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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




The Polar World – Past, Present and Future

Prof. N. C. Pant


Prof. Thamban Meloth


Prof. Martin J. Siegert



Polar Ice Sheets and Their Interactions with Geosphere, Atmosphere, and Ocean

1. Dr. Kenichi Matsuoka


2. Prof. Frank Pattyn


3. Dr. Rene Forsberg


4. Dr. Fausto Ferraccioli


5. Dr. Thamban Meloth


1. Principal research scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute since 2013. Experts in radioglaciology, ice dynamics, and subglacial environment.

2. Head of the Department of Geosciences, Environment and Society at ULB. Antarctic ice sheet modelling and geophysics.

3. Professor and head of geodynamics at DTU Space, National Space Institute. Experts in geodesy and airborne geophysics

4. Head of BAS aerogeophysics since 2002 and current leader of BAS Geology & Geophysics. Antarctic solid earth, potential field and radar expert.

5. Group Director, Polar Science at National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, India

Antarctica, Arctic, glaciers, ice shelves

The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are the two largest fresh water reservoirs of the world. Their volume has changed largely through glacial cycles as a result of complex interactions with the geosphere, atmosphere, and ocean. These inter-connected systems need better understanding to predict future sea-level contributions. This symposium invites abstracts related to theoretical, numerical, and observational works on dynamics and evolution of the polar ice sheets at both contemporary and geological timescales. Both regional and large-scale studies are welcome to develop a more comprehensive view of changing polar regions and their underlying causes, feedbacks and impacts.

Past Polar to Mid-Latitude Climate Variability and their Teleconnections with the Tropics

1. Dr. Manish Tiwari


2. Prof. Alan Haywood


3. Dr. Jochen Knies


4. Prof. Simon Belt


5. Prof. Yusuke Yokoyama, (Japan)

6. Prof. Raja Ganeshram


1. Manish Tiwari is a senior scientist at the National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research, Goa, India. His research interest lies in quantifying the past polar and monsoonal climate change using isotopic and geochemical techniques in marine sediments and exploring the teleconnection between them.

2. Alan Haywood is Professor of Palaeoclimate Modelling within the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds in the UK. His research focusses on warm climates in Earth history, and the ability of complex climate models to reproduce them. He has a particular focus on the last 3 million years and he co-leads the Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project.

3. Jochen Knies is a senior researcher at the Geological Survey of Norway. His research expertise is mainly focused on marine geological and environmental investigations along the continental margin off Northern Norway, the Barents Sea, Svalbard and the Arctic Ocean.

4. Professor Simon Belt is an Organic Geochemist at the University of Plymouth, UK. His research focuses on the development of novel biomarker-based methods as proxies for Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, together with their application in palaeo sea - ice reconstruction.

5. Yusuke Yokoyama is a Professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan. His research interest lies in studying the stability of Antarctic ice sheets, Sun-Climate linkage, Tropical oceanic role for climate changes and Coral-AOGCM based Pacific oceanic changes

6. Raja Ganeshram is a Professor and Chair of Geochemistry at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, UK. His research interest lies in studying the tropical Climate variability on glacial-interglacial to decadal time scales, and Global Change and Biogeochemistry of polar sea ice environments.

Past Climate, Polar, Tropical, Monsoon, Teleconnection

The polar and mid-latitudes play an important role in governing Earth’s climate. Recent climatological observations suggest that natural modes of climate variability in mid to high-latitudes such as Atlantic/Pacific (multi) decadal Oscillation (AMO, PDO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) as well as the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) can influence tropical climate including the South Asian, East Asian, American, and African monsoon systems on various timescales. Also, the tropics have been hypothesized to influence the high-latitude climate via oceanic and atmospheric pathways. However, observational time series are short and therefore cannot resolve low-frequency changes/events. It also raises the question as to whether such teleconnections were persistent in Earth history with fundamentally different climate states. Thus, the complex interaction between climate variability in the polar to mid-latitude regions and the tropics remains to be fully understood. This symposium invites contributions exploring the past climate variability of the mid-latitude and polar regions (including the Southern Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and North Atlantic Ocean) and the tropics (including the monsoons) on decadal, millennial, glacial-interglacial, and longer timescales from a proxy-data, modelling and data-model comparison perspective.

Climate variability from ice cores – evidence from the three poles

Liz Thomas


Thamban Meloth


Paul Vallelonga (Denmark)

Mariusz Potocki


1. Head of the British Antarctic Survey ice core group. Investigating climate variability and surface mass balance from ice cores over the past 2000 years.

2. Ice core scientist and Head of Polar Science Group at the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research

3. Ice core Paleoclimatologist leading the chemical analysis of Antarctic and Greenland ice cores at the Centre for Ice and Climate. Specialising in novel proxy development.

