Congratulations on achieving your PhDs!

Cornelius Quigley and Johannes Lohse completed their PhDs this spring – a big stepping stone on what is still to come. CIRFA is proud of you and we are curious to see you grow even more.


Cornelius defended his PhD thesis “Determination of the Dielectric Properties of Marine Surface Slicks Using Synthetic Aperture Radar”

Cornelius during his PhD defense. Photo: Malin Johansson.

The defense took place on March 3, 2021, the thesis is published in Munin. The opponents Dr. Martin Gade, Institut für Meereskunde, University of Hamburg, Germany (1. Opponent) and Assistant Professor Brent Minchew, Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (2. Opponent) both participated online. Professor Rune Graversen, Department of Physics and Technology, UiT (internal member and leader of the committee) and colleagues were physically present in the auditorium. The trial lecture on “Remote Sensing of Marine Surface Films” was streamed and thus available to watch for all interested on March 2.

Torbjørn Eltoft, Camilla Brekke, Department of Physics and Technology, UiT, and senior researcher Veronique Miegebielle, TOTAL, guided Cornelius` work.

Cornelius, how did the PhD time feel, and what are your plans ahead?

“I began my PhD focusing on oil spill remote sensing in September 2017 and have just finished in March 2021. I had a wonderful experience throughout the program and was blessed to have two on-hands and interested supervisors as well as a very attentive industrial partner. In all, my favorite aspects about the PhD were the interesting places I was able to visit. This included many trips to Italy, Svalbard and Alaska. On a professional level however, being able to conduct research and have it published in international journals was a deeply rewarding experience.

Conducting a PhD comes with its own set of constraints however. This includes having to take classes to fulfill educations requirements, exam preparation, thesis writing etc. What I am most looking forward to in my postdoc is being able focus solely on my research and develop myself professionally. I also hope to do a research exchange abroad. In all, I will be here for the next two and a half years and hope they will be as great as the last three.”

Release of mineral oil emulsion during the NORSE 2019 oil on water experiment. Photo: Oscar Garcia Pineda.

Johannes defended his PhD thesis “On Automated Classification of Sea Ice Types in SAR Imagery”

Johannes during his PhD defense. Photo: Andrea Schneider

The defense took place on on March 12, 2021, the thesis is published in Munin. The opponents Professor John Yackel, Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Canada (1. Opponent) and Dr. Natalia Zakhvatkina, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) and Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (NIERSC), Russia (2. Opponent) both participated online. Dr. Jack Landy, Department of Physics and Technology, UiT (internal member and leader of the committee) and a small crowd were physically present in the auditorium. The trial lecture on “Atmospheric and oceanic drivers of Arctic sea ice decline since the turn of the century” was streamed and thus available to watch for all interested on March 11.

Anthony Doulgeris, Department of Physics and Technology, UiT and Wolfgang Dierking, Department of Physics and Technology at UiT and Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), guided Johannes` work.

Johannes, how did the PhD time feel, and what are your plans ahead?

“I started my PhD at UiT/CIRFA in 2016 with a background in geophysics, sea ice physics, and glaciology. While most of my knowledge on these topics was based on in-situ measurements and observations on the ice, the work environment in CIRFA and the education during my PhD gave me the opportunity to add both theoretical and practical remote sensing knowledge to my skillset. I really enjoyed learning about sea ice from a very different perspective, with the advantages and challenges connected to the different scales, spatial coverages, and spatial resolutions. My project also required to shift the focus of my work more from environmental science to technical science, which has widened my understanding of Polar research in general and monitoring of sea ice in particular. I look forward to deepening this understanding further during my post-doc at CIRFA and to connecting closer to the ice services, while hopefully also having the chance to again apply these technical tools in more environmentally focussed studies.”

Largely snow-covered sea ice with open water in between. Photo: Johannes Lohse.
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