Project Report

The Herbivory Network 2023 meeting took place in Cambridge Bay, June 13-16, 2023. The aim of the meeting was to advance and discuss ongoing projects and start new collaborations that will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of herbivores on arctic ecosystems. The meeting included an open public lecture and a short field visit. Eleven researchers from five Arctic countries participated in person in the meeting, and online access was provided to other participants to some of the discussion sessions. The meeting was hosted at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS), a leading research facility run by Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) in the community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. 

During this Herbivory Network meeting a strong emphasis was placed on presentations by participants on their current research projects. As well, a field session included the demonstration of an observational protocol for data collection. We also had a brainstorming session on the potential contribution of Herbivory Network  researchers to the ICARP IV process and an open public lecture attended by community members in Cambridge Bay. 


• After 10 years of contributing to circumpolar research on herbivory, since our first meeting at ASSW 2014 in Helsinki, the Herbivory Network continues to advance knowledge about the functioning of terrestrial Arctic ecosystems. 

• The Herbivory Network 2023 meeting was organized at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, June 13-16, 2023, and was attended by eleven researchers from five Arctic countries and in different career stages. 

• One of the legacies of the meeting will be a contribution to the ICARP IV process in the form of a horizon scanning exercise that will identify the top priorities for arctic herbivory research in the coming decade. 

• A public lecture by Dr. Esther Lévesque from UQTR organized as part of the meeting welcomed community members from Cambridge Bay and presented research that had been co-developed with communities in the Canadian Arctic, focused on the ecology and harvest of berries. 

Background about Herbivory Network 

The Herbivory Network (HN) is a collaborative research initiative ( Since its establishment in 2014, the HN has worked towards addressing the role of herbivory in Arctic and alpine ecosystems and developing new approaches to harmonise research efforts. The goal of HN is to foster collaborations within and across disciplines, facilitate multi-site comparisons, and work towards understanding the complexity and variability of responses of tundra ecosystems to herbivory. 

Funding and support 

Funding to organize the meeting was provided by the Terrestrial Working Group of IASC, supporting especially the participation of early career scientists. Transnational Access from INTERACT allowed researchers to participate in the meeting to demonstrate the implementation of the field protocol that will be used by researchers at their own field sites. Polar Knowledge Canada provided in-kind support, including accommodation, access to meeting facilities and logistics support. The Herbivory Network is a UArctic Thematic Network. Many of the discussions held during the meeting contribute to the TUNDRAsalad project (grant nr. 217754), funded by the Icelandic Research Fund. 

(Photos courtesy of the organisers: Participants to the Herbivory Network meeting at the Canadian High Arctic research station in Cambridge Bay included, from left to right, Isabel Barrio (Agricultural University of Iceland), Stefaniya Kamenova (University of Oslo), Laura Barbero Palacios (Agricultural University of Iceland), Mathilde Defourneaux (Agricultural University of Iceland), Esther Lévesque (UQTR), Tiina Kolari (University of Eastern Finland), Noémie Boulanger-Lapointe (University of Victoria), Cléa Frapin (Université de Moncton), Nicolas Lecomte (Université de Moncton), Katrine Raundrup (Greenland Institute of Natural Resources). Photograph: David Hik, Polar Knowledge Canada and Simon Fraser University.)


Date and Location: 

13 – 16 June 2023  |  Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada



IASC Working Group / Committees funding the Project:


Project Lead

Isabel C Barrio (Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland)


Year funded by IASC



Project Status





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