Antarctica New Zealand News

New Environmental Advisor

Antarctica New Zealand welcome Kate McKenzie as our Environmental Advisor from mid-August. This newly-established role within the Policy, Environment and Safety team will focus on key areas of the Environmental Management System as well as external policy work for the Committee for Environmental Protection. Kate has worked at Scott Base for the past three summers and one winter as Technical Support so has an excellent understanding of all things science related at Scott Base, Arrival Heights and various field locations. In addition to her experience in Antarctica and with Antarctica New Zealand, Kate has a Master’s in Ecology and has worked in the Science/Environmental field for a number of years in New Zealand and overseas. Most recently, she was working with the Department of Conservation with kakapo on Anchor Island.

2016/17 Field Season

For those travelling to the ice this season, any requests for changes to your event will need to be made through the EMPEROR portal. Click on the “Changes” tab, then the “Add Item” button. Change requests will be considered by planners and assigned to specific Antarctica New Zealand staff for action. For all other correspondence email the Admin Team  who will ensure your message is passed on to the most appropriate person.  


Dr Nancy Bertler Wins Blake Leader Award

Dr Nancy Bertler (GNS Science and Victoria University of Wellington) has received a 2016 Blake Leader Award named in the honour of the late Sir Peter Blake. The award recognises her major contribution to investigating climate change in Antarctica and being a role model for young scientists, especially women. The Award is given to mid-career New Zealanders who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and a determination to achieve extraordinary things.

Dr Bertler manages the National Ice Core Research Facility at GNS Science in Lower Hutt, and leads multi-national field deployments to remote parts of Antarctica to recover ice cores from ice sheets for the study of past climates. She is chief scientist for the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project, a nine-nation initiative that has recovered and analysed a 763m-deep ice core from the Ross Ice Shelf. Over the past year, she has been working with collaborators from 14 nations to develop a science strategy for drilling an ice core at Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. Antarctica New Zealand congratulates Nancy on this award and is proud to have researchers of such high calibre in our programme. More information can be found here.

Nancy Bertler

Photo: Brendon O’Hagan


IGS Richardson Medal Awarded To Dr Trevor Chinn

Dr Trevor Chinn, (Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy, Wanaka), has been awarded the highly-esteemed Richardson Medal by the International Glaciological Society for outstanding service to the discipline. Trevor has spent most of his scientific career working on snow and ice – a considerable amount of this in Antarctica. Trevor was a pioneer in Antarctic glaciology and laid the foundations for monitoring programmes that continue to this day. Congratulations Trevor!


Scar Announcements

Scar President’s Medal For Outstanding Achievement

Prof. Francisco Hervé, from Chile, has been selected to receive the 2016 SCAR President's Medal for Outstanding Achievement awarded by Prof Jerónimo López-Martínez. Prof. Hervé was selected for his sustained scientific contributions and distinguished career, linked to Antarctica for 50 years and in recognition of his outstanding contributions to knowledge and impact on understanding of Antarctic geological history and its relationships with the Andes and South America. Prof. Hervé will be presented with the Medal at the SCAR Open Science Conference Banquet on 25 August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Workshop On Microbiome Analysis At Scar Open Science Conference

Title:                   Harmonising Molecular and Functional Analyses of Antarctic Microbiomes: Toward A Framework for Understanding Ecosystem Functional Resilience

Date:                  Saturday, 27 August 2016

Time:                  09:00-13:00

Location:            Anggerik Room, IPS Building, University of Malaya

The workshop is open for all to attend. For more information please contact workshop organiser Charles Lee (University of Waikato, New Zealand).


New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI)

NZARI Type A Research Grants

The Request for Proposals for NZARI’s 2017 Type A research grant round is due to be released within the next two weeks. These grants provide seed funds that are designed to encourage innovative ways to tackle pertinent issues, and importantly, to develop the talent pool of scientists in New Zealand conducting research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Keep an eye on the NZARI website ( for more information.

Kiwi Night At Scar Kuala Lumpur

NZARI is hosting a Kiwi Night to bring together the large delegate of New Zealand scientists attending the Open Science Conference. The intention is to provide a relaxed social setting for researchers, new and not so new, to meet and mingle. Kiwi scientists are encouraged to invite a guest – perhaps a collaborator, potential collaborator or mentor. Drinks and finger food will be provided.

Date:                  Wednesday, 24 August

Time:                  1800 – 2000

Location:            Cedar on 15, Impiana KLCC Hotel (less than 5 mins walk from the conference centre)

Please RSVP to Rebecca by Tuesday, 2 August.

First Expedition For Season Heads South

Prof Stephen Dawson and his team have travelled south to the Auckland Islands to commence their NZARI-funded project Sentinels of the Southern Ocean: measuring nutritional condition of right whales using remotely piloted multi-rotor aircraft. The team will spend 6 weeks at Port Ross, at the northern extent of the island group using drone and camera technology to monitor condition of the whales, which converge on the harbour in winter months to breed. Dr William Rayment will gather data to support long term monitoring of the population size. Read NZ Herald’s Jamie Morton’s article on the expedition here.

