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Science Update

October 2020




Abstract submissions for the joint New Zealand Antarctic Science and NZ Snow and Ice Research Group Conference close Monday 2nd November 2020 (there will be no extension this year due to the condensed timeline imposed by the Christmas/New Year break).

Click here for the conference website and to access the abstract submission portal.  

All abstracts will be sent for external peer review and delegates can expect to hear back regarding the outcome by early December. 

Conference registrations will open in November - keep an eye on the conference website for updates. 

Travel Grants available - apply now!
Travel Grants co-sponsored by NZARI and Bodeker Scientific are available for students and Early Career Researchers (within 5 years of PhD completion) who will be presenting either a talk or a poster at the 2021 Antarctic Science Conference. 

Click here for more details and to download the application form. The completed form must be emailed to by 5pm Monday 30 November.   

We are excited to announce the appointment of Rebecca (Becky) Macneil to the newly established role of Science Advisor – Data Curator. Becky has a long and successful track record with the Antarctica New Zealand whānau. In this new role, she will support the Antarctic Science Platform and the wider New Zealand Antarctic research community with the important legacy of our collective research activities through data curation and public access. Becky brings a wealth of experience to her new role along with her extensive network with the research community and will commence her role on the 9th of November. Welcome, Becky!

Becky Macneil at Cape Royds. Photo: Fiona Shanhun

For latest Platform updates, please click here.

Welcome to our Antarctic whānau Dr Dan Hikuroa
The Antarctic Science Platform is pleased to welcome Dr Daniel (Dan) Hikuroa to the team. Dan, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, has been appointed to the Platform’s Steering Group - the group responsible for oversight and governance. Dan takes up the position vacated by Craig Ellison. The Platform would also like to take this opportunity to thank Craig for his important contribution to the Platform over the last 18 months. Click here to read more.

Dr Daniel Hikuroa. Photo supplied. 

The Inaugural Antarctic Science Platform Conference
We invite our collaborators, stakeholders and the wider science community to a discussion on Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system, and how this might change in a +2°C (Paris agreement) world. The conference provides an opportunity for the Antarctic Science Platform team to present an update on the research, and to discuss successes, challenges and the next steps. To learn more, register and submit abstracts, please visit our website here

Antarctica New Zealand has been working with scientists to relocate some long-term experiments at Scott Base which could be impacted by the redevelopment.  A representative of the redevelopment team is heading south this season with scientists to complete a range of activities relating to this work, including installing new equipment and conducting a survey to identify possible relocation sites for the experiments.

Additionally, a team of hydrographers from New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) are bound for Antarctica as part of the NZDF’s long-standing commitment to supporting scientific and environmental programmes on the ice. The team are working with Antarctica New Zealand to gather information on the depth of the sea floor and underwater conditions around the Pram Point area. The information collected from the hydrography survey will be used to verify previous work conducted by Antarctica New Zealand and confirm specific logistical requirements for the Redevelopment project and ongoing scientific operations. 


Snow blows and spring light. Photo: Luke Keehan

After two weeks in isolation ahead of their southbound departure, our 2020/21 Scott Base crew made it down to the ice and are up and running for the season. They’ve been busy completing field training and handovers, and our 2020 Winter Team are now back home and adapting to a somewhat different world to when they left!

The 2020/21 Scott Base crew packed and ready to head south after completing their time in isolation. Photo: Jamie McGaw

Congratulations to our Antarcticans on these recent publications!

Hoppmann, M., Richter, M.E., Smith, I.J., Jendersie, S., Langhorne, P.J., Thomas, D.N., Dieckmann, G.S. (2020). Platelet ice, the Southern Ocean’s hidden ice: a review. Annals of Glaciology (in press, first view available online) https//

Mackie, S., Smith, I.J., Stevens, D.P., Ridley, J.K, Langhorne, P.J. (2020). Interactions between Increasing CO2 and Antarctic Melt Rates. Journal of Climate, 33(20):8939-8956, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0882.1.
Mackie, S., Smith, I.J., Ridley, J.K, Stevens, D.P., Langhorne, P.J. (2020). Climate Response to Increasing Antarctic Iceberg and Ice Shelf Melt. Journal of Climate, 33(20):8917-8938, doi 10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0881.1.
Mackie, S., Langhorne, P.J., Heorton, H.D.B.S., Smith, I.J., Feltham, D.L., Schroeder, D. (2020). Sea ice formation in a coupled climate model including grease ice. Journal of Advances in Modelling Earth Systems, doi:10.1029/2020MS002103.

The Antarctic COVID-19 Research Group has prepared a survey to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the Antarctic research community. All Antarctic researchers, support staff, students, and anyone else involved in Antarctic research or logistics are invited to complete this survey.

This is a New Zealand-led initiative and your response will help the team to understand how we as a community are affected as well as helping to inform strategic decisions to mitigate impacts.  

Click here to take part in the survey. The survey is set to close by 8 November 2020. 

The SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity portal and the SCAR Expert group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics are planning a series of webinars to help Antarctic researchers to integrate their research and fieldwork cycle. There are a few spaces left to join these webinars - click here to register! 

The Extreme Cold Weather clothing as used by researchers and personnel in Antarctica is available for loan to Wellington-based folk who are interested in using it for school visits and outreach opportunities.

The clothing is stored at the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. For more information, or to make a booking please contact Michelle

A special issue of Polar Biology on the subject 'Pathways and impacts of biotically-mediated marine and other stored nutrient transfer between polar ecosystems' is seeking submissions of both review articles and original papers on this topic.

Please get in contact with the editors if you are interested in contributing. 

An International Symposium on Ice, Snow, and Water in a Warming World, has been postponed and is now scheduled to take place in September 2021. Click here for further details. 

The International Partnership in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) third Open Science Conference titled "Ice Core Science at the three Poles", has been postponed and is now scheduled to be held in October 2021. More information can be found here


If you have any news, updates, great images, or recent publications that you would like to feature in the monthly update, please send them to our Science Team.