3 April, 2012 News stories

As part of an international collaboration between British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the Netherlands Polar Programme — managed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, Earth and Life Sciences Division (NWO-ALW) three new laboratories arrived at Rothera Research Station yesterday (Tuesday 2 April) onboard the RRS Ernest Shackleton.

The collaboration, which involves BAS building and managing the new Gerritsz Laboratory on behalf of the NWO, paves the way for more integrated and enhanced working between both nations. It also allows NWO to run a modern laboratory in Antarctica in a very cost-effective and efficient way.

The Gerritsz Laboratory is now almost complete. The science facility building is finished, and three of the four containerised laboratories that slot into the building are at Rothera. The final containerised laboratory will be delivered later in the year. From mid November the science facility will be up and running for when the first researchers arrive from the Netherlands to start their studies into marine biology and oceanography.

BAS Project Manager David Wattam said

“I am delighted that the building process of the Gerritsz Laboratory has gone so smoothly and kept to schedule. The new laboratory is an exciting addition to station infrastructure, will complement existing facilities and provides a state of the art platform to enhance collaboration between British and Dutch scientists.”