Permafrost Young Researchers Network


Lin Chen

Lin Chen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside, USA. His postdoc project focuses on the development and implementation of computationally efficient methods for hydrologic modeling at the watershed scale. Lin completed his Ph.D. at the University of Montreal, Canada, where he utilized a combination of field observation and numerical modeling to quantify the surface energy components for different land cover types and to investigate the impacts of subsurface water flow on the thermal stability of roads and highways in high-altitude and high-latitude cold regions. Lin has rich field experiences in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, Mohe city, the Northernmost city in China, and Yukon, Canada, where permafrost is an important factor controlling cryo-hydrogeological and biogeochemical processes. In these areas, the infrastructure experiences severe structural damage due to permafrost degradation. During his graduate study, geotechnical and geophysical investigations were conducted to characterize the ground stratigraphy and permafrost conditions. His current research interests include permafrost modeling, surface water-groundwater interactions, solute transport, surface energy balance, cold-region infrastructure, and computationally efficient algorithm. He is a board member of the PYRN Executive Committee and a PYRN national representative.


Kaytan Kelkar

Kaytan is a second 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.




Natalie Arpin

Natalie is a 3rd year PhD student in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She focuses on the impact of changing permafrost conditions on linear infrastructure. She conducts her research on the Hudson Bay Railway in Manitoba, Canada, where she monitors the effects and distribution of frost jacking on railway bridges.


Bastien Charonnat

Bastien Charonnat is a PhD candidate at École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), Université du Québec, Montreal (Canada). His research focuses on the hydrological behavior of proglacial systems and interactions between cryospheric features in glacial valleys. He uses a multimethod approach at his field site, in the St. Elias Mts (Yukon, Canada). He also participated in field expeditions on rock glaciers in the French Alps during his Master’s.


Saskia Eppinger

Saskia is a PhD-Student at the Chair of Landslides Research, Technical University of Munich (Germany). Her research interest is arctic as well as alpine permafrost. Saskia is working in different arctic environments, focusing on retrogressive thaw slumps in Canada and Greenland. She uses geophysical methods in the field as well as complementary lab work. Saskia is PYRN-member since 2017 and currently National Correspondence for Germany.


Soumitra Sakhalkar

Soumitra Sakhalkar is a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research is focused on the terrain instability caused by the permafrost degradation on the North Slope of Alaska. He uses geophysical measurements such as displacement sensors, GNSS and other field validation strategies to upscale with the InSAR data that will soon be available through the NISAR L-band satellite. His long-term goal is communicate the research the wider public and incorporate the traditional knowledge of the lands he studies, to understand how the permafrost landscape is changing and how this has been impacting human, plant as well as animal life.


Chunlin Song

Dr. Chunlin Song’s research focuses on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the cryosphere. His research delves into the patterns, processes, mechanisms, and impacts of biogeochemical cycles and hydrological dynamics within cryospheric rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. He is particularly interested in the transport and transformation of terrestrial carbon in aquatic ecosystems under the influence of climate change in permafrost regions, as well as greenhouse gas emissions from cryospheric inland waters. He also investigates the impacts and mechanisms of permafrost changes on cryohydrological processes. To address these research questions, he employs a multifaceted approach that includes field observations, laboratory experiments, isotope analysis, spatial upscaling, and statistical modeling. His fieldwork often takes him to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the mountainous regions of southwest China. Chunlin received his PhD from the Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and was a visiting PhD student at Yale University. He is currently affiliated with the State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, Sichuan University, China.


Zhenhai Liu

Zhenhai is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. His current research focuses on the seasonal and diurnal asymmetrical impacts of climate warming on carbon fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems of the Tibetan Plateau. He specializes in using models and remote sensing techniques to study the carbon cycle in permafrost regions.


Harley R. McCourt

Harley R. McCourt is a PhD Student at Northumbria University and Newcastle University in the UK. His research focuses on modelling the state and fate of permafrost through utilisation of reanalysis datasets. He has a strong background in geospatial analysis, numerical modelling, and remote sensing. In addition to his role on the PYRN ExCom, he is the Treasurer of the International Glaciological Society's Early Career Glaciologist Group and the Postgraduate Representative for Professional Geomorphology for the British Society of Geomorphology.


Emma Cameron

Emma is a PhD student at the Institute of Geosystems and Bioindication, Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany). Her research focuses on the use of paleoindicators in sediment cores to reconstruct the environmental history of Arctic lakes. She recently completed her MSc at Université Laval studying extreme Arctic lakes on Northern Ellesmere Island. Her PhD project will investigate how lakes in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Northwest Territories have been affected by the interacting effects of climate change and legacy contaminants from oil and gas exploration, as part of the larger "ThinIce" project. She will reconstruct the recent histories of lakes near drilling mud sumps, as well as new ponds forming directly on the sumps and in borrow pits excavated for the construction of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway.


Roger Creel

Roger is a geophysicist who focuses on sea-level change in the past and future and the interactions between sea level and permafrost, ice sheets, coastlines, and continental hydrology. Roger’s work in geoscience began at Amherst College, where he wrote a thesis on diagenesis and dolomitization in Ordovician-Silurian carbonates in the Great Basin. After Amherst, he conducted geochemical and sedimentological research at MIT and Washington University in Saint Louis while dancing professionally with the Louisville Ballet. In 2018, he began a PhD at Columbia University's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory with Dr. Jacqueline Austermann. Roger’s research at Columbia concerned sea-level change during past warm periods, how sea level affects subsea permafrost, and what we can learn about ice sheet stability from sea-level records. He defended his dissertation in October 2023, then moved to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to begin a postdoctoral scholarship. At Woods Hole, Roger is studying how continental hydrology and human land use influence coastal ocean dynamic sea level, and the compound effects of sea-level, permafrost subsidence, and land hydrology on Arctic coastlines.


Zachary MacDonald-Ducharme

Zachary MacDonald-Ducharme (Zak) is a first year part-time master's student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His research is focussed on the effects of ground settlement from permafrost degradation and changing climate conditions. Zak works and travels on projects in the Canadian arctic as a civil engineer and is interested in developing competencies related to arctic engineering. This is his first year with PYRN and he hopes to learn more about the general field of geocryology and connect with people from different backgrounds. His current role with PYRN is as a contributor for the Newsletters and with organizing PYRN activities


Charlotte Pearson

Lottie Pearson is a PhD student at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. Her research focuses on quantifying the controlling processes of active layer detachments in the Brooks Range, Alaska and using these to develop an automated classification in Google Earth Engine. While her work primarily involves remote sensing techniques, Lottie also has Arctic fieldwork experience in the Northwest Territories, Canada, and Svalbard.


Alejandro Alvarez

SAlejandro Alvarez is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, Canada. His Ph.D. research focuses on mapping and understanding the distribution of ice-rich permafrost within the Mackenzie Delta Region, NT, Canada. His Ph.D. research will also investigate ground ice bodies typically found within the region, including buried glacier ice, segregated ice, intrusive ice and wedge ice. Alejandro has had the privilege of assisting and leading permafrost fieldwork for six years in many northern communities of Yukon and Northwest Territories. Alejandro joined PYRN in 2023.


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.

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.