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Young researchers in the spotlight: Cecilia Äijälä

29 January 2024

We are writing profiles on early career researchers to make our younger scientists and their research more visible. It’s Cecilia’s turn in the spotlight!

Cecilia, please introduce yourself and tell us about yourself – who are you? where do you work?

I am Cecilia Äijälä and I am a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki. My masters is in Hydrosphere Geophysics, and I also studied Computer Science.

What do you do for PolarRES? Is it the first project you’ve worked on?

Yes, this is the first project I have worked on. I am doing my PhD  thesis in PolarRES. I am currently working with the University of Helsinki’s ocean-ice coupled model for the Antarctic. The work is done for the PolarRES work packages 3 and 5.

What is the most interesting thing you learned working on PolarRES?

We are now halfway through the project, and I have already learned a lot working on PolarRES, it is hard to choose what is the most interesting. I did not have experience with ocean models or the Southern ocean before starting this work, and I have learned a lot.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you still a researcher? What are you working on?

In 5 years, I will probably have worked as a post-doc for a few years already. I hope I will still work with something related to oceans, even if it might be a different one.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I did not really have anything that I wanted to do when growing up. Physics was one of the things I applied for at the university because I liked natural science. I did not even know you could study “Hydrosphere Geophysics” before getting approved. When I heard about it, I was interested, and have not regretted my choice afterwards.  

What cool Arctic/Antarctica fact is your go-to icebreaker?

I do not have a go-to icebreaker on the Arctic/Antarctic, instead when talking about the topic I try to adapt depending on the people I am talking to. People tend to be more interested about research if they can understand what one is talking about.