Permafrost Researchers Take Notes In The Field PHOTO: Weronika Murray

UArctic Chairs

UArctic Chairs are highly qualified academics who will serve as academic drivers in a broad area of relevance to the Arctic. They implement and drive collaborative actions in research and education among UArctic members and Thematic Networks, and build partnerships with the broader Arctic community.

Mimir is the UArctic Academic Advisory Board, which serves as a high-level strategic body for UArctic.



David G. Anderson is an anthropologist working with communities across the circumpolar North. He is originally Canadian, and grew up in Northern Alberta. He holds degrees in Politics with Sociology (Carleton U), Sociology (UWisc-Madison), and Social Anthropology (Cambridge). He started working in the circumpolar North as a technician at the Ft.McPherson Language Centre in the Gwich’in Settlement Area. His reading and fieldwork for the Masters and PhD was with with Evenki people first in Zabaikal’e and later in Taimyr and the Evenki Autonomous Area. Since that time he has also worked with communities in Iamal, and in Northern Norway. He has been based at the University of Aberdeen since 2000, and was appointed Chair in the Anthropology of the North in 2013. At the University of Aberdeen he was active in getting the University to join the UArctic network and helped to host the Rector Conference in Aberdeen in 2017. He also leads the Thematic Network CAFÉ: Circumpolar Archives, Folklore and Ethnography. He researches and publishes in a wide number of areas: ethnography, ethnohistory, archaeology, Rangifer genetics, and political ecology.
Born in Shoal Brook and raised in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Anderson comes from a family with Mi’kmaq and Inuit ancestry. He is also a member of the Mekap’sk (Northern Peninsula) Mi’kmaq Band. Dr. Anderson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in science and education from MUN. He also holds a PhD in educational administration and leadership from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He has been a teacher and principal in four schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, all while remaining active in serving the school district and the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA). During his time working within the school system, Dr. Anderson served as president of the former Sandwich Bay Branch of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, branch president of the Provincial Small Schools’ Special Interest Council, president of the School Administrator Council Western Region, member of the NLTA Collective Bargaining Team, and panel member of the NLTA Panel of Public Education. Dr. Anderson later became an education professor at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Calgary (where he was awarded the teaching excellence award from the University of Calgary Graduate Students’ Association), before becoming the associate dean of education at the University of New Brunswick. In 2011 Dr. Anderson joined MUN as dean of the Faculty of Education, where he served until 2019. He is the former president of the Association of Canadian Deans of Education, and former vice president (Anglophone) of the Canadian Society for Studies in Education. Since 2002, he has also been an active member of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI), where he served in various roles, including on the board of directors. Dr. Anderson has been an active member of various committees hosted by the University of the Arctic, including the Arctic Indigenous Issues Committee from 2012-2020, the Academic Council Indigenous Interest Committee from 2015-2021, the Thematic Network for Teacher Education for Teacher Education, Social Justice and Diversity from 2016-present, and the Verdde Thematic Network from 2018-present. His primary university research areas are school leadership and school effectiveness. He has also conducted significant research into success in Indigenous (Aboriginal) education and has worked on various international projects. He currently serves on a number of national and international research groups. His most current work is research into Canadian Perspectives for Teacher Development in the North (An Inuit and Sami centric view). Research Interests: School Improvement and Effectiveness, Educational Administration, Teacher Leadership, Rural Schools, Indigenous Education.
Jan Borm is Full Professor in British Literature at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) where he is also Director of “the Malaurie Institute of Arctic Research Monaco-UVSQ” and co-director of the interdisciplinary Master 2 programme “Arctic Studies” affiliated with the University of Paris-Saclay, France’s leading research university. A specialist of travel literature and writings about the Arctic, he has published numerous articles in English, French and German in reviews such as Polar Record, Inter-Nord, Études mongoles et sibériennes, centrasiatiques et tibétaines and Studies in Travel Writing. He is the author of the portrait Jean Malaurie, un homme singulier (Paris: Éditions du Chêne, 2005) and co-editor of twelve collective volumes including Le Froid (Montreal: Presses universitaires du Québec, 2018), German Representations of the Far North (17th-19th centuries): Writing the Arctic, With a Preface by Jean Malaurie (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2020) and Jean Malaurie. Cahier de l’Herne (2021) as well as the forthcoming Representations of the West Nordic Isles – Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands (Eutin, Wachholtz Verlag, 2022). Past research project participations include Green Greenland (funded by the French National Research Agency ANR), POLARIS (FP7-Marie-Curie-IRSES) and EDU-ARCTIC (H2020), ongoing participation the Belmont Forum project NICH-ARCTIC. Jan Borm is general editor of the book series “Arctic Humanities” published by Brill. In 2019, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lapland at Rovaniemi, Finland.
