Parallel Sessions SCAR 2024

The core of the SCAR Open Science Conference is a series of a parallel sessions populated by brief presentations proposed by the community via abstract submissions. Sessions are led by convenors and concluded with an opportunity for the audience to ask presenters questions.  In organising the parallel sessions, conflicts in timing amongst similar or related topics are minimised to allow for participation by attendees. The conference is planned as an in-person conference with limited hybrid facilities. The opening and closing ceremony, plenary lectures and mini-symposia will be live-streamed. The Business Meetings (17-18 & 24-25 August) and Delegates Meeting will be hybrid. The Science Group Business Meetings (21 August), poster and parallel sessions will be in-person only.

The 2024 SCAR Open Science Conference parallel sessions are:

Physical Sciences

1 - Astronomy, Astrophysics and Geo-Space Observations from Antarctica

Convenors: Dr. Adriana Maria Gulisano, Dr. Jim Madsen, Dr. Waraporn Nuntiyakul, Dr. Achara Seripienlert

The geographic location and atmospheric characteristics of the Antarctic continent provide an ideal vantage point for the study of our universe, of our upper atmosphere and of near Earth space. This session will include unique astronomical and astrophysical results made from Antarctic locations such as the study of the cosmic microwave background radiation, high-energy particle detection, and optical and infrared observations of stars and exoplanets. This session will also cover space weather monitoring, mitigation and forecasting. We invite contributions from all sciences involving observations of the Antarctic sky ranging from the upper atmosphere and near Earth space, to the edge of the universe.

2 - Polar meteorology and atmospheric processes: weather, water cycle, snow, clouds, radiation, gravity waves

Convenors: Dr Louise Sime, Dr Adriana Maria Gulisano

This segment on Antarctic atmospheric processes encompasses several key research domains of global importance:

  • Atmospheric Ice Crystals and Nucleation: Delving into ice nucleation processes is essential, covering aspects such as the formation of ice crystals around particles, diverse nucleation mechanisms (heterogeneous, homogeneous), and the tools and techniques for statistical measurements.
  • Aerosols: Research pertaining to aerosols includes the study of their physical characteristics, origins, their role as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and Ice Nucleating Particles (INP), and their influence on cloud formation and climate interactions.
  • Clouds and Radiation: Grasping cloud formation, phase transitions, and their radiative impacts, while also addressing the Southern Ocean radiation bias, is pivotal for precision in Antarctic climate modeling.
  • Snow: Snow’s multifaceted role in Antarctica, both physically and biologically, profoundly influences the region’s historical conditions and future environmental dynamics.
  • Water Cycle: Investigating the dynamics of the Antarctic atmospheric water cycle and its interplay with surface processes, such as the ocean and snow, using isotopes as tracers, is instrumental in comprehending climate processes.
  • Gravity Waves and ANGWIN: Profiling gravity waves and their ramifications on polar and global processes, along with their portrayal in atmospheric models, takes the spotlight. The ANtarctic Gravity Wave Instrument Network (ANGWIN) is actively engaged in advancing this field.
  • Tropospheric Chemistry: Delving into sources, linkages, impacts, and processes of tropospheric chemistry, especially over the Southern Ocean, is of paramount importance for understanding atmospheric composition and its far-reaching global effects.

To sum up, this session endeavors to aggregate research contributions across these domains, augmenting our grasp of intricate Antarctic atmospheric interactions and their worldwide consequences on climate and the

3 - Polar climate change, variability and teleconnections in the past, present, and future

Convenors: Dr Tom Bracegirdle, Dr Sheeba Chenoli, Dr Avinash Kumar, Prof Lin Wang, Prof Thomas Spengler, Rahul Dey, Prof Xiaoxia Huang, Dr Keith Alverson, Dr Suchithra Sundaram, Dr Dieter Tetzner

Studies of atmospheric processes over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean using observations and/or numerical models are encouraged, including dynamics, physics, and chemistry aspects, and extending from the surface to the stratosphere. Timescales are from diurnal to several years. Coupling of the atmosphere with the ocean, sea ice, and ice sheet is also of interest. The impact of large-scale modes of variability such as the Southern Annular Mode and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation are welcome topics. Examples of envisaged investigations include katabatic and barrier winds, cyclones and fronts, numerical weather prediction, drifting snow occurrence and impacts, etc. Presentations based on tools (observational, statistical, numerical, etc.) are welcome if they are applied to investigate particular atmospheric phenomena.

4 - The Cryosphere of the Southern Andes and connections with Antarctica

Convenors: Dr Marius Schaefer, Dr Lucas Ruíz, Dr Pamela Santibañez, Dr Inés Dussaillant

The Southern Andes ranging from approx 20ºS to 55 ºS , host one of the most diverse cryosphere of our planet. It encompasses seasonal snow, mountain permafrost landforms and a multitude of glaciers in various sizes and forms ranging from sea level up to the highest 6000-meter peaks. Andean glaciers cover about 30.000 square kilometers. To the north of 35°S, the Dry Andes region is characterized by hot summers with almost no precipitations. In this subregion cryosphere features are smaller in size and are found only at high elevations (exceeding 3000 meters above sea level). The cryosphere has an important role as freshwater reservoirs in this subregion, supplying the highly populated cities of Santiago and Mendoza with meltwater which is of special importance during the driest months of the year. South of 35°S, the Wet Andes are characterized by a notably more humid climate and a continuous reduction in the elevation of the Andes mountain range. Here glaciers reach down to the ocean level. Most of the ice volume of the Andes is situated in this region, with more than half contained in the Northern and Southern Patagonian Icefields alone. In this session we invite submissions from all studies having a primary focus on the Southern Andes Cryosphere from field based and remote sensing observations, process understanding and modelling efforts. Works connecting the Southern Andes with the Antarctic continent are also highly encouraged.

5 - Physical drivers and climate implications of Antarctic sea ice variability and change

Convenors: Dr Avinash Kumar, Prof Ryan Fogt, Dr Caroline Holmes, Dr Feba Francis, Prof Seong-Joong Kim, Dr Babula Jena

Antarctic sea ice plays a vital part in the dynamics of the Earth’s climate, the tracks of weather systems, ocean and atmosphere circulation, ocean heat and carbon uptake, marine ecosystems, and shipping and logistic activities. During the satellite era starting in 1979, the Antarctic sea ice extent shows slight increases until 2015, but this was followed by a rapid decline with record lows in 2017, 2022 and particularly notably year-round in 2023. The processes controlling the sea ice variability may not be represented well in climate models due to complex ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions, complicating the production of reliable projections of sea ice changes in a warming climate. Moreover, sea ice thickness remains a major observational unknown. This session invites presentations on all aspects of Antarctic sea ice variability and change (from local to hemispheric scales) during the satellite era and in particular the rapid recent change, longer-term studies based on reconstructions from recognised (ice- and sediment- core) and novel proxy data, and on projections of sea ice change. Presentations are welcome on links between Antarctic sea ice and atmosphere dynamics (such as atmospheric planetary waves, jet streams, and polar cyclones), ozone depletion, tropical forcing of sea ice via the modes of climate variability (such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Indian Ocean Dipole, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), and between sea ice and ocean processes and dynamics. Presentations can be based on observational or modelling studies, in particular, novel observational methods and reconstructions, remote sensing methods, and studies from a hierarchy of models.

