Antarctic COVID-19 Research
Responsible Antarctic Research in a post-COVID-19 World
The Antarctic COVID-19 Research Project is a global research initiative exploring the ethical and practical implications of continuing tourism and vital environmental research programmes in Antarctica, the only continent currently untouched by the coronavirus.
"In order to prepare for the future and ensure that Antarctica remains COVID-free, we need to understand how Antarctic research and tourism functions in a COVID-19 and post-COVID-world and what kind of risks are posed by COVID-19 to the Antarctic environment. This understanding will help us to chart responsible pathways for human engagement with the Antarctic in the future."
UC Senior Lecturer and Project Lead
An international research project led by UC Senior Lecturer Daniela Liggett is exploring how the coronavirus is affecting Antarctic tourism and research.
In collaboration with countries around the world, this research is asking important questions about the risks posed to the Antarctic environment should the coronavirus be introduced to native wildlife, like seals for example, by tourists or researchers.
As researchers explore these ethical questions, they will also be looking at how we can responsibly and effectively move forward with vital environmental research in a post-COVID world. This inquiry will play an important role in influencing scientific, operational, and political policies in the region.
A project manager is critical to the success of this large-scale project. The team has identified a postdoctoral fellow already working with UC’s Gateway Antarctica programme as an ideal candidate, but there is currently no funding for the role.
The Antarctic COVID-19 Research Project can guide how future research initiatives responsibly take on the challenges of understanding climate change, sea-level rise, and environmental and marine conservation in the Southern Ocean.