Melody Brown Burkins is the Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth, where she also serves as Senior Associate Director in the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies. Trained as a polar scientist, she focuses on issues of Arctic and global science diplomacy, climate change, sustainable development, and inclusion. In UArctic, she serves as Special Advisor and Assembly Member, is Vice Lead to the Model Arctic Council (MAC) Thematic Network, and is a founding member of the UArctic Gender in Arctic Knowledge Production Thematic Network. Dr. Burkins also holds a variety of international positions that advance Arctic and global science cooperation, inclusion, and sustainability in global science governance. She is as an elected member of the International Science Council (ISC) Governing Board, Chair of the US National Academies’ Board on International Scientific Organizations (NASEM-BISO), and recently served as a scientific advisor to the 2021 ISC report, Unleashing Science: Delivering Missions for Sustainability. She also serves on the Global Independent Expert Group on Universities and the 2030 Agenda (EGU2030) convened by UNESCO and the University of Bergen and the Advisory Board to the 2022 UN Disaster Risk Reduction Global Assessment Report (UNDRR-GAR) addressing global systemic risk. Most recently, she was appointed to the 4th International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP IV) Steering Committee, for which she is honored to help support more meaningful Arctic collaborations and the engagement and inclusion of more diverse knowledge systems in global research strategies for the next International Polar Year (IPY).
Bing Chen is a Professor in Environmental Engineering, Associate Dean (Acting) of Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science and former Department Head of Civil Engineering, and Director of Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He also serves as the founding Director of a global Network on Persistent, Emerging and Organic PoLlution in the Environment (PEOPLE Network). He has been selected as a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE), and Member of the Royal Society of Canada (College). Dr. Chen is an internationally recognized leader in environmental engineering research and applications and particularly in marine and coastal pollution mitigation, environmental emergency (e.g., oil/chemical spills) responses, persistent and emerging contaminants studies, water and wastewater treatment, AI-aided decision making, environmental sustainability, cold region (Arctic and Subarctic) and climate change studies. He has produced more than 460 technical publications and 8 patents/disclosures and trained over 80 thesis-based graduate students and postdocs. He is an Affiliated Faculty with University of California Berkeley and Adjunct/Visiting Professor of five other institutions worldwide. He has served as Senior Advisor of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), VP of CSCE, VP of Canadian Association on Water Quality (CAWQ), VP of Sigma Xi Avalon Chapter, member of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan’s National Advisory Committee on Multi-Partner Research Initiative, member of Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel, etc. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Systems Research, Associate Editor of two refereed journals and Editorial Board Member of six journals. He has given over 80 invited keynotes and guest lectures worldwide and received over 50 awards and honours at institutional, national, and international levels. As a registered Professional Engineer in Canada, he has provided consulting service to government, industry, NGOs, and communities globally.
Hanne H. Christiansen is a professor in Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and presently a visiting researcher at the Aarhus University in Denmark. Her research is within periglacial geomorphology, focusing on active layer – permafrost dynamics including the ground thermal regime, cryostratigraphy, and climatic and meteorological control on periglacial landforms, processes and sediments. She has field experience from Greenland, Svalbard and former cold climatic landscapes of Scandinavia from the last 25 years. Hanne has been involved in the establishment of the Arctic Safety Centre at UNIS and works with the consequences of climate change on permafrost in Arctic communities focusing on geohazards. Presently she is leading the UNIS interdisciplinary geoscientific strategic project ‘Developing a permafrost and meteorological climate change response system to build resilience in Arctic communities’. She has been the Vice Dean for Education (2018-2020), Head of the Arctic Geology Department (2013-2021) both at UNIS, and President of the International Permafrost Association, IPA (2016-2020). As a UArctic Chair of Permafrost Physical Processes she will be focusing on increasing the Nordic links within the High Arctic, especially between North Greenland and Svalbard and further developing permafrost education within science and engineering, especially working with internship development and field learning.
