UArctic Research Chair, Professor Jeff Welker (University of Oulu & University of Alaska) has been one of the global leaders in the study of Arctic winter ecology and biogeochemistry since the 1990’s. Winter is the dominant season in the Arctic but typically the most neglected part of the international Arctic research agenda, until now.
UArctic Research Chair, Professor Jeff Welker (University of Oulu and University of Alaska) has been one of the few terrestrial ecologists studying the periglacial landscapes in the High Arctic of NW Greenland over the past 20 years. His program in High Arctic Biocomplexity began a multi-decade program addressing the extent to which physical, chemical and biological processes interact in unique ways at the margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet and in the nearby Arctic Ocean.
Professor Eva Pongrácz, from the Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, wants to solve the problems of the world through cooperation. According to her, what happens around the world touches all of us.
Jeff Welker, UArctic Research Chair and Professor of the University of Oulu and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and colleagues from across the Arctic will be contributing to MOSAiC, the largest Arctic scientific expedition, with their studies of the Arctic Water Isotope Cycle.
When humans change the environment via construction and land use, natural processes also change in those areas. Professor of Physical Geography Jan Hjort from the Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu points out that at a local scale these changes can also have a pleasant effect.
Many migratory waterfowl have evolved to synchronize periods of peak nutrient demand, often breeding, with periods of high resource availability. Climate change is creating phenological mismatches between herbivores and their plant resources throughout the Arctic. UArctic Research Chair, Professor Jeff Welker and his colleagues have discovered that climate‐driven changes in the timing of goose arrival have much greater consequences for coastal sedge vegetation than a similar shift in timing of local spring conditions. While advancing growing seasons and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores can have consequences for herbivores and forage quality, developing mismatches could also influence other traits of plants, such as above‐ and below‐ground biomass and the type of reproduction. The field study was conducted in western Alaska and published in Journal of Ecology, recently.
In the new Ecosphere Journal article Prof. Jeff Welker's international consortium shows that wild Svalbard reindeer populations can buffer the effects of climate change in part by behavioral plasticity and increased use of resource subsidies. Based on annual population surveys in late winters 2006–2015, the proportion of individual reindeer feeding along the shoreline increased the icier the winter.
Snow melt runoff and groundwater abstraction are the most used form of fresh water globally, but the supply is diminishing throughout the world. The problem is expected to worsen with ongoing climate change. Professor Björn Klöve, Director of the Water Resources and Environmental Engineering unit at the University of Oulu, offers a scientific take on the issue.