6 - Interactions between ice shelves and ocean: current state and future projections

Convenors: Prof Pierpaolo Falco, Dr Ariaan Purich, Dr Naomi Krauzig, Dr Jennifer Arthur

Ocean-ice interactions have played a significant role in shaping the evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) and it will carry doing so in the futurethrough the melting of ice shelves and iceberg calving. Retreat of ice shelves reduce their buttress effect, diminishing support for ice-streams draining the ice sheet. Consequently, ice shelf changes may notably contribute to global sea level rise by increasing the discharge of grounded ice in the next future.
Physical knowledge and observations are still lacking, so there is still uncertainty about the future of many ice shelves around Antarctica. Satellite observations have greatly improved our understanding of the behaviour of ice shelves and upstream ice sheets. However, the most critical processes affecting the stability of an ice shelf occur within the sub-ice-shelf cavities, which are filled with cold water needed to keep the ice shelves intact. Conversely, the intrusion of warm water from the Southern Ocean threatens the existence of ice shelves. Despite their fundamental role, observations in the cavities are still scarce. Numerical models are the only tools available for studying subglacial processes and forecast the future state of ice shelves, although they are subject to considerable uncertainty, much like future projections.
The aim of this session is to provide an updated picture of the state of as many ice shelves as possible, with the ultimate goal of providing a general overview of the ice shelves undergoing the most dramatic changes and their associated consequences.
Oral presentations and posters reporting the latest observations made in the sub-ice-shelf cavity and in the shelf area are encouraged, as well as the latest model results and simulations of the main processes occurring near and beneath an ice shelf. Additionally, we welcome studies describing the retreat of the grounding line and projections of sea-level rise from climate models.

7 - From atmosphere to geospace: collaborative efforts in the polar regions

Convenors: Dr Manuel Bravo, Dr Lucilla Alfonsi, Prof Graciela Molina, Prof Wojciech J. Miloch, Dr Nicolas Bergeot

The dynamics of the polar atmosphere is subject to forcing from below and above. At high geomagnetic latitudes it is directly connected to geospace. Thus also geomagnetic activity directly impacts the processes in the high-latitude atmosphere. The complexity of the coupling between neutral and ionised atmospheric species, between different atmospheric layers, and to the solar wind and outer space makes the polar atmosphere a unique region, which eventually can also impact the global atmosphere. Collaborative, interdisciplinary, and multi-instrumental approach to study the polar atmosphere is a prerequisite for understanding these processes in detail. This is particularly important in the Antarctic, where international collaboration is often a critical aspect to provide necessary data.
We invite contributions from atmospheric and space sciences, as well as from geodesy, astronomy, and other fields which can contribute to a better understanding of the processes in the polar atmosphere in Antarctica, but also globally. Recent findings, review of existing and ongoing initiatives, studies based on ground-based, airborne and satellite measurements, as well as models are invited. Both regional and case studies in Antarctica, as well as larger studies in the interhemispheric and global perspective are welcome.

8 - Polar extreme events and their physical drivers

Convenors: Dr Pranab Deb, Dr Andrew Orr, Dr Thomas Caton Harrison

The past decade has witnessed a noticeable increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme environmental events worldwide. In Antarctica, these occurrences manifest in various ways. For instance, high-impact extreme weather events can significantly affect the vulnerable ice shelves, potentially leading to their collapse. This collapse, in turn, accelerates the flow of grounded ice and ultimately influences global sea levels. Moreover, such events can result in rapid changes in the sea ice cover. These abrupt environmental changes can directly impact the specialized Antarctic biodiversity. Assessment across different realms is important as some of these extreme events can interact, causing ‘cascading’ impacts.

Further, as greenhouse gas emissions persist, a growing concern arises regarding how these emissions will further intensify and increase the frequency of such extreme events in the coming decades. Consequently, the fragile Antarctic environments face substantial stress and potential damage in the years ahead.

An in-depth understanding of these events is, therefore, key to unveiling the mechanisms behind rapid changes in Antarctica. This session is dedicated to the comprehensive study of extreme events in Antarctica and its surrounding ocean, encompassing diverse environments and temporal scales. We invite submissions focusing on Antarctic Extreme Events and their impacts, spanning across multiple realms (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere), examining their potential drivers, and anticipating their future evolution.”


9 - Terrestrial Antarctica at the crossroads of change

Convenors: Prof John Barrett, A/Prof Charles Lee, Dr Jasmine Lee

Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are at a crossroad of change. Global and regional climate drivers are reshaping the ice-free landscapes of Antarctica and its resident soil and aquatic ecosystems. The expansion of ice-free areas will likely be accompanied by increased moisture availability and conditions favorable for phototrophs, leading to cascading effects on the level and distribution of primary productivity that may fundamentally alter ecosystem functionality. We invite presentations of observed and anticipated responses of Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems to the effects of global change to synthesize an understanding of myriad changes and threats to terrestrial Antarctica.

10 - Antarctica's evolution through supercontinent cycles to south pole sojourn

Convenors: Dr Joaquin Bastias-Silva, Dr Jacqueline Halpin, Prof Nathan Daczko, Prof Geoff Grantham, Dr Tobias Stål

The Antarctic continent has been through multiple global supercontinent amalgamation and breakup cycles, now representing a collage of terranes including some of the most ancient crust found on Earth. The integration of the onshore and offshore geological and geophysical records continues to transform our view of Antarctic bedrock and lithospheric architecture. Here we invite contributions that explore the evolution of the Antarctic continent (and its neighbours) throughout supercontinent cycles to its south pole sojourn. We encourage studies that integrate observations and models of geology, geophysics, geo-/thermo-chronology, paleontology, geochemistry and/or plate reconstructions to reveal Antarctica’s rich geological evolution.

11- Marine, terrestrial, and environmental perspectives from the Antarctic Ice Sheet

Convenors: Dr Gautami Samui, A/Prof Julia Wellner

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is subject to geochemical processes influenced by melting, freeze-thaw cycles, and biological dynamics. While these processes relate to a complex set of feedback and are likely to play an important role both in past ice ages and in the global impacts of changing climate, marine-based sectors of the continent are likely to contribute to sea-level rise in the future. A better understanding of the underlying processes of ice sheets will help improve predictions of future sea-level rise and guide mitigation and adaptation. This session will feature presentations on hydro-, bio-, and geochemistry of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its response to climate change. The session seeks to integrate any number of settings and methods of geochemical analysis, including hydrochemical, isotope tracer, (micro-)biological, and mineralogical approaches. This session also invites research work on past ice sheet records as well as marine records. We welcome presentations on geological and geophysical studies, including drilling programs from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Studies that examine smaller-than-present configurations of the ice sheet such as during past interglacial are especially welcome, particularly where they can provide constraints on past sea-level change contributions from Antarctica. We encourage submissions that bring together marine and terrestrial records of ice sheet behaviour or that can provide links between past Southern Ocean circulation and temperatures and ice sheet behaviour. Contemporary observations and inferences from the geological record are both solicited. By bridging timescales and approaches, the session aims to provide a comprehensive look at the consequences of Antarctic Ice Sheet processes for the Earth system. The session is highly interdisciplinary and welcomes contributions from fields including marine geology, geophysics, geochemistry (including biogeochemistry), sedimentology, geomorphology, paleolimnology, and paleo-oceanography as well as ice-sheet modeling.

12 - Filling the gaps in AIS subglacial bed and bathymetry of the Antarctic margin

Convenors: Dr Vikram Goel, Dr Tobias Stål, Hannes Eisermann, Becky Sanderson

This session welcomes contributions that address the challenges and advancements in mapping and characterising the subglacial environment and bathymetry of the Antarctic margin. Potential themes to be explored include new observations, developments in data acquisition, data analysis and modelling, and the interpretation of results for understanding the dynamics of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its interaction with the ocean. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth, and its dynamics significantly impact global sea level. While subglacial topography is an important basis for studying the dynamics and evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, the bathymetry of its margins determines its complex interaction with the surrounding ocean. New observations and developments in data acquisition provide new insights into the subglacial environment and bathymetry of the Antarctic margin. These include data from airborne and shipborne surveys, ground-based surveys, as well as remotely operated AUVs and UAVs. Data analysis and modelling are being used to interpret these observations and to develop a better understanding of the processes that shape the subglacial environment and bathymetry. This session will provide a forum for researchers to present their latest findings on the subglacial environment and bathymetry of the Antarctic margin. It will also provide an opportunity for researchers to discuss the challenges and advancements in this field, and to identify areas for future research.