4. Ice core Paleoclimatologist working on ice core drilling projects in the Andes, the sub-Antarctic and the Himalayas

Ice cores, climate variability, paleoclimate, Antarctica, Greenland,

Ice cores provide a wealth of information about past climate and climate variability. Deep ice cores, drilled in Antarctica and Greenland, have shaped our understanding of millennial scale variability while shallower ice cores have focused on multi-decadal to centennial change. However, there is a growing number of ice cores, including the Himalayas, the Andes and the Apes that are increasing our understanding of regional climate variability over various timescales.

The aim of this symposium is to bring together researchers working on both polar and non-polar ice cores. We invite talks relating to climate variability over a range of time-scales, using geochemical and isotopic proxies from ice cores.

Southern Ocean – Past Global Linkages

Crosta Xavier


Luke Skinner, (UK)

Rahul Mohan


1. Dr. Xavier Crosta is senior scientist at CNRS-EPOC, Université de Bordeaux, France. He is expert in diatom taxonomy, biogeochemistry and isotope chemistry to document Southern Ocean palaeo-oceanography and palaeo-productivity over the Pleistocene with a focus on the Holocene and last 2000 years

2. Dr. Luke Skinner is a palaeoceanographer working at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.His research interests centre on the role of the ocean in the transport and cycling of heat and carbon on both short- and long timescales, in particular via changes in the ocean's large-scale overturning circulation.

3. Dr Rahul Mohan is a Scientist at NCAOR, Goa, India. He has developed a group on Southern Ocean paleoclimatology with special emphasis on diatoms, coccolithophores and planktic foraminifera.

Southern ocean, isotopes, diatoms, ACC, carbon

The Southern Ocean (SO) is an important oceanic hub for redistributing heat, fresh water, carbon and nutrients around the planet and hence plays a key part in the climate system. Deep mixing in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is a key component of the global large-scale overturning circulation (LSOC) as it constitutes an important return path for carbon and nutrients stored in the ocean interior to reach the surface. The SO thus plays a pivotal role in the partitioning of carbon between the ocean and the atmosphere. However, the full range of mechanisms by which the SO may influence the LSOC and global climate, in particular via the modulation of the upper and lower overturning cells and of the ‘warm-’ and ‘cold’ return routes for water entering the Atlantic, are still largely unknown.

The main objective of this symposium is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines (biology, earth sciences, chemistry, ocean processes) to better identify past oceanic bipolar teleconnections in relation to global LSOC dynamics over the Plio-Pleistocene and provide constraints on its future evolution in response to anthropogenic warming. Non-exhaustively, topics may cover the following aspects: past changes in the SO upwelling and latitudinal mean position of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current; the dynamic controls of circum-Antarctic deep ocean ventilation/overturning circulation during the past few million years; implications for the marine biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients.

Changing Arctic and its impact on ecosystems

K.P. Krishnan (


Maarten J.J.E. Loonen,

(The Netherlands)

A. A. Mohamed Hatha (India)

Masaki Uchida


1. Krishnan has a doctorate degree in marine sciences and currently works on molecular bacterial systematics and cold adaptation. His research focuses on the impact of warming in community composition and physiology of microbes. He is also responsible for the planning and coordination of Indian Arctic programme.

2. Maarten’s research interests include studies on Arctic ecology with special reference to geese, arctic fox, terns and their migration. He is also the station manager of the Netherlands Arctic Station on Spitsbergen and current chair of Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee.

3. Hatha has doctorate in environmental microbiology and is a Fulbright fellow. He works on emerging pathogens and its impact on coastal ecosystems. His research addresses issues with respect to Arctic being more hospitable to human pathogens in wake of warming.

4. Masaki was awarded doctorate from Hiroshima University and currently works on polar microbial ecology with special reference to terrestrial systems. He works on both the Arctic and Antarctic realms and is interested to compare and contrast the changes that are manifested at poles in wake of recent climate variability.

Arctic, Biota, Diversity, Climate, Ecosystems

The Arctic is experiencing rapid changes with respect to climate and its impact on ecosystems. Though one can debate on the root causes, internal variabilities and other external forcing mechanisms, it is very explicit that the impact is negative and is of extreme concern. Many studies focus on changes in larger biota that is easily perceptible and well explained. The impacts on sub microscopic organisms are grossly overlooked, as is the case with any realm. Before we realize the potential adverse effects arising due to community level compositional changes, the microbes would have adapted and invaded to realms, which were previously not conducive to proliferate and exhibit virulence. Change in migratory patterns and variations arising due to change in host specificity could further thwart our understanding on health significant processes. There is an immense need to identify marker species and understand genetic cross talks conferring properties of adaptation, resistance and even probably evolution of new species of microbes. In this session, we invite abstracts on digitizing microbial communities and exploring genomes and transcriptomes to unravel the changes at diversity and functional level.

