News 2019

  • Photo of grey round partially constructed water tank

    Increasing water storage for Davis station

    Davis research station will soon have improved water security due to a 50 per cent increase in storage capacity.

  • Dana Bergstrom during her first visit to Macquarie Island as a Masters student in 1983, standing beside a rocky outcrop with a penguin.

    Microscopic Macquarie Island plant named after Antarctic ecologist

    A tiny freshwater plant with glass-like cell walls has been named after an Australian Antarctic Division ecologist.

  • graphic of icebreaker in ice with aurora

    Captains announced for RSV Nuyina

    Two experienced Captains for Australia's new icebreaker have been announced.

  • Antarctic blue whale surfacing and surrounded by bergy bits

    From little things big things grow

    The solar-powered Southern Ocean food chain is unique, going from some of the smallest organisms to the largest animal to ever live, in just a few short steps.

  • Australian doctors must under go an appendicectomy before they can go south

    Operation Antarctic Appendix

    A new group of freshly scarred Antarctic doctors, have arrived at the Australian Antarctic Division ahead of their posting to the icy continent.

  • Doctors attend to a simulated car crash victim in a scenario at Arm River in Tasmania

    Doctors prepare for extreme posting

    Tasmania’s rugged wilderness is the perfect training ground for Antarctic doctors preparing for an extreme posting to the icy continent.

  • Dr Brian Miller listens for whales during a voyage, with a computer screen in front of him showing sounds.

    Sound science enhances whale conservation

    French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau famously described the ocean as ‘the silent world’, but a marine mammal acoustician says he couldn’t have been more wrong.

  • Milky Way above Australia's Davis research station

    Antarctic lessons for space

    Antarctica is the closest you can get to space without leaving Earth.

  • new Australian Antarctic Science Council

    New Australian Antarctic Science Council meets

    The newly formed Australian Antarctic Science Council met in Canberra for the first time.

  • A green laser probes high-altitude clouds above Davis research station, in a night sky of auroras and stars.

    Antarctic laser probes ozone-eating clouds

    For the first time this Antarctic winter, but a little later than usual, polar stratospheric clouds have been detected above Davis research station.

  • Davis research station Weather Observer, Amy Geels, braves the minus 1.5 degrees water

    Australians plunge into ice hole in midwinter dark

    It’s minus 23 degrees Celsius, dark and you’re standing on the edge of a hole dug into the sea-ice – what do you do?

  • Former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard with former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, signing a book.

    Tribute to former Prime Minister Bob Hawke

    The Australian Antarctic Program is today paying tribute to former Prime Minister, Robert (Bob) Hawke, who played a pivotal role in conserving Antarctica for future generations.

  • Two of the tractors ready to undergo a transformation

    Tractor transformation time

    Hold still, this won’t hurt a bit! A fleet of tractor transformers are being Antarcti-fied in Hobart.

  • Southern Ocean and iceberg on grey stormy day

    World Oceans Day 2019

    For World Oceans Day, we ask: how awesome is the Southern Ocean?

  • Scientist inside trench with ice drill

    World Environment Day 2019

    With the focus of this year’s World Environment Day on air pollution, what of the natural ability of the atmosphere to clean itself of pollutants?

  • Expeditioners silhouetted against sunset

    Icy Twilight Zone

    Australian Antarctic expeditioners are living in the twilight zone after the last sunset on the icy continent for weeks.

  • Nuyina in the wet dock in Romania.

    Nuyina in harbour tests

    Antarctic icebreaker RSV Nuyina is being put through its paces with a barrage of tests on the propulsion, bilge, ballast and other auxiliary systems.

  • View of a 16.3 metre long barge under construction.

    New watercraft construction barging ahead

    Construction of two 'heavy lift' barges for the new Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, is underway at Tasmanian shipbuilders, Taylor Bros.

  • Expeditioner at ballot box with sea ice in background

    Democracy in the deep freeze

    It takes more than five thousand kilometres of isolation and the long night of a polar winter to dampen the democratic desire of an ardent Antarctic voter.

  • Stretcher on ice cliff

    Search and rescue on the ice

    When you’re 5475 kilometres from help, you need to know you can rely on the team around you.

  • Group of expeditioners in snow with messages for Mother's Day

    Mother's Day 2019

    Despite being a long way from home this Mother’s Day, Australia’s Antarctic expeditioners at Mawson, Davis and Casey research stations are sending a whole lot of love from the ice.

  • a dog wearing a vest on Macquarie Island

    Keeping Macca rodent-free

    At the frontline of biosecurity on Macquarie Island is a lively dog called Nui, making sure that rodents don't return.

  • Royal penguins at Macquarie Island

    World Penguin Day 2019

    To mark World Penguin Day this year, we pay tribute to these amazing birds with some interesting facts about the 18 species that inhabit the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Leslie Russell Blake

    Southern Ocean to the Somme

    Today as the sun rises over Antarctica, dawn services at our research stations commemorate Anzac Day.

  • Casey station chef, Jordan Smith, puts the finishing touches on a cake in the kitchen

    The icing on the cake

    The wintering chef at Casey research station, Jordan Smith, has worked in kitchens from the French Alps to the Kimberley, but says the icing on the cake has been her time in Antarctica.

