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The objectives of Scottish Arctic Network are:

Establishment of a formal network of Scotland-based scientists and academics whose expertise and research interests revolve around Arctic matters and Scottish-Arctic collaboration;

Improved inter-institutional collaboration and communication on Arctic research in Scotland, with more agile responses to new opportunities and an increase in collaborative grant applications;

Increased international and domestic awareness of Scotland’s contribution to Arctic research;

Enhanced promotion of Scotland’s Arctic academic expertise both in Scotland and internationally;

Increased engagement with similar academic networks in Arctic countries;

Encourage and support further Scottish higher education institutions to join the University of the Arctic network.

Terms of Reference

In 2023, the ScAN Steering Group adopted the Terms of Reference.

Steering Group

ScAN is run by a Steering Group and an organising committee.

ScAN Steering Group provides strategic planning and oversight of the Network’s activities and comprises a chair, one representative from each of the Scottish Universities which are also UArctic members, an Early Career representative, a representative of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience and Society, and a representative of the Scottish Government Nordic and Arctic Unit . The ScAN Steering Group for the 2023/2024 are:

Daria Shapovalova


Dr Daria Shapovalova is a senior lecturer lecturer in energy law at the University of Aberdeen. Passionate about the Arctic research since her PhD programme, Daria has over 10 years of experience in building interdisciplinary connections in research on Arctic environment and communities. She wrote extensively on Arctic environmental and energy law and governance. Daria is the co-Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Energy Law and coordinator of the Just Transition Lab.

David G. Anderson

University of Aberdeen

Prof David G. Anderson is the UArctic Chair of the Anthropology of the North based at the University of Aberdeen. He is a field anthropologist who has worked in Northern Canada, Scandinavia, and in several regions of the Russian Arctic. He also publishes in archaeology, environmental history, and the history of anthropology. He is commissioning editor for Routledge’s book series Arctic Worlds and sits on the editorial board of several Arctic journals

Mark Inall

Representative of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience and Society

Mark Inall is Professor of Marine Physics at SAMS/UHI and visiting Professor at Edinburgh University School of Geosciences. Mark sits on The International Arctic Science Committee Marine Working Group and is Scotland’s representative on the Arctic Circle Advisory Board. Mark’s research focusses on dynamics of water exchange in high latitude fjordic systems and ice/ocean interactions. He has been an invited guest lecturer on air/ice/ocean interaction courses at UNIS (University centre in Svalbard) since 2013.


Elsa Cox

Robert Gordon University

Dr Elsa Cox joined RGU as Orkney Development Manager in 2018. Focusing on remote, rural and island practice, she works across the University to promote place-based approaches to research, teaching and learning, student activity and skills and entrepreneurship, with a focus on local stakeholder engagement. Elsa leads on the University’s Arctic-related initiatives, building on historic links with Orkney and the North.

Charlotte Kedslie

University of Glasgow

Charlotte is the Head of International Relations at the University of Glasgow and supports the delivery of the Global Glasgow International Strategy 2025 and leads the management of key strategic international initiatives, which includes driving meaningful engagement in international networks. As a member of professional services staff, she has experience of facilitating and developing international collaboration at institutional level. Charlotte is the lead contact for UArctic at the University and is happy to be contacted by researchers looking to connect – please get in touch if you want to know more.

Tessa Bell

University of Edinburgh

Tessa Bell is a Senior Partnerships Advisor at the University of Edinburgh. Tessa is the lead contact for UArctic at the University, sends regular updates to the growing EdArctic network and is on the local organising committee for Arctic Science Summit Week 2024. Please get in touch if you want to find out more about Edinburgh/Arctic connections.

Heidi Vironen

University of Strathclyde

Heidi Vironen is a Research and Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) of the University of Strathclyde. She leads EPRC’s work on the Arctic and is the University’s representative for UArctic and ScAN. She has worked on a wide range of research projects focussing on the regional economic development policy issues of the Nordic/Arctic countries, including territorial cooperation policies and programmes, as well as Scottish Arctic links.

Donna Heddle

University of Highlands and Islands

Prof Donna Heddle (MA (Hons) PhD FHEA FSA Scot FRSA) is Director of the University of the Highlands and Islands Institute for Northern Studies, which is based in Kirkwall, Lerwick, and Perth. She is also Head of Research Environment and Culture at UHI and leads on the development of the university’s Arctic strategy which includes the development of an Arctic Gateway Hub. Her research interests include Northern and Arctic language and literature, and cultural tourism.

Laura Ferguson

Early Career Representative

Dr Laura Ferguson is a social scientist whose research covers policy, governance and stakeholder engagement. She has participated in projects on natural and cultural heritage, sustainable tourism, renewable energy development and aquaculture. She currently works at the Scottish Association for Marine Science and is a member of the Svalbard Social Science Initiative. In addition to her social sciences work, she has a background in GIS and in water resources engineering and is passionate about interdisciplinary work that brings together the natural and social sciences.

Samantha Lister

University of St Andrews

As Director of the Global Office at the University of St Andrews, Samantha Lister provides leadership and co-ordination for a range of global activities which enhance student experience, academic reputation and research connectivity internationally. Samantha has an MA (Hons) degree in German and International Relations, and an MLitt in Cultural Identity Studies, with a focus on Higher Education and cultural identity.

Alex Poulton

Heriot-Watt University

Dr Alex Poulton is a marine ecologist and biogeochemist, with interests in how diversity regulates the cycling of elements essential for life in the ocean. Alex has worked on Ocean Acidification impacts in the Arctic and has a special focus on organisms that utilise calcium carbonate for their survival. He has participated in 20 research cruises globally, including a number to the subpolar North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.