Kamrul Hossain is a Research Professor and the Director of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) at the Arctic Centre and an Adjunct Professor of Public International Law at the University of Lapland. He is also the leader of the University of Arctic's Thematic Network on Arctic Law. By training, he has specialized in public international law. His research focus currently lies broadly in international environmental law and human rights law, particularly concerning the indigenous peoples' rights that apply to the Arctic. Over his academic career, Prof. Hossain has extensively published in almost all areas of Arctic governance, including climate change, environmental protection, biodiversity, geopolitics, the law of the sea, maritime safety and security, human rights and human security, etc., highlighting, legal, institutional and policy perspectives. He has been the Principal Investigator (PI) of several international and national research grants funded by the agencies, such as the Academy of Finland, the NordForsk, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Finnish National Agency for Education, etc. Prof. Hossain has held several visiting positions in renowned foreign universities, such as the Law School of Harbin Institute of Technology in China as a visiting professor; the University of Technology, Sydney as a senior visiting fellow; and as a visiting scholar to several other institutions, including University of Toronto, Canada; Hokkaido University and Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan; the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge, the UK. In addition, he serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal of environmental law and policy and sits on the Editorial Boards of over ten international scientific journals. Furthermore, Prof. Hossain has served as the Special Editor for several internationally renowned journals, e.g., the Yearbook of Polar Law. He teaches at the University of Lapland and also other foreign universities in Europe and Asia.
Timo Jokela is Professor of Art Education and former Dean (2008-2017) of the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Lapland. He is a leader of University of Arctic’s thematic network on Arctic sustainable Art and Design (ASAD) since 2012. In 2010- 2019 he worked as a head of Northern Culture Institution of Lapland University Consortium. He also worked as Visiting Professor of Art Education and Environmental Art at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (2006-2011). His theoretical academic studies and art-based research focus on relationship between Arctic cultures, arts and nature. He has been responsible for several international, national and regional art, nature and culture research projects, where participatory new genre Arctic art has been studied in the contexts of decolonization, revitalization and cultural and social sustainability. Jokela works actively as an artist, often using natural materials and the cultural heritage of the Arctic as a starting point for his community-based works and artistic projects. He has realized and several exhibitions, environmental art and community art projects and curatorial works in Finland and abroad, mainly in Arctic counties. In 2019, he was awarded the International Society of Education through Art Edwin Ziegfield Award for his leadership forging new direction in art education.
Professor Roland Kallenborn is a senior scientist and University teacher in the field of organic analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry and environmental risk assessment, bioaccumulation and food web responses to environmental contaminants. He is an environmental chemist with main research interests in method development for characterisation, quantiative analysis, risk assessment, and mitigation of organic environmental pollutants (including contaminants of emerging concern and their transformation products). Currently, his research focuses on the elucidation of pollutant profiles in Environmental samples including the Arctic. He applies modern advanced trace analytical methods in an interdisciplinary context in his research strategies. Kallenborn is involved in interdisciplinary research in fate, risks and distribution profiles of environmental pollutants in pristine and contaminated environments. For his research he collaborates with experts in chemistry, biology, physics, modelling, toxicology and veterinary medicine. For his scientific activities, he applies quantitative validated analytical methods for the determination of legacy and emerging priority anthropogenic pollutant. Kallenborn is author/ co-author of 120 per reviewed publications, 12 books/ monographs (author, chapter author and editor), 20 contract reports, 10 popular science papers and more than 300 presentations (poster/ oral) in international conferences and seminars. He serves as editor/ editorial board member for the IF registered scientific Journals “Current Chromatography”, “Fresenius Environmental Bulletin”, “Ecotoxicology and Chemistry”, “Environmental Science and Pollution Research” (Springer) and “Chemosphere” (Elsevier).
