Aarhus University Seal

Call for applications - International early-career workshop: Microbes at the Interface of Land-Atmosphere Feedbacks

1-4 October 2023, Sandbjerg Manor, Denmark


The Arctic region is extremely sensitive to climate changes and has experienced a much higher temperature increase compared to the global average, which is closely linked to feedbacks between the atmospheric processes and the rapid loss of sea ice and terrestrial ice. Thus the Arctic radiative balance is heavily affected by the changes in the albedo of the icy/snowy surfaces and the changes in the albedo which are associated with cloud thickness, lifetime, and optical properties. Microorganisms have progressively been in focus as key components of the Arctic climate system and have unexpected consequences for the Arctic ecosystems. In particular, biological aerosols have been implicated in a variety of biophysical and geochemical transformations both during their airborne dispersal, where they exert major influence on cloud formation and optical properties, and after their deposition, establishment and growth on icy surfaces, where they are a major factor controlling the albedo and melting rate of terrestrial ice. As major emphasis has been placed on the cryosphere by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report, this is a key time to understand the dynamics of these microbially-driven processes as well as whether there is a way to counteract the resulting negative consequences. By gathering top researchers together with rising early career scientists within the fields of aeromicrobiology, microbial cryo-ecology, ice physics and modeling from around the world, we aim at exploiting the ongoing momentum with a dynamic exchange of state-of-the-art developments and ideas.


Workshop participants will have the opportunity to be actively involved in:

  • Building contexts for interdisciplinary research that integrates mathematics, life sciences and physical sciences.
  • Defining the grand challenges for Earth System sciences for the coming decades.
  • Specifying initial goals to meet these challenges.
  • Networking with current and upcoming leaders who will address these challenges.
  • Increasing dialogues that involve economics and social sciences to favour the practical application of new discoveries.


Supported by the Novo Nordisk foundation, twenty extraordinary individuals early in their career will be invited to meet with a group of established scientists (“mentors”) and other leaders active in fields related to microbial ecology of cryosphere and atmosphere and how they link to albedo and the climate system. The workshop will focus on the atmospheric dispersal of microorganisms, their establishment on ice sheets, the consequent changes in the surface and cloud ice influencing albedo of these surfaces, and the changes in the Arctic landscape that could impact all these processes. The workshop will include some formal presentations by senior scientists to set the stage for interdisciplinary discussion, but will favor interactive discussion and brainstorming.


- Alexandre M. B. Anesio, Aarhus University, DK
- Brent Christner, Louisiana State University, USA
- Jessie M. Creamean, Colorado State University, USA
- Catherine Larose, Université de Lyon, France
- Erik Thomson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
- Davide Martinetti, INRAE, France
- Cindy Morris, INRAE, France
- Tina Šantl-Temkiv, Aarhus University, DK

For specific details of the application procedure, please contact:

Tina Šantl-Temkiv: temkiv@bio.au.dk

Cindy Morris: cindy.morris@inrae.fr


Candidates for this workshop from the life, physical and social sciences should be early in their career* and able to demonstrate that they have extraordinary potential to contribute to the goals of this workshop in terms of their motivation, skills and professional context.

Successful candidates will be eligible for scholarships to partially cover costs of attending the workshop.  

Deadline for applications: 1 March 2023

*Current PhD students, or less than a decade after obtaining a doctoral degree, or equivalent professional experience.




Twenty early career scientists will be selected for participation in the workshop. A first round of selection of applicants will be based on a written dossier as described below.  Applicants selected in the first round will then be interviewed by the workshop organizers, via video-conferencing, in early April 2023.  Selection will be made based on the profiles of the ensemble of the applicants in view of putting together a group of participants representing different disciplines, geographic and institutional origins, and professional contexts. Final selections will be announced by end of May 2023.  


Before 1 March 2023, candidates should submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum) including examples of your publications or other forms via which you have communicated knowledge or technology (journal articles, books, patents, films, talks, etc.). Also include information to permit a precise evaluation of your current professional situation and of your eligibility for the workshop you are currently a PhD student, or it has been less than a decade after you obtained a doctoral degree, or equivalent professional experience).
  • Full contact information (including phone numbers) for 2 professional references whom we can contact with questions about your training and professional experiences.
  • An essay (2 pages maximum) on how you foresee yourself contributing to the theme of the workshop in the coming decade. Include information about what you foresee as your professional context and the grand research challenges to which you would like to contribute via your professional activities.  Please explain why you have chosen those grand challenges in particular.  Finally, explain why your participation in this workshop would be important for you to achieve your goals.

Please submit the all of the above as a single .pdf file to the workshop convener, Dr. Tina Šantl-Temkiv: temkiv@bio.au.dk