Rothera Research Station, Rothera Point, Adelaide Island

Lat. 67°34'8"S, Long. 68°7'29"W
25 October 1975 to present
Summer: 100, Winter: 22

Rothera Research Station, the largest British Antarctic facility, is a centre for biological research and a hub for supporting deep-field and air operations.  Situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula the site includes the Bonner research laboratory, offices and workshops and a crushed rock runway, hangar and wharf.  Rothera supports a wide range of BAS, UK university and international collaborative science programmes including the Dirck Gerritsz laboratory that is operated by the Netherlands polar research programme.


Built on a rock promontory at the southern tip of the Wormald Ice Piedmont, Rothera Research Station is situated on Adelaide Island to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Adelaide Island is 1,860km south of the Falkland Islands and 1,630km south-east of Punta Arenas, Chile. The island, which is 140km long, is mountainous and heavily glaciated. Its highest peak is 2,565 metres.

A large ship in the water
looking south across Rothera Research Station on Adelaide Island, during winter 2023
SDA at Rothera wharf
the view north over Rothera Research Station, with the SDA at the wharf


The station operates throughout the year. In summer, the population peaks at just over 100 people, while during the winter months, from April to mid-October, a 22-strong team continues the science work and maintains Rothera’s infrastructure.

Staff on station include marine and terrestrial biologists, meteorologists, electronics engineers, a dive officer and a boating officer, a chef, a doctor, vehicle and generator mechanics, electricians, plumbers, builders, field assistants, communications managers and a station management team.

The new Bransfield House balcony at Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
The New Bransfield House balcony at Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.


Summer temperatures are typically between 0 and +5°C, and in winter range from –5°C to – 20°C, but because of its coastal location and the Southern Ocean low-pressure weather systems, temperatures can vary widely at any time of year.

You can find sea ice at Rothera from late May to late November, although it takes prolonged periods of calm conditions for ice to form and become fast.

Prevailing winds are northerlies, reaching gale force on around 70 days a year. While it can snow at any time of year, in recent years the main snow fall has come at the end of winter. Rain occasionally falls at Rothera.

Because the station is just south of the Antarctic circle, it is light for 24 hours a day during summer, and for a few weeks in winter the sun never rises above the horizon.

Rothera Station can be found towards the top right of this image , see it?
Rothera Station can be found towards the top right of this image. Can you spot it?


The station’s coastal location means that staff see a good range of Antarctic birds and mammals. Adélies are the most numerous penguin species around Rothera, with chinstrap and gentoos occasionally present in the summer. The emperor penguin is seen infrequently, with sightings most likely between September and November.

There are breeding populations of Dominican gull (three pairs) and South Polar skua (15 pairs or more). Antarctic terns and Wilson’s petrels are present offshore through the summer months but nest on higher mountain ridges. The blue-eyed shag, which breeds on several offshore islands, can be seen whenever the sea is not frozen.

More information on birds at Rothera is available here.

Weddell seals, which are present year-round, are the most obvious mammal around the station. Pups are born on the sea ice in late September. Crabeater and elephant seals are also present, fur seals arrive in varying numbers at the end of summer, and although leopard seals are present all year round, they are seen only infrequently.

Small numbers of minke and humpback whales are seen in Ryder Bay each summer, and in some years minke are spotted almost every day. A family of orcas, which lives in the Marguerite Bay area, is usually seen from the station several times during the summer.

More information on whales and seals is available here.

Station life

The station is reached by air or sea. Today, most people fly to Rothera on the BAS Dash 7 aircraft, either from Stanley in the Falkland Islands (about five hours) or Punta Arenas, Chile (about four and a half hours). BAS ships bring passengers and cargo to Rothera at least twice each summer, and sailing time from Stanley is around four days.

Ship visits are vital because they bring essential supplies, from food, fuel and scientific equipment to vehicles, building supplies and personal possessions.

A new upgraded wharf replaces a smaller structure built in the 1980s as part of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme, commissioned by the Natural Environment Council (NERC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).  The 74 metre wharf is designed to accommodate the new polar research vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough. With its enhanced cargo handling facilities, including a larger crane, the new wharf has enabled more efficient loading and unloading of supplies, as well as the deployment of small boats used for scientific diving and marine research operations.

Staff eat meals together in the central dining room; lunch and dinner are made by the chefs. On Saturdays, there is a more formal dinner: dress is smart casual and everyone enjoys a multi-course meal. And although the chefs do not have access to fresh ingredients, they prepare nutritious, high quality food every day.