Fluctuations of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet during Cenozoic

Carlota Escutia,


N C Pant


1. Professor Escutia is a researcher of the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). In 2009, she was granted a Blaustein Visiting Professorship from the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Her principal research interests are focus on understanding Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics and related paleoceanographic and sea level changes. She has led 22 international projects, among them the IODP Expedition 318, and scheduled IODP Expedition 373. She chaired the SCAR-Antarctic Climate Evolution and the SCAR-Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) Research Programmes (2008-2016); and the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling Science Support and Advisory Committee (ESSAC) (2011-2013).

2. Professor N C Pant is associated with Antarctic programs for over three decades and is the first Ph.D. from Indian Scientific Expedition from Antarctica.

The proposers have recently edited a Geological Society of London Special Publication entitled "Crustal Evolution of India and Antarctica: The supercontinent connection"

east antarctic ice sheet dynamics, paleoclimate, paleoceanography

Under unabated warming, the marine-based parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheets have the potential to provide a major contribution to sea-level rise over the next centuries. Of the Antarctic Ice Sheets, the response of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) to future oceanic and atmospheric warming is hard to predict because the ice sheet covers a large area with bedrock topography characterized both by deep subglacial basins and by high, buried mountain ranges. Improved understanding of processes, thresholds, rates and magnitudes of previous EAIS retreats is essential to improve predictions of future sea-level rise.

This symposium aims to bring together results from past ice sheets, spanning from the last deglaciation to times in the past with elevated CO2 and temperatures. These studies can extend from the ice sheet interior to the deep sea. This symposium welcomes contributions from fields including glaciology, ice sheet modelling, sedimentology, paleo-limnology, marine geology and geophysics, among other.

Exploring Subglacial Antarctica

Martin Siegert


Dustin Schroeder


Prof. Martin Siegert FRSE has been the Co-Director of the Grantham Institute since May 2014. Previously, he was Director of the Bristol Glaciology Center at Bristol University, where he is now a visiting Professor, and Head of the School of GeoSciences at Edinburgh University, where he now holds an Honorary Professorship.

He leads the Lake Ellsworth Consortium - a UK-NERC funded programme that aims to explore a large subglacial lake beneath the ice of West Antarctica. He has undertaken three Antarctic field seasons, using geophysics to measure the subglacial landscape and to understand what it tells us about past changes in Antarctica and elsewhere.

In 2013, he was awarded the Martha T. Muse Prize for excellence in Antarctic science and policy, and in 2007, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Bedmap3, radar, magnetics, gravity, hydrology

Ice sheet models, our only means of quantifying how the Antarctic ice sheet may change in future, require accurate bed topography as an essential boundary condition. Over the past few years, numerous geophysical campaigns are undertaken to improve our knowledge of subsurface morphology and basal ice-sheet conditions.

This symposium encourages contributions from a full-range of geophysical investigations of the ice sheet base, from measurements of topography, to the identification of water beneath the ice (including subglacial lakes), to knowledge of processes at the ice-sheet bed and ice-sheet/shelf transition.

Rodinia to Gondwana- the PEL and the India Connection

Somnath Dasgupta


N C Pant


1. Professor Somnath Dasgupta is one of the best-known, well-decorated active metamorphic petrologist of India and has worked extensively in the Eastern Ghats mobile belt.

2. Professor N C Pant is associated with Antarctic programs for over three decades and is the first Ph.D. from Indian Scientific Expedition from Antarctica.

The proposers have recently edited a Geological Society of London Special Publication entitled "Crustal Evolution of India and Antarctica: The supercontinent connection"

East Antarctica holds key to the understanding of Meso- to Neoproterozoic continental assembly and dispersal. Recent aerogeophysical investigations in Princes Elizabeth Land in east Antarctica promises new insights for the sub-ice geology.

In this symposium, we invite wide-ranging contributions refining the India-Antarctica-Australia connection. We encourage participants using field geological, petrological, geophysical, remote sensing, paleomagnetic and geochronological data in this context.

Coupled Structural and Thermal Evolution of the Antarctic Lithosphere

Ian Dalziel


Donald Blankenship


Jamin Greenbaum


Professor Dalziel has studied global tectonic processes through over 50 years of fieldwork in the British Caledonides, the Canadian Shield, the Andes, and Antarctica.

Dr. Blankenship has used airborne and ground-based geophysical techniques to investigate geological controls on the dynamics of large ice sheets since 1979.

Dr. Greenbaum applies potential fields and ice-penetrating radar techniques to interpret subglacial geological boundary conditions and processes along the East Antarctic margin.

Lithosphere, rifting, volcanism, Gondwana, Antarctica

Structural and thermal evolution of the Antarctic lithosphere is intimately related to our understanding of the assembly and breakup of Gondwana as well as on the future stability of the vast overlying Antarctic Ice Sheet. Recent comprehensive airborne geophysical surveys have revealed the geomorphology and potential fields of the last major observational gaps in Antarctica. Also, new approaches to seismic tomography have increased resolution of the deep lithosphere. This symposium invites abstracts on these data to shed light on the lateral heterogeneity of geothermal flux and its coupling to the vertical distribution of thermal sources as well as their coupling.