Antarctica New Zealand News

Antarctica New Zealand Launches New Website

Antarctica New Zealand is committed to increasing public awareness of New Zealand’s science and environmental stewardship in Antarctica.

We have developed a website that offers a hub for all things Antarctic – a platform that hosts information to inspire people to connect with Antarctica, while also demonstrating New Zealand’s leadership on the continent over the past 60 years. The website also brings together our other digital platforms including ADAM (our digital asset platform that now hosts more than 70,000 images) and our social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

We invite you to explore our new website and encourage your feedback. We are keen to raise the profile of science, so if you are keen to contribute please contact Jeanine Foster.


Scholarships Presented at Ceremony in Christchurch

Family, supervisors, friends, sponsors and Antarctica New Zealand staff gathered in Christchurch on August 9th to celebrate the presentation of Postgraduate Scholarships to the five successful applicants who were profiled in the May 2016 Science Update. The scholars treated the audience to speed talks about their projects, during which they revealed their talents not just for research but also for science communication. Congratulations!


Antarctica New Zealand Postgraduate Research Scholars (from left to right): Alena Malyarenko (NZARI Doctoral Scholarship), Marcus Arnold (NZARI Prize), Rebecca Parker (NZARI Masters Scholarship), Ekkehard Scheffler (Antarctica New Zealand Postgraduate Scholarship), Natalie Pilcher (New Zealand Post Antarctic Scholarship) – Photo by Wayne Williams © Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection, 2015-16.


2016/17 Field Season

Any requests for changes to your event will need to be made through the EMPEROR portal. This includes naming of TBA’s, which need to be completed at least six-weeks prior to travel. 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 onto the most appropriate person.  


Planning Your Antarctic Activities – 2017/18, 2018/19 Seasons And Beyond

We’re making changes to our Event Planning schedule. If you are a Programme or Event Manager for an Antarctic research Event these changes will affect you for the 2017/18 season onwards. This will include gathering future Event information earlier than usual to support Antarctica New Zealand’s long term planning. You will receive more information on changes to this process and key dates by mid-September.


Scar Announcements

Wikibomb: Raising The Profile Of Female Antarctic Researchers

The Women in Antarctic Research Wikibomb aims to tell the world about many great, and generally under-recognised, female Antarctic research role models. Hosted via Wikipedia, the Wikibomb contains profiles of around 100 top female scientists from 30 countries – 10 of which are from New Zealand. The team is led by La Trobe University Marine Biologist Dr Jan Strugnell, and includes NIWA’s Drs Craig Stevens and Aitana Forcen-Vazquez.

Profiles officially unveiled at the SCAR meeting in Kuala Lumpur included New Zealand scientists including Dr Nancy Bertler, Prof Pat Langhorne and Prof Christina Hulbe. Dr Stevens said, “It is vital we give the next generation of scientists, both male and female, a true sense of who does Antarctic research.  Women have been playing an increasing role in Antarctic research since the 1950s. The time has come for them to gain far greater public recognition.  Methods of communicating are changing and the Wikibomb taps into this.  It’s challenging enough dealing with funding, the weather and drifting sea ice – there should be no other limits on achievement.”


Visiting Professor Awards

Congratulations to University of Canterbury’s Prof Bryan Storey for receiving a prestigious 2016 Visiting Professor Award. Dr Judd Case (USA) also received an award. Prof Storey will visit Iran, with the aim of helping them to develop their own national research programme in Antarctica.  He will run a workshop at the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS), and give Antarctic lectures at several institutes and national universities in Tehran.

Dr Case will visit the Museo de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina to provide a workshop-style series of lectures and collaborative working sessions on the practice and uses of biostratigraphy.  More information can be found here.


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 now open. 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. Grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded. There is one additional grant available for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. To download the RfP and get more information, visit -for-proposals. Applications close 5pm Friday, 16th September 2016. Applicants are encouraged to contact Rebecca McLeod (regarding research grant applications) and/or Fiona Shanhun (regarding field logistics and support requests) prior to this date.


Kiwi Night At Scar Kuala Lumpur

More than 80 people gathered at the Impiana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday for NZARI’s Kiwi Night. The aim was to bring together the large delegation of New Zealand scientists attending the Open Science Conference and to welcome their international colleagues and mentors. Thank you to all those who attended to celebrate New Zealand’s Antarctic science community.

Kiwi night at KL 1
Kiwi night at KL 2
Auckland Islands’ Expedition a Success

The University of Otago’s RV Polaris II returned to Otago last week having completed a very successful expedition to the subantarctic Auckland Islands, where they documented the status of Southern Right Whales. In addition to photographic surveys of the whales a drone, equipped with a laser range finder to measure altitude and high-resolution camera, was used to document the condition of individual whales. “This helps us understand the population at the Auckland Islands, and is crucial for figuring out why some right whale populations (such as ours) are recovering strongly, while others, such as the North Atlantic right whale, are not,” says Expedition Leader, Prof Steve Dawson.

The expedition was blessed with light winds and calm seas. “In three weeks on site, we were able to fly our drone a total of 136 flights on 12 days – far more than we expected. We gained measurement quality images of over 100 different individuals – about a third of the whales present.”

The expedition was funded by an NZARI Type A grant. NZARI Director Prof Gary Wilson comments, “This expedition is a great example of the kind of research NZARI supports – using new technology to learn more about how our southern ecosystems function and how we might use that to understand future changes.”


Southern Right Whale mother and calf, photographed via drone by Steve Dawson.


Other News

Catalyst: Seeding Request For Proposals

This initiative from MBIE and the Royal Society provides seed funds for the development of new small and medium pre-research strategic partnerships with international collaborators that cannot be supported through other means, and with a view to developing full collaborations that could be supported through Catalyst: Strategic over time. Catalyst: Seeding provides funding for a number of pre-existing and new sub-programmes.

1. General Programme

Supports expenses for research exchanges, research activities, and expenses related to hosting workshops for new strategic research partnerships with international collaborators. A maximum of NZD$80,000 in total for up to two years can be applied for.

2. Sub-programmes

Dumont d’Urville New Zealand-France Science and Technology Support Programme

Funding for travel and related expenses in collaboration with French researchers, up to NZD$12,000 in total for up to two years.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) – Joint Research Projects

Funding for travel and related expenses in collaboration with Japanese researchers, up to NZD$30,000 per annum for up to two years.

Applications close 5pm Thursday, 20th October 2016 and must be made to the Royal Society of New Zealand via the Catalyst Portal. Programme guidelines are available at the Royal Society of New Zealand website Catalyst: Seeding. For enquiries, please contact


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 Friday 21st - Saturday 22nd October, 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. For more information visit or contact the organisers by email.


Ten By Ten: Climate Change

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.

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


Science Media Savvy - Media And Communication Skills For Researchers

Palmerston North 27th – 28th 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 5pm Monday, 19th September. Workshop fees are $595 excl. GST. Needs-based funding support is available - see application form for details, or click here for more information.