Station life is busy, and often dictated by the weather. As a result, a traditional UK-style working week is impractical at Rothera.


Dining area at Bransfield House, Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
Dining area at Bransfield House, Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.

Supporting multi-displinary science

Rothera Research Station is the UK Antarctic hub for interdisciplinary research that has changed how we view our changing world.  With its state-of-the art laboratories, diving and boating facililties Rothera is a vibrant focal point for research into marine and terrestrial biology, geology, glaciology, meteorology and upper atmospherics.  With its 900 metre runway, two ski-equipped Twin Otter aircraft and a Dash 7  Rothera is a hub for deep-field Antarctic operations during the austral summer between October and March.  Supporting deep-field research by innovative tractor train traverse across the ice is giving science teams new opportunities to collect data from remote locations.

Emma Bolton diving underneath sea ice at Rothera
A year-round diving at Rothera programme enhances marine biodiversity studies. Rothera Marine Assistant Emma Bolton, photographed by Marine Biologist Joe Marlow.

Investigating our changing climate

Because the western Antarctic Peninsula is the most rapidly-warming region in the Southern Hemisphere, Rothera is ideally suited for real time climate change research.  Long-running datasets and research investigations improve our understanding of how marine and terrestrial species are responding to climate change, and enhance our ability to model climate change and predict sea level rise.  These datasets help scientists to untangle seasonal and inter-annual variation from longer-term climate change.

Meteorology and atmospheric science

Daily meteorological records have been collected at Rothera since the station was established. Helium-filled balloons are launched regularly to record temperature, humidity and winds up to 25km above the ground. Today, these are fed directly to the Met Office, which uses the data for global weather forecasting.  Physical scientists use medium frequency radar and meteor radar to study wind and temperature in the upper atmosphere above Antarctica, and a low-power magnetometer at Rothera – one of a chain of instruments that BAS has installed across Antarctica – records variations in the Earth’s magnetic field.

A person holding a weather balloon
Ella Gilbert releasing a weather balloon (sonde) at Rothera Research Station, to measure a profile of the atmopshere.

New technologies to monitor biodiversity

New technologies are changing the face of Antarctic research. Here, they are using Remotely Operated Vehicles for long-term biodiversity monitoring, trialling new methods of dating ocean sediments, using autonomous ocean gliders and smart moorings to record physical, chemical and biological data in the Southern Ocean.

Monitoring sea-level rise

Accurately quantifying the contribution of polar ice sheets to global sea-level rise is a key international question. Rothera is an important centre for this research, which includes using ocean sediments to see how ice sheets have responded to past climate change.  Current research includes glacial retreat, ice coring for amospheric chemistry and climate studies, and collecting geological data to support computer modelling of historic movement of ice sheets.







The side of a large blue building in a snowy environment

The Discovery Building

The Discovery Building will be a new world-class scientific support and operations facility at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

Rothera Research Station- winter 2023

Rothera computing facilities

New Bransfield House Hardware for general use A number of networked computers for all staffr Hardware for science use (Bonner Lab) 8 x Windows XP PCs for visiting scientists HP …

Katie’s Journey to Antarctica – Part One

2 April, 2024 by Katie Handford

As the Antarctic winter season fast approaches, we’ll be following the journey of one of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme’s (AIMP) Assistant Project Managers, Katie Handford as she gears up to spend winter at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

BAS celebrates the Coronation

9 May, 2023 by Emily Neville

This weekend, BAS staff in Antarctica and on board RRS Sir David Attenborough celebrated the Coronation of King Charles III. On the RRS Sir David Attenborough RRS Sir David Attenborough spent the …

First journey to Rothera

1 February, 2023 by Kathleen Maclean

Simeon Anastasov, Principal Fire Engineer at OFR Consultants, is currently working at Rothera Research Station providing site supervision as part of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP). In this blog …

BLOG: Global Ocean Wildlife Analysis Network

28 July, 2021 by Simon Morley

In the latest of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) blog series on the Global Ocean Wildlife Analysis Network, we hear from Simon Morley, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) …

BLOG: On Thick Ice

1 July, 2021 by Ed Luke

Rothera Field Guide Ed Luke is part of the skilled team who safely facilitate fieldwork year-round in Antarctica. In this blog, Ed takes us on the experience of conducting winter …

