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Programmes

Many of the Polar Environments researchers are currently involved projects funded by the Antarctic Science Platform, hosted by Antarctica New Zealand.
Antarctic Science Platform website

Polar ice-ocean physics and 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.

Glaciers, ice shelves and ice sheets

The Antarctic glaciers and ice shelf research programme at the Department of Geography aims to increase the understanding of:

  1. cold based glaciers as geomorphic agents,
  2. how ice shelves entrain, transport and deposit sediments into moraines,
  3. marine ice formation at the base of ice shelves,
  4. ice physics: understanding the mechanisms and mechanics of ice flow, and
  5. the impacts of climate change to glacier response.

Marine environments

Otago Marine Researchers are involved in a wide range of programmes that span the biological, physical, and earth sciences.

Cold adaption in plants and animals

Many organisms tolerate sub-zero temperature by either avoiding or tolerating freezing. Antarctic organisms are at one extreme. However, many temperate and alpine creatures are also affected by freezing. We are interested in the mechanisms that are responsible for such tolerance.

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 and ionosphere

The Department of Physics polar researchers includes the Space Physics group who study the nature of the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space, and the Atmosphere and Climate research group, which studies how changes in solar inputs change the chemical balance of the atmosphere, and how this then influences atmospheric wind and temperature patterns.

Marine chemistry

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