Karl Kreutz is the Director of the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a Professor in the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine. He is an Earth scientist who uses geochemical tools to study the full dynamic range of the climate system. He specializes in the ice core record of climate and environmental change developed from the polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. His research focuses specifically on polar amplification and feedbacks, hydroclimate variability, abrupt climate change, and coupled ocean-atmosphere processes. Over the past 20+ years, he has worked on projects ranging from the South Pole to the Arctic to the world’s highest mountains to Maine’s diverse landscape.
David Natcher is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada). Trained in cultural anthropology, David’s research focuses on the social dimensions of water, energy, and food (WEF) insecurity in Arctic regions. David has served as the UArctic Thematic Lead in Northern Food Security since 2016. In addition to this role, David serves as a Canadian representative on the International Arctic Science Committee – Social and Human Working Group and the Arctic’s Council’s (SDWG) Social, Economic, and Cultural Expert Group (SECEG). During his term as a UArctic Chair, David will examine the distinct social, cultural, and environmental contexts that produce WEF insecurities in the Arctic. This includes identifying the interactions, synergies, and trade-offs involved in the attainment of WEF-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2, 6 and 7). The focus on WEF SDGs is particularly warranted in Arctic regions given the prevalence of WEF insecurities experienced by Indigenous and other remote Arctic communities.
Philip Steinberg is Professor of Political Geography at Durham University (UK), where he leads the Durham Arctic Research Centre for Training and Interdisciplinary Collaboration (DurhamARCTIC). His research interests range from legal mechanisms that recognise the sensitivities of sea ice to sonic evocations of Arctic environments, and from media representations of the Arctic as a ‘global’ space to the potential for field-based education to foster understanding between Arctic and non-Arctic peoples. He has served as PI on Arctic-related grants from the US National Science Foundation, the European Commission, the International Council for Canadian Studies, and the Leverhulme Trust and has been a collaborator on grants from the Norwegian Research Council, the Academy of Finland, and the Velux Foundation. He has published over twenty articles and book chapters on Arctic topics, as well as co-authoring the book Contesting the Arctic: Politics and Imaginaries of the Circumpolar North (Bloomsbury, 2015).
Professor Tuija Turunen holds a position of Dean at the Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Finland. She is a leader of the teacher education programme. Turunen holds the UArctic Chair in Education for Social Justice and Diversity and leads the UArctic and the UNESCO/UNITWIN networks on Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity. Professor Turunen is an internationally recognized expert in these fields and has given invited addresses throughout the globe both in scientific and popular arenas, e.g. UNESCO Teacher Task Force in Jamaica, Arctic Forum in Russia, IICBA in Ethiopia and various forums in Europe. She has published widely and leads several national and international projects. Professor Turunen’s current research interests focus on teacher education, indigenous education, professional development in higher education, educational transitions (especially starting school), multi-professional work in schools, and preventative school welfare work.
Jeff Welker has been studying Arctic plant & ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry and biosphere-atmosphere interactions since his research activities at NyAlyesund, Svalbard and Abisko, Sweden started in 1990. His research program focuses on four themes: a) tundra plant and ecosystem structure and function now and in the future using the ITEX (International Tundra Experiment) program; b) the Arctic Water Isotope Cycle and sea ice controls on shifting patterns, sources and distribution of precipitation; c) terrestrial and marine food web processes focused on diets and space-use of wolves, polar bears, brown bears, caribou and reindeer and d) herbivore and climate effects on greenhouse gas emissions, sources and ages. Dr. Welker serves on the US Arctic Icebreaker Coordination Committee (AICC), the NSF Office of Polar Programs Advisory Committee and as the Arctic Research Advisory to the Chancellor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is convening a UArctic Congress 2018 session on caribou-reindeer-cultural practices and is leading a new project titled: “Pan Arctic Water Isotope Network” which was granted INTERACT remote access to research stations. The project involves colleagues from Iceland, Denmark, Greenland, Czech Republic, Poland, USA, Finland, UK, Canada and Norway.