Dr Dana Bergstrom: BSc, MSc, PhD

Research interests

I am an applied Antarctic ecologist with a focus on understanding and protecting Antarctica at the highest level, while communicating the global importance of the region and its science to the world. My work revolves around studying how Antarctic organisms and ecosystems work, identifying risks to these Antarctic ecosystems and finding solutions to mitigating such risks, especially in terrestrial ecosystems. I’m particularly focused on the impact of humans in Antarctica on large scales (e.g. climate change) as well as regional and local scales (e.g. the impact of non-native species and human footprint).

I have played major leadership roles in international science in the area by initiating programs and driving the construction of science plans for three major international Antarctic science programs:

  • Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) ‘Regional Sensitivities to Climate Change';
  • SCAR ‘Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica'; and
  • International Polar Year (IPY) ‘Aliens in Antarctica'.

Approximately 70–80% of all researchers in my field globally have participated in one of these programs over the last 10 years. As a result, I have a history of bringing together large groups of scientists to address specific regional-based topics and working with them to produce comprehensive outputs and outcomes. For example, the Aliens in Antarctica project has resulted in major changes in how most national programs and tourist operations operate with regard to biosecurity measures in Antarctica.

Recent research has focused on evidence-based conservation planning and the understanding rapid ecosystem collapse in alpine areas of Macquarie Island.

Collaborations & representations



  • Australian Delegate — SCAR (2011–2014)
  • Co-Chair — SCAR Open Science Conference International Steering Committee Auckland 2014
  • Instigator and Co-Chair — IPY Aliens in Antarctica International Science project (2006–2011)
  • Executive Member — SCAR, Evolution and Biodiversity of Antarctica (2006–2011)
  • Member — SCAR International Steering Committee, various conferences (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011)
  • Member — International science review committee, South African Antarctic Program (2009)
  • Member — SCAR Special Program Development Group — Evolution and Biodiversity in Antarctica (2003–2004)
  • Chief Officer — SCAR Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change in Antarctic Terrestrial and Limnetic Ecosystems (2003–2005)
  • Member — Steering Committee SCAR Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change in Antarctic Terrestrial and Limnetic Ecosystems (1999–2002)
  • Instigator — SCAR Regional Sensitivity to Climate Change in Antarctic Terrestrial and Limnetic Ecosystems (1999)

Bergstrom, D.M., Bricher, P.K., Raymond, B., Terauds A., Doley, D., McGeoch M.A., Whinam, J, Glen, M. , Yuan Z., Kiefer K., Shaw, J.D., Bramely-Alves, J., Rudman, T., Mohammed, C., Lucieer, A., Visoiu M., Jansen van Vuuren B., Ball, M.C (2015) Rapid collapse of a sub-Antarctic alpine ecosystem: the role of climate and pathogens. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52: 774–783.

Bennett, J.R., Shaw, J.D. Terauds, A., Smol, J.P., Aerts, R., Bergstrom, D.M., Blais, J.M., Cheung, W.W.L, Chown ,S.L., Lea, MA., Nielsen, U.N., Pauly, D., Reimer, K.J., Riddle, M.J., Snape, I., Stark, J.S., Tulloch, V.J., and Possingham H.P. (2015) Polar lessons learned: long-term management based on shared threats in Arctic and Antarctic environments. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2015 13:6, 316–324

Rolland, V, Bergstrom, D.M., Lenné, T., Bryant, G., Chen, Hua, Wolfe, J., Holbrook, N.M., Stanton, D.E. and Ball, M.C (2015) Easy come, easy go: capillary forces enable rapid refilling of embolized primary xylem vessels. Plant Physiology DOI:10.1104/pp.15.00333

See more of Dr Bergstrom’s publications on Google Scholar.