13 - Reconstructing past Antarctic ice-sheet and glacier dynamics

Convenors: Dr Rodrigo Fernandez, Dr Rebecca Totten, Dr Mike Bentley, Dr Frank Nitsche

Marine-based sectors of the Antarctic Ice Sheet are likely to contribute to sea-level rise over the coming decades and centuries. Better understanding of the underlying processes, thresholds, magnitudes, and rates of previous ice-sheet changes is essential to improve predictions of future sea-level rise and guide mitigation and adaptation. This session invites submissions on the broad range of Antarctic work being done on past ice sheet changes from onshore, continental shelf, and deep-sea records.

We welcome presentations on geological and geophysical studies, including drilling programs from Antarctica and from the Southern Ocean. Marine records cover a range of short to long timescales, all of which provide key insights into ice sheet dynamics and interactions with ocean circulation. Terrestrial studies of past glacial history using outcrop studies, geomorphology, or onshore drilling can yield complementary records of past intervals of ice sheet thickening and thinning. Studies that examine smaller-than-present configurations of the ice sheet such as during past interglacials are especially welcome, particularly where they can provide constraints on past sea-level change contributions from Antarctica.

We encourage submissions that bring together marine and terrestrial records of ice sheet behaviour or that can provide links between past Southern Ocean circulation and temperatures and ice sheet behaviour. The session is highly interdisciplinary and welcomes contributions from fields including marine geology and geophysics, sedimentology, geomorphology, paleolimnology, and paleo-oceanography as well as ice-sheet modelling.

14 - Sub-ice geology, sub-glacial hydrology and Antarctic Ice Sheet stability

Convenors: Dr Dr Mayuri Pandey, Dr Dr Tobias Stål, Prof Prof Naresh Chandra Pant, Dr Dr Calvin Shackleton, Prof Prof Alan Aitken, Dr Dr Emma MacKie

There has been a significant increase in the discovery of water bodies beneath the Antarctic ice sheets consequent to the aerogeophysical investigation of the continent. Sub-glacial hydrology, therefore, has assumed importance. Boundary conditions for melting of the bottom of the ice sheets are poorly understood despite being critical for the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. Significant heterogeneity as well as high geothermal heat flow is reported from the crustal rocks including from Antarctica (e.g. West Antarctic Ice Sheet). The heterogeneity is controlled by the sub-ice geology which remains challenging to be ascertained beneath the thick ice cover. Field measurements and modelling studies can be useful to comment upon the future stabilities of the ice sheets. This session welcomes presentations across these intertwined aspects of glacial hydrology, sub-ice geology and the stability of the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

15 - Remote sensing for observing, monitoring and mapping the Antarctic

Convenors: A/Prof Guido Staub, Dr Carlos Cardenas, Dr Evangelos Spyrakos, Dr Andrew Gray

Thanks to the availability of a huge quantity of remotely sensed geospatial data, Antarctica can be considered as one of the most highly observed places of our planet. In recent years, technological developments in geospatial science have led to major advances in our knowledge and understanding of the Antarctic continent, its biodiversity and of course the surrounding oceans and its dynamics. These developments have included the launch of new satellite remote sensing platforms and the application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). As a consequence, new methods have been implemented to obtain geospatial information (e.g. automatic/ semi-automatic extraction of information from satellite imagery). Advanced mapping techniques nowadays allow studying ice sheet properties (such as roughness, thickness and velocity) and to carry out Antarctic glaciological and mass balance studies. Modern scientific approaches permit investigation of ice sheet flow and geodynamics over short temporal scales, remote sensing of the marine cryosphere (including sea ice and its snow cover) and its interactions with ocean and atmosphere. All the beforehand mentioned advances, suggest that today Antarctic observation and mapping represent the culmination of decades of dedicated work in the field of surveying. As the demand for attribute-rich, large and small scale datasets continues to grow, this session will focus on the progress of current airborne and satellite surveys for observing and mapping of Antarctic environment. We invite contributions from researchers involved in Antarctic data acquisition, management and sharing, and from those who depend on these geospatial datasets and have an interest in guiding their future development.

16 - Permafrost and active layer in the Andes Cordillera-Antarctica continuum: progress and challenges

Convenors: Dr Márcio Francelino, Prof Carlos Schaefer, Dr Eduardo Senra

The objective of this session is to bring together advances in knowledge about the state of Permafrost along the latitudinal gradient from the Andes to Antarctica. We kindly invite the South American and polar scientific community to bring the most recent contributions on the following topics:
(i) permafrost modeling and landscape dynamics in the Andes and Antarctica;
(ii) geochemical processes in permafrost terrains;
(iii) Active layer dynamic in High Andes Mountains;
(iv) periglacial environments under a warming trend at the High Andes Mountains;
(v) muldisciplinary soil-geomorphology-thermal regime-snow cover studies along the Andes-Antarctica gradient;
Antarctic Permafrost appears to be continuous in most continental sectors, whereas discontinuous permafrost is generally associated with subantartic and maritime antarctica regions. It is still a challenge producing a general picture of permafrost in the glacier-free terrains of Antartica (with approx. 50,000 km2). In addition, the knowledge on the latitudinal gradient of active and permafrost at the Andes-Antarctica continuum is still poorly established. There is an urgent need to enhanced understanding of biogeochemical carbon cycle in permafrost terrains. Evidences of late Quaternary relict periglacial features at the Falklands (Malvinas), Subantarctic islands and High Andes mountains offer underexploited palimpsests on the landscape dynamics of this sentinel and critical zone of climate change in our planet. All contributions towards a better comprehension of the state of permafrost at the Andes-Antarctica continuum are welcome.

17 - Antarctic and subantarctic permafrost detection

Convenors: Prof Mauro Guglielmin, Dr Stefano Ponti

The session is dedicated to two main permafrost related topics: 1) all the groups that are working to contribute in understanding the permafrost characteristics in terms of active layer variability, hydrology, talik occurrence, brines, relations with the sea and with the glaciations. Subsea permafrost and subglacial permafrost detection or/and modelling also are welcome. 2) all the groups that are monitoring and studying or modelling the climate change effects on permafrost, active layer, soils and their related ecosystems are welcome.

Life Sciences

18 - Birds and Marine Mammals

Convenors: Dr Luis Huckstadt, Dr Matthias Dehling, Dr Ryan Reisinger, Prof Jose Xavier, Dr Anant Pande

Antarctic birds and marine mammals play an important role in the Southern Ocean marine ecosystem. We invite studies on all aspects of the ecology and biology of Antarctic birds and mammals across scales from large-scale comparisons (incl. macroecology, macroevolution, biogeography, and population genetics) and community ecology (incl. community composition, ecological networks, trophic and other interspecific interactions) to studies on species or individuals (incl. physiology, adaptations to the environment, foraging behaviour, movement ecology, demography). We especially invite studies on the potential impact of environmental variability and climate change on the ecology and biology of Antarctic birds and mammals.

19 - Southern ocean phyto and zooplankton

Convenors: Dr Svenja Halfter, Dr Sarat Chandra Tripathy, Dr Rajani Kanta Mishra

This session will cover diversity, trophic relationships and function in biogeochemical cycling of Southern Ocean plankton, including krill. We invite studies that have broad applicability to understanding the role of plankton and could include (i) alternative food web pathways through plankton, (ii) drivers of community structure, (iii) diet and energetics, (iv) new technologies such as eDNA, image analysis and sensors, and (v) improvements in representing plankton in models. How environmental changes are influencing plankton will be of particular interest, including changes to sea ice, ocean warming and climate modes (SAM, ENSO).

