Permafrost Young Researchers Network


Vinod Kumar Nathan

Vinod is a Biotechnologist, working on microbial enzymes and their application. He is very much interested in oceanographic research and understanding the microbial enzyme’s involvement in various biogeochemistry processes. He adopts the metagenomic approach to understand biogeochemistry processes in the marine, and wetland ecosystems. As a part of the Antarctic research mission of India, he proposed research in understanding the carbon cycle in the polar regions. Based on his interest in understanding the cold-active enzymes and microbial community in polar regions, he was into associations like APECS and PYRN. He looks forward to active collaboration with scientists around the world and contributing to the field of microbial biogeochemistry.


Xianglong Li

Xianglong completed his Master's degree in June 2021 from Lanzhou Jiaotong University (Lanzhou, China). His studies during the Master's degree allowed him to develop an interest in the study of the cryosphere, with a particular focus on the effects of climate change on humans and on engineering architecture. In September 2021, he got his PhD acceptance letter from Northeast Forestry University (Harbin, China), and his research is now focused on urban engineering problems in the cryosphere under climate warming, such as surface subsidence, particular expertise in the application of remote sensing in the engineering field.


Kaytan Kelkar

Kaytan is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. His primary research interests are in periglacial geomorphology focused on landslides propagated by mountain permafrost degradation. He is also interested in modeling mountain permafrost extent and geomorphological mapping. For his Ph.D. he will examine permafrost-affected landslides and develop a rock glacier inventory in the Central Alaska Range. He plans to conduct field surveys, install temperature and motion sensors on slopes, and implement InSAR remote sensing to detect slope displacements. His long-term goal is to improve hazard mitigation in permafrost-affected mountain terrain.




Zhai Jinbang

Zhai Jinbang studies permafrost since China is a permafrost country. The permafrost is mainly distributed in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the northeastern region. Harbin, the city where he study, is located in the northeastern part of China, where there is a permafrost. The presence of permafrost causes many engineering problems. At the graduate level, his research area was water migration and soil frost heaving. During his Ph.D., his main research focus was on permafrost engineering, studying the effects of permafrost thawing and subsidence on engineering by means of field monitoring investigations and indoor tests.


Emma Lathrop

Emma is a PhD student at Northern Arizona University. Her research is focused on quantifying the magnitude and mechanisms of soil carbon loss in permafrost ecosystems following warming. Emma is interested in quantifying the timing and magnitude of the permafrost carbon feedback, specifically in understanding how susceptible carbon in deep soils is to decomposition and emission to the atmosphere as greenhouse gas. A changing arctic impacts everyone and she strives to improve how science is communicated to inform policy makers and the public. Emma is committed to promoting a culture of inclusion in the field and lab. In addition to her role on PYRN ExComm, she serves as the PYRN representative to the US Permafrost Association’s Board of Directors.


Rica Wegner

Rica's passion for permafrost soils evolved in her bachelors during an exchange semester in Finland where she studied the effect of climate change on palsa mires. In her masters she got inspired by the complexity and the poorly studied nitrogen cycle in the Arctic. Before her PhD (which she just started in January this year), she worked with permafrost samples from an eroded Yedoma cliff where she studied microbial nitrogen transformation and N2O production. Her current PhD enables her to follow her interests in microscale processes. In the next few years she will focus on Arctic plant-soil interactions and will conduct lab as well as field experiments. With an integrated view on carbon-nitrogen dynamics, she will try to understand how the increased abundance of shrubs and other vegetation types in the Canadian Arctic will affect the release of greenhouses gases and the microbial processing of nitrogen by the release of root exudates.

Denis Frolov

Denis Frolov

Denis is a research fellow in the laboratory of avalanches and mudflows at Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University. His research interests include snow cover and climatic spacial and time alterations as well as regularities of snow cover formation and the processes of heat and mass transport in snow cover and on the boundary with ground while ground freezing.Participated in expeditions to Caucasus, New Siberian islands and other parts of Russian Arctic. He is a webmaster of the new PYRN website.