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Walters Kundert Fellowship

The Walters Kundert Fellowship offers awards of £10,000 annually to support field research in physical geography within Arctic and/or high mountain environments, with preference for field studies that advance the understanding of environmental change past or present.

Applications to the Walters Kundert Fellowship are open to post-PhD researchers based in the UK, or Fellows and members of the Society who are employed outside the UK.


  • 23 November (each year)


Walters Kundert Fellowship recipients

 2017: Dr Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University). 'In the Bleakest Midwinter: Can Arctic glacial ecosystems survive in Polar night and thrive in winter heatwaves?'

Glaciers are living landscapes in summer, but it is not known if their cold-tolerant microbes are active in winter, or how they will fare as the Arctic enters a 'new abnormal' characterised by episodic mid-winter warming. This project will conduct fieldwork in the Svalbard dark season to address this lacuna in the biogeography and biogeochemistry of the Arctic. The project links sampling, in situ incubations and experimental manipulations to provide the first datasets which will reveal whether Arctic glaciers are perennial ecosystems and if glacier microbes might thrive as the Arctic faces bleaker midwinters characterised by unseasonal warming events.

About the Award

Established in 2017, the Walters Kundert Fellowship is supported through a generous donation by the Walters Kundert Charitable Trust. The Fellowship was set up to encourage applicants from across the spectrum of geographical research to enhance the understanding and well-being of the planet's Arctic and high mountain environments through research.

The Walters Kundert Charitable Trust also supports postgraduate grants through the RGS-IBG Postgraduate Research Awards.

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