20 - Recent and anticipated shifts in Southern ocean biogeochemistry

Convenors: Heather Forrer, A/Prof Juan Höfer, Dr Sian Henley, Dr Irene Schloss

The session here proposed focuses on how the biogeochemistry of the Southern Ocean is changing under the current extreme and unprecedented events (e.g., sea ice minimum, glacial melting maximum, high SST) and how it is likely to change in the future. The Southern Ocean plays a crucial role in many global biogeochemical cycles; hence a deeper understanding of these roles is of high priority. This session is likely to reveal how our understanding of Southern Ocean biogeochemistry remains limited by the sparsity of data over sufficient spatial and temporal scales, leading to discussions on how we can better observe the changes underway. Such a session would provide useful linkages across and between other sessions that have been proposed, such as those focusing on Southern Ocean circulation, sea ice, biodiversity and ecosystems. This session is co-sponsored by the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS).

21 - Fish ecosystem dynamics and biodiversity thresholds in a changing Southern Ocean: management implications

Convenors: Dr Jilda Alicia Caccavo, Dr Cassandra Brooks, Dr Christopher Jones, Dr Manuel Novillo

Fish are an abundant and key component of the Southern Ocean ecosystem, ranging from shallow demersal notothenioids of the continental shelf, to the diverse mesopelagic assemblages of the open ocean, and to the deep-water fish communities of the continental slope. They are major consumers of zooplankton including Antarctic krill, while many are key prey for marine predators including other fish species, penguins and seals. Fish are also implicated in carbon sequestration, where  lantern fish migrations provide a means of rapid transfer of carbon to the deep ocean. Recent discoveries of unique and expansive nesting areas provide a window into the array of reproductive strategies and habitats used by the diversity of Antarctic fish biota. Many populations of shelf species are recovering from extensive overfishing in the 1970s and 80s, while the precautionary management of the fisheries for icefish and toothfish remain a key focus of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Currently there is extensive research being undertaken within the SCAR and CCAMLR science communities around the ecology of fish in the Southern Ocean. This session aims to bring together this expertise to showcase the breadth of research being conducted which can be of mutual benefit to both communities. In particular, we encourage contributions on trophic and reproductive ecology, climate change impacts, distribution shifts,  and predator-prey interactions of Southern Ocean fish.

22 - Sea ice in the atmoshere-ice-ocean-biosphere system: How, where and why is it changing, and what are the effects?

Convenors: Dr Avinash Kumar, Prof Seong-Joong Kim, Dr Clare Eayrs, Dr Will Hobbs, Juhi Yadav, Dr Rahul Mohan, Dr Ariaan Purich

Recent extreme behaviours in Antarctic sea ice caught the scientific community by surprise, highlighting that relatively little is known about the complex sea-ice environment around Antarctica (comprising both pack and fast ice), how and why it is changing and varying, and the wide-ranging physical, biological and chemical effects of such change/variability. Improved understanding of the southern coupled sea ice-ocean-atmosphere-biosphere system is required to truly explain the marked and baffling recent reversal in overall sea-ice extent – from a slight positive trend to successive record maxima peaking in 2014, followed by a rapid decline to record low coverage in 2023. While sea-ice extent and concentration are monitored from space, much remains to be learned about the processes driving the annual advance and retreat; the role of snow on sea ice; sea ice interactions with ice shelves; sea ice as a habitat; sea-ice biogeochemical processes; and teleconnections with lower latitudes. A forum for interdisciplinary sea-ice research, this session invites presentations with a focus on: (i) Antarctic sea ice in the ocean-cryosphere-atmosphere-biosphere system, and (ii) sea ice as an active biogeochemical interface and a reservoir for pollutants. We encourage a holistic discussion through presentations on sea-ice processes, observational, modelling and remote-sensing studies.

23 - Sub-Antarctic Islands – Sentinels of Change

Convenors: Dr Willem van der Bilt, Prof Werner Nel, Dr Elizabeth Rudolph, Maaike Zwier, Dr Nathalie van der Putten, Dr Stephen Roberts

Sub-Antarctic islands are small islands located in the vast Southern Ocean making them geographically unique and key in the investigation of past and present changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns in the southern hemisphere mid-latitudes. These islands exhibit both periglacial and glacial environments and they experienced a different LGM and subsequent deglaciation compared to the northern hemisphere. The islands are host to unique ecosystems and are important breeding sites for numerous threatened and endangered species while landforms and peatlands are useful as proxies for investigating landscape and ecosystem responses to a changing climate. Palaeo-climatic change affected landscape dynamics and direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem processes, while contemporary climatic change (warming temperatures, fluctuations in moisture, higher frequency of extreme events) have the potential to cause landscape and ecosystem processes to surpass the narrow environmental thresholds that exist on these islands. Changes in the terrestrial and benthic environments could also alter the biodiversity of fauna and flora and the islands’ tourism and heritage potential. This session aims to showcase all sub-Antarctic research, espessially the role of the region as a sentinel of change. Submissions from emerging researchers are encouraged.

24 - Environmental factors driving diversity, composition and ecology of fossil and living Antarctic communities

Convenors: Dr Fabiana Canini, Prof Fernanda Quaglio, Dr Patricia Valdespino, Dr Matthias Dehling, Dr Melinda Waterman, Dr Rowan J. Whittle

Profound climatic changes during the Paleogene, approximately 37 million years ago, had a significant impact on the evolution of life in the southern hemisphere and played a crucial role in shaping the current composition of the austral biota. During this period, the onset of Antarctic glaciation led to the establishment of highly unique Antarctic ecosystems. Species in this region endure numerous and highly variable environmental challenges, including significant temperature fluctuations, desiccation, intense radiation, low nutrient availability, as well as limited suitable habitats due to low temperatures and ice coverage. Recent alterations in global environmental conditions following climate change, including ocean acidification and rapid glacier melting, are occurring within a relatively short geological timeframe. This poses a potential threat to the southern biota, with alarming implications for its future. The primary concerns involve the potential invasion of non-native species and the merging of previously isolated environments, both of which are likely to result in the loss of existing biodiversity. The ability of each biological group to adapt to these rapid changes depends on its reactions to local and regional physical and chemical factors, as well as its interactions with other living organisms. Therefore it is crucial to understand the status of biological systems and to determine their possible resilience to predict ecosystem developments in a changing world. Recognizing the environmental factors that influenced organisms in the ancient past is essential for understanding how biological entities respond to various historical and current environmental conditions, as well as potential changes in the future. Additionally, comparing past and contemporary communities can help uncover differences in the environmental factors that influenced ecological shifts in the past and present.
This session calls for the submission of abstracts focusing on studies of both fossil and extant Antarctic communities, with the aim of understanding the environmental factors associated with their diversity, ecological structure, composition, and physiology. Comparisons between fossil and living groups are not mandatory and works dealing with specific taxonomical groups are also welcome.

25 - Terrestrial and marine bioinvasions in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

Convenors: Dr Oakes Holland, Dr Carla Ximena Salinas, Dr Sanghee Kim

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty prohibits the introduction of non-native species into the Antarctic Treaty area. Despite this, non-native species continue to be inadvertently introduced to the region – both in the terrestrial and marine realms – and the establishment of some of these species has resulted in serious impacts for native ecosystems. This risk is likely to increase over the coming decades, as the climate changes to become more suitable for non-polar species and more people travel to the Antarctic for research, fishing, and tourism. There is also a growing risk of intra-Antarctic transfer of species between bioregions. To prevent impacts of invasive species, there must be a concerted effort to prevent their initial introduction to the region. However, we must also be prudent in monitoring for non-native species before arrival. Further, there should be clear actions to take if a non-native species is discovered in the region.
This session seeks contributions from researchers and operational staff working on all aspects of biosecurity and bioinvasions from modelling to practice. We also encourage submissions relating to methodological advances and technological innovations that can be applied to the bioinvasion problem. We welcome submissions from early career researchers (including students and masters/doctoral candidates) and from people who are typically underrepresented in this field.

