12 January, 2004

12 January 2004 No. 1/2004 A new £3 million laboratory was opened at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station on Saturday (10 January 2004). Many of the staff on station were present for the formal opening ceremony by Natural Environment Research Council Chief Executive, Professor John Lawton, who unveiled a plaque. The new Bonner Laboratory replaces the research facility destroyed by fire in September 2001. It took two years to complete building with a team of 29 contractors. Scientists can now use state-of-the-art working areas including laboratories, offices, an aquarium and a dive facility complete with recompression chamber. BAS biologists have worked hard to minimize the disruption to their research programmes in the last two years. Temporary facilities have been in place. Long-term biological monitoring that contributes to our understanding of global change can now continue unaffected.

Issued by Athena Dinar, BAS Press Office. Tel: 01223 221414; mobile: 07740 822229

Notes for editors: Photographs of the opening are available. Contact the press office as above. The new Bonner Laboratory is made with fire retardant timber and features a sophisticated fire alarm and sprinkler system. The building work was completed by early December 2003. Over the last month scientists have installed scientific kit delivered by the BAS ship – the RRS James Clark Ross, which arrived at Rothera on 5 December. The opening ceremony involved the unveiling of a plaque by Professor John Lawton. BAS Director Professor Chris Rapley was also present. Rothera Research Station is one of five operated by British Antarctic Survey. Situated on the Antarctic Peninsula, it is the centre for biology, geoscience and atmospheric science programmes. The BAS 2003-04 field season is currently underway. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council and is responsible for the majority of the UK Government\’s research in Antarctica. For more information about the British Antarctic Survey and the Rothera Research Station look at our website www.antarctica.ac.uk.