lows of American Climate Change Perception

Hola, My name is Lucely Vilca Bustamante, I’m from Peru, specifically from Cusco (very close to Machu Picchu). I studied Biology at Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco, I am still a bachelor. I am studying the first months of a Master’s degree called Ecology and Environmental Management in […]

Hola from Peru

My background is both from the natural sciences and the humanities. When I studied the humanities several years ago, I felt the environmental issues were absent (it has become better now, but a bit too late for me). In these times, it felt wrong to continue studying a discipline that […]

No roads lead to Svalbard

Hei, I’m Molly. I’m currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department studying palaeobotany under Dr. Selena Smith. I worked in plant science research labs at both University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Berkeley, after receiving a B.S. in Ecology and […]

Will work for access to drones

Growing up in Iceland most definitely shaped the passion that I have for ecology and environmental conservation. Although growing up in the small city of Reykjavík, as a child I was always fascinated by the country side and the great wilderness that our country offers. Choosing the field of biology […]

Back to the Arctic

Hi! I am from Philadelphia, USA and currently completing an MPhil in Environmental Change and Management at Oxford. Previously, I did my undergraduate studies in environmental engineering at Princeton University, where my research focus was on the environmental trade-offs to agricultural expansion in Zambia. My interests lie at the intersection […]

Looking forward to Svalbard

  I am a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolution at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Currently, I am working as a PhD visiting researcher at the Ecosystems Lab, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. The main goal of my thesis is to evaluate […]

Towards the North Pole