Antarctica New Zealand Science Update (123) December 2015

Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE)

This call for proposals is a joint call between Ecole Polytechnique Federal of Lausanne (EPFL) as coordinator, and the partnering polar institutes (Australia/ France/ Norway/ Russia/ South Africa/ UK) under the patronage of Mr Frederik Paulsen.

The goal of the ACE Project is to offer to international teams of distinguished scientists an outstanding and unique opportunity to study the marine and terrestrial environment of the sub-Antarctic ecosystem, based on the following components:

  • A round trip of Antarctica in a single expedition (see Annex 1 Travel plan) of a 3-month duration. Project teams can participate in the whole expedition or only in one or two of the scheduled legs. Please see the Travel plan set out in Annex 1 (“Travel plan”), which shows the anticipated route along with a tentative time line for the three-month expedition, including proposed timing for island landings and cruising timelines between the islands. It should be noted that this map is purely provisional and will be adjusted, within the time frame, as required in light of the selected scientific projects.
  • A polar vessel proposed by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of St Petersburg will be made available for the Project, offering research labs and other facilities such as helicopters and other means of transport (see Annex 2 - Vessel description and research facilities).
  • A high level International Panel composed of distinguished scientific experts from polar institutions located in ACE partner countries including South Africa, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and the Russian Federation, with participation by external experts, will be established. The Panel will play a strategic role in selecting the scientific projects that will participate in the ACE project; Two kinds of projects are expected: 1) Projects which are going to use the vessel and the research platform without any requested funding; and 2) Projects which require additional funding. For the latter, funding will be provided by a sponsor with anticipated grant levels of up to 200 thousand Euros per project. The ACE project seeks to enhance international relations and collaboration amongst countries as well as to promote the interest of a new generation of young explorers in polar research. Therefore, we expect research projects submitted to the Panel to be open to any country or institution. Applicants should pay attention to the strict conditions and rules allowed by countries to conduct research projects in the islands and their environs. Annex 3 provides an overview of the key elements applicable to research projects seeking access to the islands and their environs. Applicants are requested to confirm that their project will comply with the rules presented in the annex and to read the complete Island Management Plan if necessary.

Please find attached the full call for proposals. Further information can also be obtained from the EPFL website The two-step process requires applicants to fill out a pre-registration form first and a full proposal before 31 January 2016.

The Deep South Contestable Fund

The Deep South National Science Challenge will open its first Contestable Funding Round on Monday, 8 February 2016. Information regarding the scope, timing, and available funding is being made available now to enable researchers and practitioners to start thinking about possible project ideas in advance of the Contestable Fund Request for Proposals officially opening. The Challenge invites proposals targeted towards at least one of the following four focal areas:

  1. Seed Funding
  2. Co-Funding
  3. Blue Sky
  4. Cross-challenge Collaboration

The deadline for proposals is 25 March 2016.  More information on the Deep South website

PlankDiv Workshop

A PlankDiv workshop on the “Impact of climate change on the distribution of plankton functional and phylogenetic diversity” will be held at the Observatoire Océanologie de Villefranche sur mer, France, on 14 – 18 March 2016. It aims at gathering expertise in species distribution and ecological niche modelling, plankton biogeography, plankton functional traits, and plankton phylogeny to quantitatively assess the impact of climate and climate change on plankton community structure and functioning. Travel grants are available for early career researchers. Detailed information about registration and abstract submission can be found on the workshop website.


Congratulation to the organising committee of the SCAR Open Science Conference (Auckland 2014) on receiving the New Zealand Business Events Award!  The award was received from New Zealand Tourism in recognition of the SCAR conference raising New Zealand’s international profile, encouraged knowledge transfer and generated opportunities for trade and investment, all of which are invaluable for the future development of New Zealand.  Chair of the organising committee Bryan Storey recently accepted the award on behalf of the team, which included:

  • Ed Butler (Antarctica New Zealand)
  • Craig Cary (Univ of Waikato)
  • Sira Engelbertz (APECS Rep)
  • Clive Evans (Univ of Auckland)
  • Katrina Hall (Gateway Antarctica)
  • Richard Meylan (Royal Society)
  • Fraser Morgan (Landcare Research)
  • Jo Pollard/Kylie Wood (Antarctica New Zealand)
  • Nita Smith (CCC IceFest)
  • Rhian Salmon (Victoria Univ)

Focus on Science

Here is a short video showing K055’s science team (University of Canterbury) removing a wintered-over SnowWeb weather station from the Ross Ice Shelf - extremely fast! With the help of Southern Lakes Helicopters, they successfully found and removed all eight stations before afternoon tea.

Antarctica New Zealand Science Update (123) December 2015

K800, Event Manager Gary Wilson (NZARI), “Pilot study to assess the viability of a long term ecological research and monitoring programme at Cape Adare”

Cape Adare stretches some 40km beyond the Antarctic Continent across the Continental Shelf. It is flanked to the east by the northern Ross Sea and to the West by Robertson Bay. The following characteristics make it an ideal monitoring and observation point to understand the impact of warm ocean and climate propogating into Antarctica from the Southern Ocean: 1) Robertson Bay is some 500m deep and has the potential to record deep water inflow which is predicted as climate warms and is also indicated as the biggest risk for melting Antarctic ice shelves. 2) Cape Adare also lies between the Antarctic continental high pressure and the Southern Ocean low pressure, and 3) Ridley Beach at the tip of the Peninsula is home to Antarctica’s largest Adelie Penguin Colony. Cape Adare and the Ridley Beach Penguin Colony also offers the advantage of being on the edge of the proposed Ross Sea marine protected area and may represent an opportunity to monitor the associated ecosystem.