Solitude and Survival in the South

27 April, 2021 by James Bowyer

Doctor James Bowyer has just returned to the UK after providing medical cover for Rothera Research Station staff from 2019 – 2021. James shares his experiences of life and work …

Life in Antarctica

15 February, 2021 by Livia Oldland

Billy Thursfield, Sub-Agent for BAM, is currently working on the construction of the new science and operations facility at Rothera Research Station, the Discovery Building. Here he reflects on working …

Blog: The Rothera marine team

8 February, 2021 by Nadia Frontier

Nadia Frontier is the new Marine Biologist at Rothera Research Station. In her latest blog, Nadia takes us through safety training, wildlife sightings, and what it takes to dive successfully …

Blog: First experiences at Rothera

5 February, 2021 by Nadia Frontier

Nadia Frontier is the new marine biologist at Rothera Research Station. In her blog below, Nadia takes us through arriving at Rothera, first impressions of the station, and Christmas celebrations! …

Guest blog. RRS Sir David Attenborough: The story so far

20 April, 2017 by Paul Fox

Paul Fox, Senior Responsible Officer for RRS Sir David Attenborough, has written a guest blog for a behind-the-scenes look at NERC’s commission of a new polar research ship for Britain and the associated Antarctic infrastructure modernisation programme.

SCIENCE BLOG:Penguin or sea lemon?

28 July, 2016 by Melody Clark

Dr Melody Clark gets excited about sea snails as part of an innovative research programme to investigate how Antarctica’s animals will adapt to life in a warmer world. Penguins or …

ANTARCTIC BLOG: Extreme Geology #11

12 February, 2016 by Joanne Johnson

After our extended period of lie-up, I now have the slightly surreal pleasure of sitting at Rothera writing this, contemplating flying home tomorrow. We flew back from the field on …

Rothera Diary – August 2014

24 August, 2014 by Petra Mildeova

August has been another busy month on and off the base, with the second round of winter trips starting at the beginning of the month. Mine and Andy’s winter trip …

Rothera Diary – May 2014

17 May, 2014 by Malcolm Airey

May has been a busy month at Rothera, with the weather starting to get a bit more wintery and Antarctic – less rain(!) and more snow and darkness. We are …

Rothera Diary – April 2014

17 April, 2014 by Mairi Fenton

The RRS Ernest Shackleton left us on the 21st of March this year so April saw the first month of winter here at Rothera. We are getting used to a …

Rothera Diary – July 2013

1 July, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter Roundup The days got shorter and shorter, the sun stopped appearing over the mountainous horizon and the snow continued to fall; winter was well and truly here at Rothera …

Rothera Diary — February 2013

1 February, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

So, we’ve been back at Rothera for a couple of weeks now after spending the previous two and a half months “deep field” working on a scientific project in the …

Rothera Diary — January 2013

28 January, 2013 by BAS Bloggers

After a long, but good journey, from The Netherlands our group arrived January 10th safe and sound at Rothera. The first sight was of stranded icebergs in North Cove blindingly …

Rothera Diary — August 2012

20 August, 2012 by Dale Sewell

…Sledge echo sledge echo, this is Rothera do you copy… August kicked off with a week of night watch duties, well welcomed after a hectic month on the jazz drumming …

Rothera Diary — July 2012

20 July, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

July at Rothera. The excitement of the midwinter’s week festivities is slowly dying down and the base is returning to its usual routines. All the midwinter presents, that many people …

Rothera Diary — May 2012

30 May, 2012 by Adam Bradley

With the Ernest Shackleton long departed and the daylight disappearing rapidly, the 18-strong team remaining at Rothera really started to experience the proper Antarctic winter. On the 18th of May …

Rothera Diary — April 2012

20 April, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

In one hour it will be time to switch on the high frequency radio and report back to base, let them know we’re safe & well, our location, our intentions …

Rothera Diary — March 2012

28 March, 2012 by BAS Bloggers

Early March saw the departure of the last BAS planes for the season. This left 42 people on station to carry on the science, various works and to commence winterising …

Rothera Diary — December 2011

31 December, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Cargo and Christmas were the main features of December at Rothera. The arrival of the BAS ship RRS James Clark Ross turned the base into an even busier place than …

Rothera Diary — July 2011

31 July, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Cold and Icy I am sitting in my office in The Bonner Laboratory looking out over the frozen sea towards the snowy mountains and remembering why it was such an …

