The Australian Antarctic Division leads the Australian Government’s scientific program in Antarctica.
Our research addresses critical issues including:
- climate change
- the human footprint in Antarctica
- the conservation of Antarctic and Southern Ocean wildlife
- the sustainable management of Southern Ocean fisheries in the face of increasing demands for food security caused by human population growth.
Our diverse research program covers physical and life sciences in the atmospheric, terrestrial and marine domains, as well as human biology and medical research. It also includes long-term observational activities such as a network of meteorological facilities; ionospheric activity monitoring; seismic, magnetic and GPS networks; and hydrographic and bathymetric (seafloor) mapping.
Our research is directed by the Australian Antarctic Strategic Plan 2011–12 to 2020–21.
Our science supports Australia’s role in many international treaty bodies including the:
- Committee for Environmental Protection of the Antarctic Treaty
- Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
- International Whaling Commission
- Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
The Australian Marine Mammal Centre at the Australian Antarctic Division also coordinates studies focussed on understanding, protecting and conserving whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs.
More than 100 projects are undertaken in Antarctica, the subantarctic and in Australia, involving scientists from some 28 countries and 176 institutions (search our project database). About 90 Australian graduate students are also associated with the program.