In November a team of 8 established a camp on the edge of the Penguin Colony at Ridley Beach. From there we surveyed the marine ecosystem from the Robertson Bay Sea Ice. We were able to collect drop camera, water properties and water samples along a series of transects radiating out from the beach. The terrestrial team were able to conduct a similar transect survey across Ridley Beach and up onto Adare Peninsula itself. The team also serviced a Weather Station and remote camera on Adare Ridge and installed a new Station on Ridley Beach that has 18 sensors and is the first ANTOS station to be established. The team also established a set of baseline observations of the Penguin colony, tagged 78 birds to establish their feeding grounds and patterns and conducted a series of monitoring exercises to establish that our presence near to the colony was not impacting the birds.

The Cape Adare expedition was a joint effort between Antarctica New Zealand, NZARI, NIWA, University of Waikato, University of Canterbury, Landcare Research and KOPRI.

Seeking information on ‘Weather Box’ near Canada GlaciercanadaG.png

There is an old ‘weather box’ on an island, that was once a peninsula, in Lake Fryxell.  It is thought to be a weather station of Kiwi origin. If you have any information which event it may have belonged to, please get in touch. There are plans underway to remove the box unless we can establish that it is still being used.

Antarctic Specially Protected Areas

In accordance with Article 6 (3) of Annex V to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, New Zealand has initiated a review of the management plans for the following Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPA):

We would welcome any comments to consider for our review, no later than Monday 11 January, 2016. Please feel free to share this with others that may be interested in providing comments that we have missed off the list.


The Royal Society of New Zealand announced the recipients of the Marsden Fund grants in November. Among the 92 research projects that received funding, four are focused on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Fast Start grants:

  • Dr Natalie Robinson (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) “Putting a lid on it: dynamic and thermodynamic effects of an active, multi-phase interfacial layer on boundary-layer interactions”
  • Dr Rob Middag (University of Otago) “The ice is melting: how do trace metals in the ocean influence the Antarctic marine ecosystem and global climate?”

Standard grants:

  • Associate Professor Nancy Bertler (Victoria University of Wellington) “Predicting a sea change: Antarctic ice-ocean interactions in a warming world”
  • Dr Jocelyn Turnbull (GNS Science) “Is the Southern Ocean carbon sink sinking? Using records of atmospheric radiocarbon to characterise the response of the Southern Ocean to climate change”

A full list of awardees is available here: http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/programmes/funds/marsden/awards/2015-awards/ Congratulations to the recipients!


The Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, is offering TWO fully funded scholarships with a focus in paleoclimate reconstruction and ice sheet modelling:

Ultra high resolution Holocene reconstruction of ice-ocean interactions in the Ross Sea Region

A fully funded PhD position is available to work on ultra high resolution Holocene climate recordsfrom the RICE ice core and IODP-U1357 core. The PhD project focuses in particular on the reconstruction of concurrent changes in air and sea surface temperature, wind strength, sea ice extent, polynya activity and ocean stratification to investigate the role of ocean forcing on grounding line retreat. The PhD includes the geochemical analysis of ice core samples and potentially some analysis on the marine sediment record.

The successful candidate will be collaborating with a large number of international scientists and graduate students of the RICE and IODP-U1357 teams.

For more information please see: http://www.rice.aq/opportunities.html.

For details of the application process or to lodge and expression of interest, contact Associate Prof. Nancy Bertler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Dr. Rob McKay (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Additional advisors include Dr. Nick Golledge (VUW), Prof. Lionel Carter (VUW), Prof. Rob Dunbar (Stanford U.), Prof. Howard Conway (U. Washington), and Prof. Matt England (U. New South Wales).

Investigating Ross Ice Shelf grounding line retreat using data constraint coupled ice shelf / ice sheet model experiments

The project will use outputs from a high-resolution ocean-atmosphere model as inputs to the coupled ice shelf / ice sheet model.

After undertaking a range of sensitivity experiments, the primary focus of the research will be on

  1. simulating the long-term thinning and retreat of the ice sheet and Ross Ice Shelf through the Holocene and
  2. predicting the behaviour of this integrated ice sheet/shelf/ocean system during recent warm periods - (e.g. the Holocene climatic optimum) and to climate variability on shorter timescales (e.g. SAM, ENSO, anthropogenic forcings.

The successful candidate will be collaborating with a large number of international scientists and graduate students of the RICE and IODP-U1357 teams.

For more information please see: http://www.rice.aq/opportunities.html.

For details of the application process or to lodge an expression of interest, contact Dr. Nick Golledge (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Additional advisors include Prof. Matt England (U. New South Wales), Associate Prof. Nancy Bertler (VUW), Dr. Rob McKay (VUW), Prof. Lionel Carter (VUW), Prof. Rob Dunbar (Stanford U.), and Prof. Howard Conway (U. Washington).

Application Deadline: 18 Dec 2015