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The Mini-Symposium concept was incorporated into the program of the SCAR Open Science Conference to encourage cross- and trans-disciplinary interactions and to expose a wide audience to science they might not otherwise encounter. Mini-Symposia are dedicated, interactive interdisciplinary events that highlight the timeliest and most cutting edge topics proposed by the community. The Mini-symposia format is flexible but usually includes the convenors and 3 to 5 topical experts. The topic presented is introduced by the convenors followed by brief remarks by the experts. Audience participation is encouraged through a following question and answer session.

Joint SCAR/COMNAP Mini-Symposium: A Promising Future for Antarctic Research: Facilitation of circumpolar initiatives through science and science support partnerships

Monday 19th, 09:30 – 11.00

International collaboration has always been a hallmark of Antarctic research. However, implementing complex multinational projects requires a long lead time and development of specific partnerships between the science and the science support communities. Such partnerships are based on years of experience with lessons learned and improved over decades of polar research supported through COMNAP and its Member national Antarctic programs. The success of future partnerships is promising with the likes of the SCAR ANTOS Expert Group, the SCAR RINGS Action Group, ICED, and the Antarctica InSync project on the implementation horizon to name only a few international, large-scale partnerships ready for action.  This mini-symposium will explore the complex nature of establishing the framework for providing logistics for circumpolar research programs. Presenters will include scientists involved in the development of the research strategies for each of these initiatives and presenters from the national Antarctic programs involved in planning and implementation, operations, logistics and science support for such polar research. The mini-symposium will explore the critical science/science support nexus that enables circumpolar research collaborations. By looking at these present initiatives we can take the lessons learned into future circumpolar collaborations to ensure their inclusiveness and success.

Chairs and Speakers


  • Dr Antonio Quesada, COMNAP Chair
  • Dr Deneb Karentz, SCAR Vice President Science

Confirmed speakers

  • Dr Antje Boetius, Director Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
  • Dr Kenny Matsuoka, Chair RINGS Action Group / Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway
  • John Guldahl, Director Operations & Logistics Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway / COMNAP Deputy Manager and Project Manager for the COMNAP RINGS Collaboration Project
  • Dr Vonda Cummings, Principal Scientist National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand / Co-chair ANTOS
  • Dr Jennifer Freer, Marine Ecosystems Modeller, British Antarctic Survey, UK / ICED


  • Dr Marcelo Leppe, SCAR Vice President Administration
  • Capt. Doğaç Baybars IŞILER, Logistics Co-ordinator TUBITAK Marmara Research Center Polar Research Institute, Türkiye / APECS Immediate Past Vice President

A kaleidoscopic look at Antarctica's geological past: A gathering to understand the bio- and geological evolution of the Austral-Antarctic environments

Tuesday 20th, 09:30- 11.00

Over the past years, transdisciplinary and collaborative developments in the study of the evolution of polar environments and life in Antarctica and the constituent continents of Gondwana have provided new and more accurate models to explain patterns of species emergence, evolution, and disappearance at high southern latitudes. The integration of these patterns with historical paleoclimatic data is reshaping our interpretation of the contemporary world by illuminating the intricate connection between these patterns and ongoing shifts in both local and global abiotic environments. This insight underscores the significant impact of paleoclimatic information on our understanding of the present-day world. The main objective of this mini-symposium is to provide a space for discussion and cooperation on the origin, diversification, and extinction of the Austral-Antarctic biota in the light of new paleontological, biogeographical, paleoclimatic, geological and evolutionary findings, as well as to offer a space to reunion and direct contact between young and senior researchers from the different nations involved in Antarctic research on these topics.

Co-producing knowledge at the Antarctic science-policy interface in a complex world

Tuesday 20th, 17:45-19:15

This mini-symposium will facilitate open and provocative dialogues among scientists and policy-makers that aim to explore how we, as a diverse Antarctic community, co-produce knowledge towards improved conservation outcomes in Antarctica. The symposium will be convened by a combination of Antarctic policymakers and early to mid-career researchers who all work directly within, or have an interest in working within, the policy forums of the Antarctic Treaty System.

Chairs and Speakers

Chairs & Organisers

  • A/Prof Cassandra Brooks
  • Stephanie Langerock
  • Natasha Gardiner
  • Dr Susie Grant
  • Dr Mecha Santos
  • Dr Jilda Caccavo
  • Dr Anton Van de Putte

Confirmed speakers

  • Birgit Njaastad
  • Prof Dame Jane Francis
  • Dr Marcelo Leppe
  • A/Prof Lucia Ziegler
  • Dr Cesar Cardenas
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Collaboration and Partnerships

  • Universidad de La Frontera
  • Universidad Católica de Temuco
  • Universidad de Chile
  • Universidad de Magallanes
  • Universidad de Santiago de Chile
  • Universidad de Concepción
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Instituto Milenio Base
  • Congreso Futuro
  • Municipalidad de Pucón
  • Municipalidad de Villarrica
  • Gobierno Regional de La Araucanía
  • Corporación Desarrollo Araucanía
  • Servicio Nacional de Turismo Región de Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena
  • Servicio Nacional de Turismo Región de La Araucanía
  • Corporación de Turismo de Pucón