Understanding climate
for the benefit of society

Seminar talk: Floating North with the MicroCT

Amy Macfarlane from Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos, Switzerland will give a seminar talk on October 18

Amy Macfarlane
Amy Macfarlane


Short biography:

Amy Macfarlane is a current PhD student at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche research centre (SLF) in Davos, Switzerland. She holds a BSc from the University of Bath and an MSc from the University of Sheffield. Her current work is focused on the thermal conductivity of snow, with a focus on snow on Arctic sea-ice. A background in Physics, undertaking two pervious expeditions to the Arctic and organising snow measurement campaigns has given her the necessary skills to lead the snow measurements on the third leg of the MOSAiC expedition. In her spare time, Amy focuses on scientific outreach through organising presentations to several institutes and hosting school events and workshops across Switzerland and the UK.




The Arctic sea-ice is changing dramatically, with rapid declines in summer sea-ice extent and a shift toward relatively more first year ice and less multi-year ice. These changes have a huge influence on global scale energy fluxes and atmospheric turbulences.


In September 2019 the largest ever Arctic expedition began from Tromso, Norway (https://www.mosaic-expedition.org). The research vessel, Polarstern, is currently trapped in the ice and will drift through the Arctic Ocean over the upcoming year. The current location and expedition updates can be followed at: https://follow.mosaic-expedition.org


The inter-disciplinary nature of this expedition brings together 600 scientists with Atmospheric, Ocean, Ecosystem, Sea Ice, Remote Sensing, Modelling and Biogeochemistry backgrounds to better understand energy fluxes and processes occurring in the Arctic. Four scientists from the SLF, Davos will have the responsibility of undertaking snow measurements to provide the expedition with knowledge of the snow distribution and microstructure. Snow is increasingly recognized as a key component in the energy budget of sea ice and plays a crucial role when devising sea ice predictions.


In this colloquium I will give an overview of the logistical and scientific challenges the snow team are expecting to face, preparations we have made for the upcoming year and my role as a PhD student. I will summarise the data that will be collected and hopefully start some interesting discussions with scientists and students from varying disciplines.


Time: 18 October at 10:00, BCCR lecture room 4020, Jahnebakken 5