Rothera Diary — June 2011

30 June, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

Some Things Never Change Spending June in the Antarctic gives you time to think a little. Darkness, blizzards and the all important task of polishing my midwinter’s present often left …

Rothera Diary — May 2011

30 May, 2011 by BAS Bloggers

It’s been two months since the RRS Ernest Shackleton left us, and left 20 of us alone at Rothera Research Station to look after the facility and maintain the science …

Rothera Diary — April 2011

30 April, 2011 by Mike Brian

With memories of those who left us in March becoming more distant by the day, April was a month of “getting into the swing” of the Winter regime proper. While …

Rothera Diary — March 2011

30 March, 2011 by Malcolm Airey

Good morning, outside world! As I sit here typing this, the first few snowflakes of winter are starting to fall outside the window, and Rothera is well and truly taking …

Rothera Diary — November 2010

30 November, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

On 2nd November BAS’s first aircraft of the season arrived, the DASH 7. The October weather had been somewhat inclement, and there had been delays in flight arrivals. For the …

Rothera Diary — September 2010

30 September, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Diving and music As the marine biologist at Rothera, I had an unusual start to my career here. I flew in late in February this year and after a whirlwind …

Rothera Diary — July 2010

30 July, 2010 by Iain Rudkin

July — potentially a period of anticlimax following the events of midwinter and all the furore that surrounds it, but this year July has been one of my favourite months …

Rothera Diary — June 2010

30 June, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Midwinter The month of June is one of great celebration in the Antarctic; it is the month when the days are at their shortest and the sun remains below the …

Rothera Diary — May 2010

30 May, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

Diving & Discos Hi everyone and welcome to May’s diary, my name is Jon James and I am the Diving Officer here at Rothera. My job involves organising and maintaining …

Rothera Diary — April 2010

30 April, 2010 by Nathan Bowen

Beach parties and Barbee sauce So we have reached the official start of winter… what, already? How did that happen? Surprisingly it seems time really does pass quite quickly down …

Rothera Diary — March 2010

30 March, 2010 by BAS Bloggers

March — the month of change in an Antarctic context! Welcome to March, a month in the Antarctic calendar that signifies change, a rising sense of panic and relief. Depending …

Rothera Diary — January 2010

30 January, 2010 by Nathan Bowen

Power Downs and Parties The year is 2010, the month is January my task to write about the trials and tribulations of base life down at Rother research station. Well …

Rothera Diary — December 2009

31 December, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Fresh Marmite November’s diary ended with Mike returning to base on the RSS James Clark Ross, having spent most of the previous month loitering in the Falkland Islands. As the …

Rothera Diary — November 2009

30 November, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

A Glimpse of Life on the Outside At the time of volunteering to write this month’s entry for the Rothera Diary, I had no reason to suspect that I might …

Rothera Diary — October 2009

30 October, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

End of winter, planes, new faces and freshies All good things come to an end, also the winter of 2009. This happened on the 10th day of this month. One …

Rothera Diary — September 2009

30 September, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Hello, and welcome to the Rothera diary entry for September. I would like to give you an insight to base life from my own personal perspective. I am Tony McLaughlan, …

Rothera Diary — July 2009

31 July, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Water, ice and steam It’s 10pm Friday 31st July. Mug of coffee in hand, I am awaiting the return of James and Jonny with a bundle of newspapers for the …

Rothera Diary — May 2009

30 May, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Say Goodbye to the Sun Welcome everyone to the month of May at Rothera Research Station. My name is Andy Webster and I am the Communications Manager here on station. …

Rothera Diary — April 2009

30 April, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Winter training In keeping to winter traditions, I am writing the April diary entry between the hours of 1am to 6am. Yes, I’m on nightwatch and it’s currently 4am on …

Rothera Diary — March 2009

30 March, 2009 by BAS Bloggers

Preparing for Winter I am Dr Matt A Edwards, medical officer for the British Antarctic Survey research facility on the Antarctic Peninsula known as Rothera. It is an honour to …

Rothera Diary — October 2008

30 October, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

The start of Summer Hi, I’m Ali the marine assistant. It is exactly a year since I last wrote an entry for the Rothera diary. I have been at Rothera …

Rothera Diary — July 2008

30 July, 2008 by BAS Bloggers

Moving into New Bransfield I thought as the wintering chef for this year I would first mention my new kitchen. After a bit of a delay, in February last summer, …

Oct – The end of Winter

30 October, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hi, I’m Ali the Marine Assistant; I arrived at Rothera in December 2006 and shall be based here for a total of 2½ years. The month of October marked the …

