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Ximena Aguilar Vega

Polar Scientist

Mexican, living in Scotland

Ximena is a PhD researcher at the University of Stirling.

Her work focuses on bio-optics applied to the interaction between glaciers and the marine system to understand their role in the carbon cycle. 


She has participated in five polar scientific expeditions.

Two in the high Arctic (2022 and 2023) and three in the Antarctic (2019, 2020, 2023) led by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH). In 2018,  Ximena travelled to Antarctica for the first time as NASA’s IceBridge mission crew.


The work of  Ximena goes beyond science.

In February 2023, she and a group of young Mexican scientists founded APECS Mexico to promote polar regions and to inspire the next generation of Mexican polar scientists. Moreover, she participated actively at COP26 (Glasgow, 2021) and COP27 (Sharm el Sheik, 2022), where she and another young Mexican scientist, Palmira Cuellar, achieved the addition of Mexico to the high-level group "Ambition on melting ice on sea-level rise and mountain water resources (AMI)" led by Chile and Iceland.


Ximena is also a photographer; she deeply believes in the synergy between science and art as an infallible tool for climate change awareness. 

Member of

APECS Mexico | National Representative

Mexican Agency for Antarctic Studies 

Homeward Bound, Team 6 .



  • Scientific Antarctic Expedition 56 (ECA 56), Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) January 2020.

  • Oceanographic Campaign. “Cape Horn: Platform for Glacier-Oceanic Prospection of Harmful Algal Blooms in the Magellan and Chilean Antarctic region”, Oceanographic Campaign PROFAN, November 03-25, 2019.

  • Scientific Antarctic Expedition 55 (ECA 55), Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH), January 08 31, 2019. 

  • South North Atlantic Training Transect (SoNoAT), RV Polarstern. Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) / Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), May 30 - June 29, 2019. Selected among 789 applicants of 88 different nationalities.

  • Contest awarded, Overflight with IceBridge Operation / NASA. Antarctica, October 27, 2018. 

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