  • Scientists prepare to extract a fast-ice core to characterize sea-ice properties, including ice-crystal structure, salinity, density or chlorophyll content.

    Australian Antarctic Program Partnership

    The Australian Antarctic Division welcomes the opportunity to work with core partners the University of Tasmania, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology as part of the new Australian Antarctic Program Partnership (AAPP).

  • Aerial view of Mawson station

    Government response to Antarctic inquiry

    The Government has responded to recommendations from the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (JSCNCET) inquiry into the adequacy of Australia’s infrastructure assets and capability in Antarctica.

  • Boulders being loaded from a barge onto Aurora Australis

    Rocky road from Antarctica to Canberra

    Two rocky pieces of the icy continent have arrived in Hobart on the way to a new home in Canberra, where they will go on display as part of a unique outdoor geological museum.

  • A large tractor

    Heavy tractors chosen for Australia's Antarctic inland ice quest

    The Australian Antarctic Program has procured five new heavy tractors to provide the pulling power for Australia’s new deep-field traverse capability, and the search for a million year ice core.

  • Expeditioners in Antarctica

    New Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine

    Highly specialised medical skills honed in the extreme Antarctic environment will be shared through a new Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine (CARMM) in Hobart.

  • Madi Gamble Rosevear working with the team on the Totten Glacier

    Seismic study allows scientists to see below glacier

    Australian Antarctic Program researchers have undertaken seismic studies on the largest glacier in East Antarctica, revealing for the first time a network of lakes beneath the ice.

  • Two men at a lathe

    Work begins on million year ice core drill

    Work has started on a high-tech ice drill that Antarctic scientists will deploy in their quest for the million year ice core – dubbed one of the holy grails of climate science.

  • The 105 solar panel array installed, with a wind deflector visible down the length of the array on the left side of the building, to minimise the effects of high wind speeds during blizzards.

    First Australian solar farm in Antarctica opens at Casey research station

    The first Australian solar farm in Antarctica will be switched on at Casey research station today.

  • The Dash 8 on the runway at Invercargill with the nine person survey team standing beside.

    Sea floor survey from the sky

    Airborne surveyors are helping to map the shallow sea floor adjacent to Macquarie Island research station, in preparation for the arrival of Australia’s new icebreaker RSV Nuyina.

  • Jane Allen and Jesse Blackadder in Antarctica

    Antarctica calling all artists

    Artists looking for the ultimate inspiration are encouraged to apply for the Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship.

  • Four women standing at the stern of a ship

    Pioneering work of female scientists reflected in Macquarie Island lakes

    Several lakes on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island have been named after the first four female scientists to travel south with the Australian Antarctic Program.

  • group of whale observers with binoculars

    Technology provides new insights to Antarctic blue whales and krill

    Innovative technologies, including drones, shed new light on the distribution of endangered Antarctic blue whales and their food source krill.

  • Four Adelie penguins near the Casey station sign.

    Ice-free areas are hot property in Antarctica

    The principle of ‘location, location, location’ is as important in Antarctica as the rest of the world, with rare ice-free areas being highly desired real estate.

  • A jade green and white striped iceberg

    New clue in jade iceberg mystery

    Researchers have a new hypothesis that could solve the century-old mystery of why some Antarctic icebergs are green.

  • A south polar skua in flight.

    Enhancing biodiversity protection in Antarctica

    A review of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPAs) has found that they are biased towards protecting the more charismatic species, such as penguins and seabirds, over less visible species.

  • Wilkins aerodrome control building

    New funding for upgrades of Antarctic research stations

    More than $450 million will be invested over the next ten years to upgrade our network of Antarctic research stations.

  • AAD Director Kim Ellis presents Casey station leader Christine MacMillian with a commemorative poster

    50 years of history at Casey research station

    Antarctic expeditioners celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of Casey research station today.

  • A helicopter and a jet aircraft on an ice runway

    Ice runway reopens

    Flights into Australia’s Wilkins Aerodrome in Antarctica resumed yesterday, following a twelve week shutdown for major reconstruction works on the 3.5 kilometre runway strip.

  • Antarctic krill

    Giant krill swarms in 3D

    For the first time on an Australian research vessel, giant krill swarms are being captured in 3D using echosounders in the Southern Ocean.

  • Kim Ellis outside building

    New Director for the Australian Antarctic Division

    The new Director of the Australian Antarctic Division, Kim Ellis, takes up his leadership role.

  • A 20 cm chunk of brown mumijo.

    Fossilised spit captures birds' Antarctic history

    Fossilised layers of spit, or ‘mumijo’, at snow petrel breeding sites, are helping seabird scientists understand how long the birds have inhabited sites in East Antarctica.

  • Expeditioner demonstrating the signed cricket bat in use

    Search for story behind mystery Antarctic cricket bat

    A cricket mystery story is unfolding in Antarctica this Australia Day, after the discovery of a unique bat signed by the 1988 Australian and Sri Lankan test teams.

  • Antarctic blue whale underwater

    Antarctic krill, blue whales and the power of poo

    The most comprehensive scientific voyage ever undertaken to study the largest creature on Earth and its food source heads to the Antarctic ice edge.