30 April, 2010 News stories

Dr Fausto Ferraccioli, Geophysicist at British Antarctic Survey, has been presented with a Polar Medal by HRH Prince Philip for his continued dedication to science in the Polar Regions.

The Duke of Edinburgh awarded the silver medal to the Italian who has clocked up a total of 12 months on the ice during 16 visits to Antarctica with British and Italian teams of scientists.

During his latest visit to Antarctica with the AGAP project (Antarctic Gamburtsev Province Project*), Fausto spent almost three months working at high altitudes and temperatures of minus 40°C leading the UK science effort. This worldwide collaboration of scientists across six countries is one of the most scientifically, technically ambitious and physically demanding Antarctic projects and seeks to uncover the secrets of a previously unexplored sub-glacial mountain range in East Antarctica.

Fausto has been using his expertise in Antarctic science and aerogeophysical surveys to research the enigmatic mountains that are buried by up to 4 km of ice and tell a story about past, present and future climate change.

Fausto has worked with British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England since 2002.


Issued by the BAS Press Office:

Heather Martin, Tel: +44 (0)1223 221414; mobile: 07740 822229; email: hert@bas.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

*AGAP is part of a multinational venture to cap the global scientific deployment known as International Polar Year** (2007–8), where teams of scientists, engineers, pilots and support staff from the UK, USA, Germany, Japan, Australia and China joined forces to mount one of the most scientifically, technically and physically ambitious Antarctic projects.

See Challenge to discover Antarctica’s hidden world press release for more information on the AGAP project.

**International Polar Year 2007–2008 was the largest coordinated international scientific effort for 50 years. Featuring more than 200 Arctic and Antarctic projects, IPY involved 50,000 people — including scientists, students and support staff — from more than 60 nations. Together, they set out to discover more about the polar regions and their critical influence on the rest of the planet.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a component of the Natural Environment Research Council, delivers world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that underpins a productive economy and contributes to a sustainable world. Its numerous national and international collaborations, leadership role in Antarctic affairs and excellent infrastructure help ensure that the UK maintains a world leading position.  BAS has over 450 staff and operates five research stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctica.

Stunning broadcast-quality footage and stills of aircraft in Antarctica are available from the BAS Press Office as above.