Aug – Wind and Snow… and more wind

30 August, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hello and welcome to the August diary of Rothera Research Station, I’m Jim the Boating Officer, or JimBoat to the locals, and I excitedly volunteered to indulge readers with the …

Jul – Ice Diving

30 July, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera July Diary My name is Kelvin Murray, I am the Field Diving Officer and my job is to manage all diving operations at Rothera. I work very closely with …

Jun – Midwinter Mayhem

30 June, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

Hi everyone and greetings from Rothera Research Station Antarctica. My name is Richard and I’m the wintering Electrician. This is my second consecutive winter here at Rothera but the joys …

Apr – Night Watch

19 April, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

It’s 4 am in the morning on 19th April and I’m on Night Watch, a good opportunity to write the monthly web diary, or so I thought! Hello, I’m Birgit, …

Mar – The Month Marcheth…

30 March, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

THE MONTH MARCHETH… “The first day of March was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for …

Feb – The End is Nigh

28 February, 2007 by BAS Bloggers

The end is nigh. Firstly I’m going to cheat a little, only by a few days, but I’ll start this month’s diary at the end of January. This is because …

October – The End of Winter

30 October, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

The End of Winter by Jamie Fletcher Well, it’s almost the end of winter and a very busy time both for work and socially. I have asked several of my …

October – A poetic view

30 October, 2006 by Julian Klepacki

October, the month of spring. The waiting hours creep silently across the shining skies. There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce …

September – Behind the Scenes

30 September, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

BEHIND THE SCENES By Richard Logan Hello to everyone from Rothera Antarctic Research Station and welcome to September’s Web Diary. Have we got a corker of a diary this month …

August – An active August

30 August, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

An active August People back home often ask us how we spend our time during the winter – I think some people imagine us huddled around the stove in a …

July – The Third Quarter

30 July, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

At the start of this month’s diary I feel obliged to warn you this entry is long (probably befitting of 3 female writers!). So if you are not already sitting …

June – Midwinter

30 June, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

June, month of maximums, minimums, everything, nothing and mid-winter! Hello everybody it is I, Riet, the chef here at Rothera and I will tell you about the beautiful month of …

May – Winter

30 May, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

Well hello, may I take this opportunity to formally welcome you to the month of May? What does May symbolise in good old Blighty? Spring has sprung, summer well on …

Apr – Shackleton departs

30 April, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

After days of false starts, the RRS Ernest Shackleton finally departed for sunnier climes (and Grimsby) on April 2nd. We waved and shouted our goodbyes between deck and wharf as …

Mar – Mad March!!

30 March, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

By Tim Burton photos by Tim Burton, Lowri Bowen and Chris Martin Mad March. So much is happening. Emotions are running high as people either prepare for their return to …

Feb – Images of Antarctica

28 February, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

People are always asking me what it’s like working in Antarctica; we ask ourselves the same questions, since each of us go to different stations and field camps. What can …

Jan – Changing plans

31 January, 2006 by BAS Bloggers

I’m serving in the Royal Navy, I joined just over two years ago as a pilot and have been lent to BAS for a few months to work here at …

November – Welcome to Rothera

30 November, 2005 by Peter Milner

Most people at home have a slightly false impression of Antarctica in the summer. As I’m saying final farewells some people think I’m mad and others think it’s a great …

July – Sea Ice Travel

30 July, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, July 2005 A new month and a new trend as the days were to get lighter as the month went on. The lethargy caused by mid winter (mid …

June – Midwinter

30 June, 2005 by Isabelle Gerrard

Rothera Diary, June 2005 Hi everyone, June is such an exciting time to be in Antarctica. The main reason being that the 21st June is mid winter’s day, very significant …

May – Ice diving

30 May, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, May 2005 Our second full month of isolation has seen the real signs of winter beginning to show themselves. As the days get longer and warmer back in …

Apr – Winter Trips

30 April, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, April 2005 April has been our first full month of winter since our summer colleagues left for the year. Traditional April Fool japes were skipped as we were …

Mar – Winter begins

30 March, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, March 2005 There is no doubt of the dominating image of March 2005. For the twenty one of us left at Rothera, the departure of RRS Ernest Shackleton …

Feb – Windy weather

28 February, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, February 2005 February was dominated by the weather. Over 80 knot winds hit the refuelling stations of Fossil Bluff and Sky Blu. Fossil Bluff is a sturdy hut …

Jan – A long run

31 January, 2005 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, January 2005 January started with a bang for some of the station members as they took part in a 10km New Years Day run on the runway organised …

Dec – A busy month!