26 - Genomic insights into past and present Antarctic Biodiversity

Convenors: Dr Elie Poulin, Dr Claudia Maturana, Dr Ian Hogg

The Antarctic region is arguably the most pristine and the most isolated globally, protected by oceanic, bathymetric, atmospheric and geographic barriers resulting from tectonic and climatic events that started in the Eocene. Today’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biota have evolved adaptations to the extreme living conditions and are characterized by a high degree of endemism. However, the recent acceleration of climate and other environmental changes increases the probabilities of disturbing fragile Antarctic ecosystems, and may fundamentally change Antarctic biodiversity, particularly through the invasion of alien species and the loss of native biodiversity. Understanding how Antarctic biodiversity responded to past changes will help us to predict its fate in the Anthropocene. The recent and rapid spread of genomics-based techniques in ecological and evolutionary sciences has increased our capacity to explore and understand the historical and contemporary effects of climate change on the diversification, demographic history, and adaptation of Antarctic biodiversity (including microorganisms, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates). Such advances help us to understand the response and resilience of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biota faced with the challenges of climatic and environmental change, and therefore to predict the fate of a unique biogeographic province facing the challenges of the Anthropocene. This session will bring together researchers in biogeography specializing in different groups of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic biota, to obtain an integrated overview of the state of knowledge of how these organisms and their communities could respond to contemporary and ongoing changes.

27 - Microbial Biogeography of Antarctica and Southern Ocean

Convenors: A/Prof Charles Lee, Dr Claudio González-Wevar, Dr Guillaume Schwob, Dr Matthew Davey, Dr Patricia Valdespino

Microbes play a vital role in the Antarctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The functional ecology of these systems range from capturing carbon via photosynthetic algae on the snow or ice surface through to fungal and bacterial species contributing to soil development and nutrient cycling. In addition, the biogeographic variation of the microbial community across the Antarctic region is large but also largely understudied given the logistics of sampling and analysing microbes in remote areas. The purpose of this session is to present current knowledge on the complete range of polar microbe species, their community and their interactions with higher plant and animal species. Alongside biotic interactions, we are also interested in abiotic interactions with strata such as rocks, snow and sediments.

28 - The Antarctic Benthos - Environmental drivers and ecosystem dynamics

Convenors: Dr Oakes Holland, A/Prof Rebecca Totten

Covering an area of more than 20 million square kilometres, the Southern Ocean seafloor covers ecosystems ranging from shallow coastal zones to the deep abyssal plains. These regions provide a range of environmental services, such as: regulation of Earth’s climate, carbon sequestration, influence on ocean circulation patterns, habitat for benthic communities and nutrient cycling.
The form and function of these benthic regions is shaped by complex interactions between physical, biological and chemical environmental components and the associated interactions between the ocean, cryosphere and atmosphere.
Given these interactions, it can be difficult the disentangle the impacts of environmental change to benthic ecosystems.

This session invites research findings from fundamental and applied sciences, methodological advances and technological innovations that have, or could, enable a deeper understanding of the environmental drivers of benthic ecosystem patterns and processes. Understanding these drivers of ecosystem structure can help us to predict the impacts of a changing environment.
We strongly encourage contributions from early career researchers (including students and masters/doctoral candidates), and researchers from under-represented groups.

29 - Antarctic ectotherm resilience: genomic and epigenomic adaptation and physiological capacities/plasticities to cope with climate change

Convenors: Dr Simon Morley, Dr Julia York, A/Prof Luis Vargas-Chacoff

This session will investigate how environmental variability in the shelf seas of the Southern Ocean has shaped the capacities of Antarctic marine ectotherms to cope with future change. Antarctic adaptation has led to the evolution of unique physiologies and traits that allow organisms to thrive in this constantly cold but strongly seasonal ocean. Understanding how these traits underlie organism capacity to cope with conditions outside of the norm, allows us to predict their resilience or sensitivity to climate change. Comparisons between species with different traits (such as activity levels e.g. mobile fish to sessile sponges) and across regions (such as Antarctic and sub-Antarctic) allow comparison and identification of common and divergent genetic or physiological pathways. Integrative investigations enable underlying mechanisms to be identified, highlighting traits that confer resistance or infer vulnerability. Such studies are vital as we aim to predict how Antarctic marine ecosystems will be impacted by climate change, which species will be the winners and losers, and where tipping points will occur. This session highlights ectotherms as key systems for understanding these questions and how organisms adapt at physiological extremes.

30 - Human biology & medicine: health, wellbeing and living in Antarctica

Convenors: Dr Sandra Cortes, Dr Ohno Giichiro

We are encouraging presentations of the following experiences and research. Oral presentations, poster sessions and workshop are planned.
a. Medical management in the Antarctica ? practical experiences of operational medicine, instructive medical cases, development of medical equipment and capability, medical evacuation, international collaboration, telemedicine etc.
b. Human response and adaptation in physical and mental health in isolation, extreme Antarctic environment — cold climate, Antarctic high altitude, immune response, sleep, nutrition, evaluation and control of stress, exposure to environmental hazard/pollutants etc.
c. Antarctic medical research and medicine as a Space analog.
d. Antarctic COVID-19 Pandemic and Avian Influenza responses to date and lessons for new infectious/pandemic risk.
e. Challenging new and unique issues or innovations relevant to Antarctic medicine, health and wellbeing

Humanities and Social Sciences

31 - Antarctic Tourism: Search and Research for a Sustainable Future?

Convenors: Dr Hanne Nielsen, Dr Yu-Fai Leung, Dr Daniela Cajiao, Dr Gabriela Roldan

Since the 1990s, the growth of Antarctic tourism had been largely continuing until the sudden and brief halt caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Much discourse during the pandemic period resolved around how tourism should be returned to Antarctica in a more sustainalbe and managed way. While this discourse continues, resulting in a dedicated process in ATCM to develop a management framework, post-pandemic tourism in Antarctica may appear to some as picking up the business-as-usual growing and diversifying trends pre-pandemic.

This session aims at exploring the different dimensions and types of Antarctic tourism operations, activities and outcomes, with special attention paid to emerging issues in the post-pandemic era. A wide range of topics are welcome to faciliate interdisciplinary exchange and a holistic understanding of Antarctic tourism. Examples include, but are not limited, the development of Antarctic tourism activities and markets; ambassadorship and pro-environmental outcomes of tourism; socio-cultural, political, economic, and ethical aspects of Antarctic tourism; tourism impacts (e.g., ecosystems, built environments, culture heritage, wilderness and other Antarctic values); partnership (e.g., science-tourism, citizen science); tourism futures; the role of external factors (such as climate change, avian influenza) on tourism development and regulation; governance, management and monitoring; risk and insurance in Antarctic tourism operations; commercial vs. independent travel to the Antarctic; Antarctic virtual tourism; the role of technology in Antarctic tourism; contested places and spaces in tourism; and ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies in Antarctic tourism research.

