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Science Update

August 2019


The New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI) and the Antarctic Science Platform are jointly calling for research proposals for three types of grant (ca.$10-20k each):
  1. NZARI Early Career Researcher Seed Grant
  2. Antarctic Science Platform Early Career Researcher Capability Fund
  3. Antarctic Science Platform Data Analysis Fund
The grants (ca.$10-20k) will fund either (i) a small seed project, (ii) early career researcher development, or (iii) analysis and interpretation of existing data. The awards will NOT include any logistics support for field work in Antarctica.

Only one proposal per applicant will be accepted in the joint NZARI-Antarctic Science Platform call for proposals. The applicant must select from one of the three funds, and the same project may not be submitted to more than one fund.

For more information on 1. NZARI Early Career Researcher Seed Grant, please click here.

For more information on 2. Antarctic Science Platform Early Career Researcher Capability Fund and 3. Antarctic Science Platform Data Analysis Fund, please click here.
The application deadline is Monday 16 September 2019, at 5pm.


Antarctica New Zealand is excited to have this season’s Scott Base staff join our team this week for their pre-deployment training. It’s great to have a mixture of people who are new to Scott Base along with returnees who are looking forward to sharing their experience.


We’re also currently on the 12th day of delays for Winfly, so the team at Scott Base are patiently awaiting their long-overdue delivery of fresh fruit and vegies. Fingers crossed for some good weather in Antarctica soon!


Thanks Mel and welcome Caroline!

We extend a huge thank you to Melissa Climo for her excellent work to support the Antarctic Science Platform in its establishment phase. Mel has done a tremendous job negotiating research contracts and developing research management systems and processes, all of which stand us in good stead to support an exciting suite of research projects. We are very grateful for all your hard work Mel, and wish you all the best with your next endeavours.


As the Antarctic Science Platform enters its next phase, we are delighted to welcome Caroline Pratt to the Science Team at Antarctica New Zealand. Caroline has extensive research management experience, and will apply her expertise in managing large, complex research programmes to support the Platform. She will join us in mid-September and is looking forward to building on the excellent work done by Mel.


It is great to see the Antarctic Science Platform’s vision of a dynamic and integrated New Zealand Antarctic research community kicking into gear with a constructive and collaborative workshop held in Wellington earlier this month. As the Platform continues to develop, we look forward to broadening the community, fostering new collaborations and welcoming new Antarctic researchers.


Ross Sea Collaboration Workshop
The Antarctic Science Platform leadership team has recently returned from the International Ross Sea Collaboration and Coordination Workshop in Korea, co-chaired and organised by the US National Science Foundation, Korea Polar Research Institute and Nancy Bertler.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss scientific goals, projects and opportunities to collaborate with national programmes operating in the Ross Sea over the next decade. There are plans in place to make the well-attended meeting an annual occurrence.

Modelling Fellowships
There was a huge response to the call for modelling fellowships, with a strong field of highly qualified applicants. We look forward to announcing the fellows soon. 


The Milky Way and Aurora Australis as seen from Scott Base. Photo: Kahmur Studios

A number of media outlets covered PhD student Dan Lowry’s recently published article in the journal Science Advances; you can read about his research here. 

A team from the University of Waikato and University of Canterbury, led by Professor Craig Cary, has been awarded nearly $1m from the Marsden fund to study unique micro-organisms that live in the geothermal fumeroles of Mt Erebus in Antarctica. Click here to read more. 

Congratulations to our Antarcticans on this recent publication:

Harrowfield, D.L. and Alp, W.J. (2019). The diet and incidence of scurvy and adopted preventative measures in the two branches of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1917. Polar Record, 55.2:82-92

If you would like your publications featured here please email our Science Team about your papers as they go to press.

Polar stratospheric clouds near Scott Base are lit up by the sun sitting below the horizon. Photo: Kahmur Studios

The International Permafrost Association Regional Conference on Permafrost is coming to New Zealand and will be held in Queenstown from the 7th - 11th of December 2019. 

The conference includes an excellent educational programme with over 100 international speakers. There will be sessions on permafrost engineering, as well as the latest scientific work related to permafrost and cryosols in Arctic, Antarctic and Mountain environments. 

There are three-day field excursions offered before and after the conference, allowing participants to make a round trip from Christchurch to Queenstown, with visits to glaciers and glacial lakes, the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, cultural points of interest, and scenic spots to discuss glacial and periglacial landscape development. 

The conference will also include networking drinks, a choice of field trips around Queenstown and a gala dinner at the top of ‘Bob’s Peak’ with breath-taking panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains.

Early bird registrations close Sunday 20 October 2019.

To find out more, visit the conference website here

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), through Budget 2016, have established the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF), which includes funding to support vessel operating costs for two dedicated
RV Tangaroa Antarctic voyages.

Expressions of interest (EoI) are requested for participation on the
Tangaroa voyages to the Antarctic/Ross Sea region planned for Jan-Mar 2021 and 2023.

These Antarctic voyages will be 35-40 days in duration, Wellington to Wellington. The science conducted on-board
RV Tangaroa is expected to be aligned to national priorities and needs, and be jointly funded by voyage participants, either through existing funding channels or new applications (e.g. Antarctic Science Platform, Endeavour Fund, Marsden, MPI and/or NZARI).  

For more details and copies of the EoI template, please click here. 

The EoI’s are due by 27 September 2019.

Please contact
Rob Christie should you require further information.

A 3-year PhD scholarship is available for a project which aims to characterise Southern Ocean microbial ecosystems in order to improve observation, modelling and forecasting of the biogeochemistry of the Ross Sea region

The successful applicant will work between New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA, Wellington) and the University of Otago (Dunedin).

Please click here for more information.

The deadline for applications is Monday 16 September 2019.

The GeoMAP project led by GNS Science is a world-first digital database of Antarctica’s geology, cataloguing every area of exposed rock on the continent by type and age.

Building on the long legacy of mapping done in Antarctica, the project translated hundreds of hard-copy paper maps representing 52,000km2 of land into a modern digital source.

Read more about GeoMAP here.

An update on recent activities of MEASO is available now. This includes outcomes of recent workshops held in June, and an invitation to participate in the MEASO Special Issue.

Click here to find out more. 


The Third Polar Data Forum (PDF III) will be hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at their Dynamicum Campus in Helsinki from 18 - 22 November 2019.

PDF III will be a two day conference-style meeting in support of information exchange, with the remainder of the week using a 'hackathon' approach that will build on the development work done in previous meetings. 

Abstract submissions close on 6 September 2019.  Click here for more information.

There is a special issue planned of the journal 'Insects' to be on polar entomology. The scope is intended to be wide, including non-insect groups of terrestrial arthropods that are well represented in the polar regions.

The deadline for manuscript submissions is 1 December 2019.

Please click here for more information. 
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.