Millions of dollars for Antarctic research

18 June 2019

Gateway Antarctica researchers at University of Canterbury (UC) are delighted to be part of Antarctic Science Platform funding announced today.

  • Antarctica

Gateway Antarctica researchers at University of Canterbury (UC) are delighted to be part of Antarctic Science Platform funding announced today, with $26 million to be awarded to long-term Antarctic research projects.

The projects are led by well-known researchers from multiple universities and research organisations across the country.

Director of Gateway Antarctica, Professor Adrian McDonald, is pleased to see key researchers at UC taking leadership roles in the Antarctic Science Platform Projects. “Dr. Marwan Katurji and Associate Professor Wolfgang Rack have worked tirelessly to make focussed research plans in projects related to terrestrial ecosystems and sea ice, respectively.

“The work completed under their guidance will improve our ability to understand how Antarctica and its ecosystems will respond to climate change.”

Platform Chair Gillian Wratt says it’s exciting for the future of Antarctic research.

“We are funding world-leading research programmes which will help project sea level rise, predict how the ocean will react to climate change and provide insights that will help make communities around the world more resilient,” she says.

Platform Director Associate Professor Nancy Bertler says as the world acts to implement the Paris Agreement, the Platform’s research will provide a detailed assessment of global consequences of Antarctica’s response to warming.

“New Zealand is acknowledged as a leader in this field. This new, coordinated programme builds on decades of frontier research and will support urgent and highly interdisciplinary research, along with new technology, to critically improve future projections,” she says.

Antarctica New Zealand Acting Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr Fiona Shanhun, says this long-term certainty of funding is important for the Antarctic research community.

“It means we can plan research that spans multiple seasons on the ice and collaborate with international Antarctic programmes to achieve globally significant outcomes.

“This research will help New Zealanders understand and adapt to our changing environment,” she says.

The money also supports four research fellowships that will focus specifically on improving the accuracy of future projections.

This funding is part of $49 million dedicated to Antarctic Science in Budget 2017.

The Antarctic Science Platform is hosted by Antarctica New Zealand. Researchers from NIWA, GNS Science, Constantia Consulting Ltd, the Universities of Canterbury, Otago, Victoria and Waikato are involved in the projects.

The announcement was made at the New Zealand Antarctic Science Conference in Christchurch today.

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