32 - Antarctic and Southern Ocean histories: new perspectives and interpretations

Convenors: Dr Ursula Rack, Assoc. Professor Peder Roberts, Dr Jimena Cruz

Histories of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean continue to reveal important new insights on the relationship between Antarctic spaces and societies and economies further north. Critical analyses of capitalism, colonialism, and the politics of environmental management have augmented studies of specific human activities within and around Antarctica, including studies of environmental data that have illuminated understanding of environmental change. Additionally new perspectives from Indigenous cultures have broadened the scope to reflect on how relations between humans and Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments have been constructed through time. The aim of this session is to showcase and discuss new interpretations of Antarctic and Southern Ocean history from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Consequently, we welcome submissions from scholars working in archaeology, Indigenous studies, and environmental history in addition to the history of science, cultural and economic history, and poltiical history/geopolitics. Our hope is that showcasing the diversity of metholodigcal and interpretive perspectives will highlight the versatile nature of historical research and its ability to connect to other disciplines that generate knowledge of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

33 - Antarctic governance, science and law at the international and domestic level

Convenors: Prof Akiho Shibata, Dr Daniela Portella Sampaio, Prof Luis Valentín Ferrada, Anaïs Rémont, Prof Alejandra Mancilla, Dr Cristian Lorenzo

Six decades after the signature of the Antarctic Treaty and almost thirty years after the signature of the Protocol on Environmental Protection, it is timely to review how the Antarctic system has evolved and to inquire how it will continue to evolve into the future. In this session, we critically interrogate the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) and its capacity to confront challenges like climate change, the sustained interest of some actors in Antarctica’s living and nonliving resources, and the latent but never forgotten territorial claims. Does the ATS have the legal tools to tackle these challenges successfully? What aspects are in need of revision (if any)? What could be improved or rethought regarding its structure and functioning? Are Parties’ domestic institutions in tune with ATS demands? Has the development of domestic law succeeded in addressing the inadequacies of the ATS? To answer these questions, we invite contributions that focus on specific aspects of the Antarctic legal regime, governance, and political order—for example, CCAMLR’s integration of science and policy-making, or the history of CRAMRA and its legacy. We equally invite analysis on specific domestic contexts and also more general perspectives that assess contested concepts like sovereignty, legitimacy, and colonialism as well as hierarchy and their place in the Antarctic context.

34 - Antarctica and the arts

Convenors: Dr Adele Jackson, Prof Elizabeth Leane, Dr Carolyn Philpott

The arts are essential to human engagements with the Antarctic region. Since the earliest days of exploration human understandings of the far south have been extended through the arts. William L. Fox, author of Terra Antarctica and director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, observes that in the epoch of the Anthropocene ‘artists have never been more important’. The images we construct, the stories and poems we craft, and the sounds and performances we compose and choreograph can question our presumptions, engage our emotions, and inspire us to think innovatively about our relationship with the South Polar region.
Artists and writers from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North and South America have responded to the seventh continent. The first decade of the 21st century saw their number and diversity increased, with each applying their own cultural perspectives to their interpretations of the far south. This session welcomes presentations from artists and scholars from across the world – both those who have visited Antarctica and those who have not – whose work focusses on the intersection of the Antarctic region and creative arts – with the latter covering (but not limited to) the visual arts; creative fiction and non-fiction; music and sound; and theatre, dance and performance. Contributions from both traditional and practice-based researchers are welcome.

35 - Public Engagement with Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research

Convenors: Prof Elizabeth Leane, Franco Orellana, Dr Katie Marx, Anche Louw, Ramcharan Vijayaraghavan, Andrea Peña Aguirre

In recent years the climate crisis has produced a number of calls by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties for intensified efforts to communicate Antarctic research to non-specialists. Outreach and education papers submitted to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings have likewise increased in the last few decades, and an Intersessional Contact Group focussed on this topic was established in 2015. The need to ensure that non-specialists – including politicians, policy-makers and members of the public – engage with Antarctic and Southern Ocean research has never been more urgent.

Public engagement happens in myriad ways – through specific engagement activities and institutions, like museums; through educational programs; through the creative arts; through the media; through citizen science; and through other less formal exchanges. At best, it is not a passive undertaking about information flow, but a two-way, interactive relationship in which specialists and non-specialists come together to create new ways of thinking. Moreover, public engagement is not simply a form of research ‘dissemination’, Rather, it is itself an important area of research: successful public engagement should draw on systematic evidence about effective approaches and forms of interaction, in the context of particular goals, media, locations and audiences.

This session explores the diverse challenges, successes, and opportunities related to Antarctic public engagement. We are interested in hearing from people who are involved in public engagement as practitioners – understood broadly – as well as from those who are researching public engagement. In particular, we encourage submissions that explore the nexus between theory and practice: how insights from research have been implemented in public engagement activity, or what gaps or obstacles exist that prevent this implementation.

36 - Ethics and Politics in Antarctica: Nature, Animals and Conservation

Convenors: Prof Alejandra Mancilla, Assoc Prof Daniela Liggett, Dr Alfonso Donoso, Dr Alice Oates

This session invites contributions from across the bio-geophysical sciences, social sciences and humanities that share research and perspectives on current issues, and in particular provocative ideas, on environmental and animal ethics and conservation as these relate to the Antarctic. We aim to discuss challenges surrounding established and new ways of thinking about these concepts. This session will consider contributions on topics like animal political theory, welfarism, abolitionism, ecocentric and biocentric approches, rights of nature discourses and practices, and the political representation of more-than-humans, as well as more traditional research approaches pertaining to Antarctic conservation and its present and potential future interpretations in the context of Antarctic environmental governance.


37 - Doing science better: Emerging technologies and their applications

Convenors: Prof Pavel Talalay, Dr Peter Davis, Marianna D’Amico

Extremely harsh climate and polar geographical features, like low-temperatures, remoteness, blizzards and low-level drifting snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, magnify operational and logistic problems in Antarctica and require unique engineering approaches. Submissions addressing the design, testing, and utilization of polar field techniques, equipment, facilities, vehicles, and instruments. Themes to be investigated include: alternative energy systems; cold regions construction engineering; low-temperature materials development; innovations in ice coring and drilling technology in cold regions; ice and permafrost engineering; polar transport; and remote sensing techniques. Automated operations are one of the key areas for Antarctic investigations. Thus, special focus of the session will be on autonomous profiling floats; under-ice gliders (AUV and ROV); deep-ocean rovers; automatic weather stations; unmanned aerial vehicles; robotic camera systems; in situ sensors and methods for collecting autonomous observations. In this inter-disciplinary session, we invite presentations that showcase how technologies have helped science in Antarctica.

38 - Predicting and detecting tipping points and regime shifts in Antarctic and Southern Ocean systems

Convenors: Dr Laura Herraiz Borreguero, Dr Liz Keller, Dr Abhijith Ulayottil Venugopal

Antarctic and Southern Ocean systems are facing unprecedented change and increasing potential for regime shifts to occur. Regime shifts involve loss of system stability, and the reorganization of the system around a different set of self-reinforcing feedbacks once a threshold or tipping point has been crossed. In particular, the presence of destabilising positive feedbacks can create runaway change and make reversal of regime shifts unlikely. Globally, regime shifts can occur at different system, spatial, and temporal scales, and tipping points at one scale or in one system can interact with tipping points in others, potentially resulting in cascading regime shifts. In the Antarctic system, tipping points have been observed or predicted in ecosystems, climate, ice-sheets and ice-ocean interactions.

This interdisciplinary session intends to build a holistic understanding of tipping points and destabilising feedbacks in the Antarctic system, how these are distributed within and across scales and subsystems. We seek talks that investigate regime shifts in any component of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean system, using experimental, observational or modelling approaches. To keep the interest broad, we particularly encourage talks that link their study subsystem to the other components of the broader Antarctic system (e.g. impacts on or from other subsystems) to develop understanding of feedbacks and tipping points over the whole system. The hope is to develop a better understanding of how regime shifts in different parts of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean are likely to interact, or lead to cascading regime shifts.