Prof Dawson, along with his partner and long-time collaborator Prof Liz Slooten, was awarded the inaugural John Morton Medal at the recent New Zealand Marine Science Society meeting. The award recognises their outstanding contributions to the advancement of marine conservation and sustainability in New Zealand.

Bon voyage team! We wish you every success.

Prof. Stephen Dawson and colleagues will use drones to take high resolution pictures of Southern Right Whales, which will allow body condition to be determined and compared to Right Whales populations in other parts of the world.

The team travelled from Bluff to the Auckland Islands over 30 hours in favourable seas aboard the University of Otago RV Polaris II. This photo was taken during a previous trip to the islands.

Prof Stephen Dawson
Team travelling to Bluff
New Zealand Marine Sciences Society Conference

Drs Fiona Shanhun and Rebecca McLeod attended the New Zealand Marine Sciences Conference in Wellington in early July in an ongoing effort to attract new talent and innovative ideas to Antarctica and Southern Ocean research. During the week, they enjoyed speaking with many students, early career and established researchers about their research interests and opportunities to get involved with New Zealand’s Antarctic Science Programme. They attended some great presentations about the latest research findings in Antarctica and Southern Ocean marine research.

Science conf


Other News

Applications Open: Lecturers In Marine Science

The Department of Marine Science at the University of Otago seeks applicants for two confirmation-path (tenure track) Lecturer positions in Marine Science. The successful applicants will be active researchers, as evidenced by high quality publications, in an area that will allow them to contribute to teaching and student research supervision in physical oceanography. Applications are encouraged from individuals whose research lends itself to interdisciplinary collaboration, who can demonstrate outstanding capability in teaching and communicating marine science, and who are collaborative and collegial in their work.

The Southern Ocean sits on our doorstep, and it is expected that successful candidates will take advantage of this unique geographical setting. Facilities include the Portobello Marine Laboratory on the Otago Peninsula, field stations in Fiordland and Stewart Island, and a range of research vessels enabling both local and offshore work.

Specific enquiries about the position may be directed to Professor Abby Smith, Head of Department, Department of Marine Science (

Applications close on Thursday, 25 August 2016. More information available here.

International Symposium On Polar Environmental Change And Public Governance

This symposium, organised by Wuhan University and Beijing Normal University, will be held in Wuhan, China from Oct. 21 to Oct. 22, 2016. The symposium will focus on the latest results and development in theory, technology and application of polar environmental change and public governance, promoting the participants to exchange their innovative thoughts.

Topics include: Polar surveying, mapping and remote sensing; Polar sea ice; Polar ice sheet mass balance; Climate and environment change in polar regions; and Polar public governance and China’s participation. Abstract submission closes July 31, 2016. For more information visit or contact the organisers by email.

Ten By Ten: Climate Change

Ten by ten

Ten things you didn’t know about climate change …

Climate change is already redefining coastlines and the weather, both here in New Zealand and around the world. But will it affect me and what can I do about it? Tim Naish and James Renwick will give their take on this biggest of issues – from the very local to the global.

Book here.

Christchurch | 6.30pm Wednesday 3 August
C1 LT, Central Lecture Theatre Block, University of Canterbury, Arts Road

Dunedin | 5.30pm Thursday 4 August
Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street

Wanaka | 6pm Friday 5 August
Presbyterian Church Hall, 91 Tenby Street

Auckland | 6pm Tuesday 6 September
The Auditorium, Level 2 Auckland Museum, The Domain, Parnell

Wellington | 6pm Wednesday 7 September
Aronui Lecture Theatre, Royal Society of New Zealand, 11 Turnbull Street, Thorndon

Nelson | 7.30pm Thursday 8 September
Elim Christian Centre, 625 Main Road, Stoke

Professor Tim Naish is Director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, where he and his team use rock and ice cores as a time machine to look at how the Antarctica ice sheets affected global sea-level in past warmer periods and what this means for our future.

Professor James Renwick is a Professor of Physical Geography at Victoria University of Wellington where he indulges his fascination for all aspects of the climate system, from the tropics to the poles, and from thousands of years in the past to hundreds of years into the future.

Science Media Savvy - Media And Communication Skills For Researchers

Auckland 8-9 September | Palmerston North 27-28 October

Apply now for the latest in the Science Media Centre’s highly-acclaimed series of media workshops for researchers. Gain practical skills and strategies for explaining your work in different settings for a wider audience. Raise the profile of your area of research. Feel more confident and engage more effectively with media. Apply what you learn to funding applications and a broad range of public outreach. All research fields and career stages are welcome to apply.  Applications close 8 Aug (AKL) / 19 Sept (PN). Workshop fees are $595 excl. GST. Needs-based funding support is available -- see application form for details, or click here for more information.