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Polar ice-ocean physics & modelling

The polar ice-ocean physics and modelling programme brings together staff and students working in polar physical oceanography, sea ice physics, and environmental mathematical modelling.


The Antarctic glaciers and ice shelf research program at the Department of Geography aims to increase the understanding of (a) cold based glaciers as geomorphic agents, (b) how ice shelves entrain, transport and deposit sediments into moraines and (c) marine ice formation at the base of ice shelves.

Marine environments

Otago Marine Researchers are involved in a range of programs spanning the biological, physical, and earth sciences

Cold adaption in plants & animals

Many organisms tolerate sub-zero temperature by either avoiding or tolerating freezing. Antarctic organisms are at one extreme by many temperate and alpine creatures are also affected by freezing.

Antarctic geology

The Department of Geology has a long history of geological mapping in Southern Victoria Land and investigating fundamental earth processes (e.g. Magma injection and eruption processes in the Ferrar Large Igneous Province).

The polar atmosphere & ionosphere

The Department of Physics polar researchers includes the Space Physics group who study the nature of the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space. The Department of Chemistry is actively researching persistent, semi-volatile organic contaminants which can travel long distances through the atmosphere and accumulate in remote ecosystems.

Marine chemistry

Otago marine chemists are involved in trace metal and isotope research in the marine environment around Antarctica.