39 - Emerging Frontiers in Antarctic Observation Science: Remote Sensing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Convenors: Dr Alvarinho Luis, Dr Shridhar Jawak, Full Professor Eliana Lima da Fonseca

Emerging technologies in artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning have revolutionized geoinformation science in recent years. Over the last decade, rapid developments in Earth Observation (EO) satellites have made essential contributions to mapping and modeling cryospheric regions. The inception of new satellites and sensors, the development of new analytical techniques and the exploitation of growing EO data archives have led to step changes in many areas of polar science. This session will give a platform to present and discuss new methods and findings derived from EO data to generate meaningful geoinformation in Antarctica. Pertinent examples include the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, glaciological and mass balance product generation (DEM, glacier velocity, ice thickness, roughness, facies, blue ice), studying wildlife from space (e.g., counting whales, walruses, penguins), terrestrial biology (e.g., vegetation cover, habitat classification, species mapping), oceanology (sea ice extent, thickness, ocean color, snow cover on sea ice) and others. This session will also cover existing data and data systems built-in support of Antarctic science, focusing on cross-disciplinary research across various Antarctic science and including new and emerging research frontiers across biology, earth science, and physical sciences. Presentations are welcomed addressing the utilization and interpretation of EO data to derive valuable geoinformation for the Antarctic science community.

40 - Sharing science data FAIRly to support interdisciplinary research collaborations

Convenors: Dr Angie Diaz, Dr Anne Treasure

Many of society’s greatest needs for understanding of our natural world require scientists to make the best use and reuse of data. This demands that the Antarctic and Southern Ocean data management community develop tools and systems to enable and support data reuse. Globally, the FAIR data principles are being widely adopted and two key Antarctic data groups – the SCAR’s Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM) and the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) – build data communities and develop services that encourage best practice in data sharing. This session, facilitated by SCADM and SOOS, is open to both researchers and data managers to share their lessons and challenges in making data more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. We want to hear about the challenges that the science and data communities are only just beginning to tackle as well as new solutions of building the international and transdisciplinary digital ecosystem, including various data sharing and portal initiatives. This session would also welcome any presentation concerning data management or research emanating from data sharing practices.

41 - Biodiversity and Conservation

Convenors: Dr Jasmine Lee, Xiang Zhao

Antarctica and its unique biodiversity is subject to multiple threats, including climate change, invasive species, human activities, and pollution. Understanding the impacts of these threats and determining how we can mitigate them is crucial for conserving these species into the future. This session welcomes work from all aspects of terrestrial and marine conservation at any scale, including, for example, MPAs and conservation planning, designing and implementing management strategies, or understanding human impacts. We encourage contributions from all disciplines and methodologies, ranging from applied ecology, conservationn science, mathematics, modelling, decision-making science, to both quantitative and qualitative research methods, underscoring our commitment to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach.

42 - Big Data for Antarctic Biodiversity Conservation

Convenors: Dr Deepa Raveendranpillai, Dr Suchithra Sundaram, Dr David Clarke

The Antarctic region is the land of extremes- extremely cold, windy, and most isolated continent on Earth. A biologically rich ocean surrounds the freezing and barren Antarctic land mass that spans approximately 20 percent of the southern hemisphere and has a significant role in global climate systems. The Antarctic terrestrial biota is only rich in lichens, mosses, and algae, in contrast to the Arctic, which has a notable diversity of flowering plants. Even though it is viewed as one of the rarely accessed areas globally, recent research has shown that threats to the Antarctic are increasing due to anthropogenic footprints, pollution, climate change, and biological intrusions. Temperature, geochemistry, energy, water availability, and wind speed are some drivers of Antarctic biodiversity identified from scientific studies. Addressing the decline in biodiversity and analyzing its trends necessitates extensive data collection from diverse sources. The revolution in big data, encompassing methods for swiftly capturing, processing, analyzing, and visualizing massive datasets, has resulted in a tremendous surge in the diversity of data over the past fifty years. The translation of data into meaning ful information for intelligent decision-making is crucial for multidiscplinary fields such as biodiversity conservation science. However, various factors contribute to the lack of knowledge, such as, scarce resources, logistical challenges, ecological complexity, natural variability, and heterogeneity. Accurate big data mining provides a foundation for sound decision-making in Antarctic biodiversity conservation practices.
Therefore, in this section, we welcome research works that focus on the use of climate data for spatial modeling, including Species Distribution Models, Habitat Suitability Index Models, data mining for ecological conservation, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence methods, Ensemble forecasting (Random Forest Algorithm, Bootstrapping) for species conservation, Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to locate and quantify the biodiversity, vulnerability (hot spot identification) and risk assessment in the Antarctic ecosystem, mapping using real-time information contributing to conservation science in the Antarctic.

43 - Literacy and science education on Antarctica, Earth systems and global change

Convenors: Prof Silvia Dotta, Dr Inga Beck, Dr Sandra Freiberger-Affonso, Prof Flavia Rios, Prof Prof Jose Xavier

One of SCAR’s goals is “To develop scientific capacity in the members and early career scientists, and ‘to promote the incorporation of Antarctic science in education at all levels'”. SCAR’s Strategic Plan (2023-2028) highlights the need to promote the development and publication of educational products communicating accessible and inclusive Antarctic research to educators, students and the general public. However, the climate emergency requires a major emphasis on knowledge building and understanding of the value of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean for current and future human well-being, biodiversity, and the interdependence of humans and nature. In this session, we encourage papers that address creative ways of introducing Antarctica in formal and non-formal education, studies that address innovative, interactive and interdisciplinary methodologies, focusing on forming a scientific attitude, will be welcome. Experience reports such as school activities, museums, zoos, science centres, etc., will be welcome as long as they are theoretically substantiated.

44 - Cutting-edge Antarctic research

Convenors: Assoc Prof Daniela Liggett, Dr Leonardo Valenzuela Perez, Dr Kerry Nickols, Dr Jilda Caccavo

This session will explore new approaches to Antarctic research, including novel ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies as well as new ways of working in general, with a especial emphasis on solutions to reverse and repair climate induced losses in Antarctica. Opportunities and challenges in relation to the production as well as communities of cutting-edge Antarctic research will be discussed, and case studies of ambitious research designs or approaches will be featured.
We invite presentations and posters that address any of the above or that highlight interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary work or involve novel ways of presenting, sharing or communicating the research results. Research from all disciplines across the biological, geological, engineering or physical sciences, and the arts, humanities and social sciences are invited to submit abstracts for this session.

45 - Beyond Borders: Aligning Antarctic Field Campaigns for Enhanced Collaborations

Convenors: Prof Naresh Pant, Dr Kenichi Matsuoka, Dr Hanna Yevchun, Dr Alexandra Zuhr

The SCAR community is committed to advancing fieldwork efficiency with minimal environmental impact, while maximizing scientific outcomes. This session serves as a dynamic forum for a diverse range of Antarctic professionals, including scientists, logisticians, and individuals shaping science funding and policies. The overarching goal of this session is to cultivate collaboration and innovation in large-scale international initiatives. We invite presentations that showcase initiatives across geo, physical, and biological sciences, transcending traditional boundaries. Drawing lessons from past campaigns, we aim to shape future initiatives and explore existing and missing capacities in logistic support essential for success in this extreme environment. Beyond the scientific context, our gathering focuses on building a collective understanding of the comprehensive challenges inherent in Antarctic field campaigns.

46 - Consensus building based on best available science under ATS

Convenors: Prof Akiho Shibata, Prof Kees Bastmeijer, Natasha Gardiner, Dr Osamu Inagaki

Article 10 of the Madrid Protocol (1991) mandates the ATCM, when defining general policies for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and adopting measures for the implementation of the Protocol, to “draw… upon the best scientific and technical advice available”. Article IX of the CCAMLR (1980) also mandates its Commission in giving effect to the objective and principles of the Convention to formulate and adopt conservation measures “on the basis of best scientific evidence available”. Though the general principle that Antarctic governance be based on “best available science (BAS)” seem to be well established, implementation and practical operationalization of the principle continues to raise controversies. These controversies are compounded by unique decision-making process in the Antarctic Treaty System based on consensus. Bearing in mind the current difficulties both in the ATCM and the CAMLR Commission to move forward with important agenda items such as MPAs, tourism, Antarctic Specially Protected Species and Areas, this session invites wide range of topics, case studies and approaches relating to policy-law-science nexus (PoLSciNex)* in the Antarctic governance, including:

  • Scientific analysis of BAS, its practice and examples;
  • Case studies of BAS in ATS;
  • Case studies of BAS from other areas of environmental governance, such as Ocean governance, Climate governance, Biodiversity governance, etc;
  • Normative analysis of the relationship between precautionary principle and BAS;
  • Institutional analysis of the role (or even hinderance) of scientific bodies such as SCAR, CEP, Scientific Committee in implementing BAS; and
  • Problems of incorporating BAS in Antarctic governance with its particular decision-making process (consensus; Measure/Resolution/Decision).

* Yermakova, Hingley and Shibata, “Policy-Law-Science Nexus in the Antarctic”, Antarctic Science Special Collection on Humanities and Social Sciences (2024)

47 - Advancing Antarctic Observations for a Sustainable Future: Coordinated Efforts and Global Impacts - in memory of Craig Cary

Convenors: Dr Christina A. Pedersen, Birgit Njåstad, Dr Alyce Hancock, A/Prof Susan B Nash

Modern society is confronted with a wide range of threats stemming from climate change and biodiversity loss. Understanding how the key climate- and biodiversity drivers are changing, and understanding the implications of these changes are crucial to enable societal mitigation and adaptation. Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are central to this ongoing transformation, significantly influencing various aspects of our planet. Their physical and biological properties exert a considerable degree of control and influence over other regions of the Earth. Therefore, it is imperative to establish and maintain well-supported, long-term monitoring programs to grasp the larger-scale Antarctic changes and their impact on the global system. To address this challenge effectively, coordinated and integrated sustained observations are indispensable. It is recognized that various nations, stations, and institutions develop projects and monitoring programs, some of which result in extended time-series data. In certain cases, where resources permit, a more holistic earth system science approach for long-term monitoring could be implemented. The coordination of such efforts allows for a more comprehensive spatial distribution of information from the entire earth system in a cost-efficient manner. In this proposed session, we aim to explore the current state of coordinated observing efforts in Antarctica and showcase exemplary practices. We welcome abstracts on national or regional monitoring programs with a holistic approach. We would like to hear about the story from initiative through implementation to the operation of the program, to share good practice. Additionally, we seek to shed light on international initiatives that focus on coordinating these observational programs or networks, forming a “network of networks.” By examining the power of international collaboration and coordination, we can enhance the holistic approach to long-term monitoring and learn valuable lessons from each other. Our aim is that this session could be a contribution to and inform ongoing processes looking to identify gaps in observation needs and also showcase how closer collaboration can address these challenges. Join us and share your knowledge and experience striving for a sustainable future through cooperation and knowledge exchange.

48 - Is Antarctic science ready to help tackle urgent global issues? Perspectives on strengthening equitable science communities

Convenors: Mariama Dryak-Vallies, Dr Inga Beck, Dr Adriana Maria Gulisano, Dr Jilda Alicia Caccavo, Rose Leeger, Steve Diggs

The Antarctic sciences offer ample opportunities for doing international, transdisciplinary and collaborative research to seek answers to some of the biggest questions and challenges of our time within the region. At the same time, research has demonstrated that great science benefits from a diversity of thought, of people, and organizations with varied strengths. As such, collaborating globally with individuals of varied disciplines, specialities, lived experiences, and backgrounds is key to effectively investigating the greatest questions in our fields that would have a global impact. In order to do this well, the global Antarctic research community needs to continue to improve awareness of outstanding inequalities and identify effective ways to move toward building more welcoming, inclusive and equitable Antarctic research communities. To achieve this, it is critical that every Antarctic, and more broadly polar, research-related institution works to build welcoming Antarctic communities and working environments, in which barriers to participation are removed and all contributors are able to thrive in a safe environment.

Abstracts are welcomed from those whose research or applied experiences have been working towards these goals of building a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive Antarctic research community. We encourage authors to highlight potential pathways and solutions, perspectives on issues, best practices and lessons learned from doing critical work in this space to build science environments in which diversity of thought and background is welcomed to work towards solutions to the challenges of our time. We especially welcome contributions from parts of the global Antarctic research community not otherwise represented in previous conversations.

49 - Towards Net Zero Antarctic Stations

Convenors: Dr Susan Roaf, A/Prof Manuel Correia Guedes

Antarctic Stations are facing many challenges in trying to achieve Net Zero:
1) More extreme weather events and trends
2) Soaring water, goods and energy costs, higher demand from larger research populations
3) Consequent increases in environmental impacts of stations
4) Pressures to measure and report performance to minimise Green House Gas (GHG) emissions challenges Business-as-Usual approaches to base design and operation
5) The measurement of GHG emissions from buildings there has not been undertaken using comparable systems between stations
6) Limited metering of individual buildings on sites
Step changes are now happening around Net Zero Buildings globally:
a) 20th century thinking relying simply on more mechanical efficiency has moved on to require energy sufficiency using building materials, forms, patterns of use, occupant behaviours and expectations to radically reduce emissions
b) Building integrated renewable energy systems increasingly supplant fossil fuel use
Limitations to Current approaches for measuring the impacts of stations include:
i) Most emissions calculations from stations are associated only with inputs and outputs from freight operations and electricity cogeneration on stations
ii) New thinking is now needed on how to reduce emissions from people living and working there, the indoor thermal micro-climates within the buildings and how and when occupants use them. What are the mechanisms available for energy use elimination, reduction, reuse and recycling? Is it about changing boilers or about re-thinking the thermal design of stations
This session has two ambitions:
A) To share current methods being used to measure energy use and GHG emissions on and from buildings (initially residential and laboratory spaces) and to explore how to best ensure comparability of results between stations.
B) To share lessons learnt on individual stations about the opportunities and limitations of attempts to radically reduce emissions from stations including through the use of renewable energy, new design and construction approaches, maintenance regimes, behaviours and operational schedules.
This session is being run by the Portuguese ProPolar Antarctic Buildings team to help us all move Towards Net Zero Stations on Antarctica. Please bring us your experiences, ideas and suggestions to contribute to this interactive session.

50 - The role of archives, collections of cultural material, and long-term in-situ records in understanding Antarctic pasts, presents, and futures.

Convenors: Dr Annick-Wilmotte, Prof Michael Gooseff, Dr Adele Jackson

Attempts to understand Antarctica’s natural and cultural environments and how these have changed and are changing rely on past and present observations, material, and data. As sites of preservation of cultural and natural material and environmental records, institutions including, but not limited to, museums, herbaria, art galleries, libraries, and archives are important resources for Antarctic researchers of all disciplines. Material and data in these collections are valuable accounts of Antarctic natural and cultural histories, and they create significant avenues for Antarctic research, overcoming the continent’s remoteness and the challenges of conducting research there. In this session we seek presentations that leverage these records, archives, and collections to provide new insights into Antarctica’s past, current, and future changes and challenges. We welcome submissions from natural science, humanities, and social science researchers.