31 December, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, December 2004 A busy month at Rothera! One of the main ‘events’ was the JCR battling through miles of sea ice to try to get to Rothera for …

Oct-Nov – New arrivals

15 November, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, October/November 2004 After a fantastic winter at Rothera, the onset of spring and summer brings many new arrivals to the base. With the busy summer season due to …

Sept – Final month of winter

30 September, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, September 2004 September was a very diverse and dynamic month on base. Our penultimate month of winter had lots in store. It got off to a fine start …

August – Diving, talks and singing

31 August, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, August 2004 August began with what was to be our last under ice dive before high winds broke the sea ice out. The objectives were photographic and specimen …

July – Return of the sun

30 July, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, July 2004 By Steve Hinde July on an Antarctic research station can be a strange time. June is our month for anticipating and celebrating mid winter, just as …

June – Mid-Winter

30 June, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, June 2004 By Andy Miller June was an eventful and significant month for the twenty-three of us. It heralded the winter’s austral solstice. This marks the shortest day …

May – Winter begins

30 May, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary, May 2004 After the swift departure of April, we felt that winter would take hold in a brusque manner, but apart from the rapidly shortening days, the weather …

April – Fool!

30 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – April 2004 By Adam Thornhill It is amazing how fast a month can go! Especially down here in the Antarctic. April was meant to have been the …

Dans Birthday

28 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Birthday Boy By Dan Smale My 22nd birthday proved somewhat different to those that have passed before. I guess it was just coincidence but it did turn out to be …

Winter Trip

20 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Sledge Golf After a few days of pretty rough weather and a reasonable amount of snowfall, Dougal, my ever ready Field Assistant, and I finally made it up onto the …

The Shack returns

15 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

The Shack Returns. By Fin O’Sullivan. The beginning of the winter season was the departure of RRS Shackleton in mid March. This left the 23 winterers to get on with …

Golf Tournament

15 April, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Bransfield Open By Adam Thornhill Saturday evenings can get very repetitive with the same people, the same room and the same Bar. Not to say, we have any less fun …

March – Winter begins

30 March, 2004 by Julian Klepacki

Rothera Diary – March 2004 By Julian Klepacki Time had drawn upon us. It would be soon that RRS Ernest Shackleton would be leaving and isolate the remaining winterers until …

After the Shack

30 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

After the Shack written by Tim Burton After the ship had left and winter life had begun, the atmosphere considerably changed on base – more relaxed, informal, friendly and positive; …

Cyril the Chef

25 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Being here still By Cyril Millet Et voila, the summer has gone, time went well, so did life. A brand new episode is just about to start, the winter rise …

Fire Training

20 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Fire Training By Fin O’Sullivan As well as running a power station and sewage plant, all the winterers have to be the fire brigade, as there is no one coming …

Meet the team

15 March, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Winter Team 2004 By Fin O’Sullivan I thought that I wouldn’t go on about how nice it is that winter has arrived now and that the base is much more …


28 February, 2004 by BAS Bloggers

Feb The Laurence M Gould made her annual visit to Rothera this month. We are doing collaborative science with this USAP research vessel. Their LTER program ties in with our …

November – Newsletter

30 November, 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard

Rothera Newsletter November 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard November was a busy time at Rothera. Winter was well and truly over and people were arriving all the time. The weather was somewhat …

August – Sunrise

30 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – August 2003 written by Andrew Porte August has been a month of mixed emotions. As July ended and August started the base team was still trying to …

August – Snowblowing

28 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Blowing snow the Rothera way Written by Chris Jacobs and Iain Airth When clearing a gravel strip runway in the middle of winter it is not without problems. There is …

August – Night shift

15 August, 2003 by Isabelle Gerrard

Week on Night Shift written by Issy Gerrard At some point during the winter each base member will do a week on night shift. My turn came around in late …

August – Skiing

15 August, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Skinning Up? It had to happen after an absence of 18 years from skiing I had to give up, giving up. My previous experiences of skiing are not good, for …

June – Midwinter

30 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter The month of Midwinter had arrived. The three weeks prior to the big day, the sun completely vanished below the horizon and darkness reigned. But not …

June – Photo Comp.

30 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter Photo Competition Photo competitions at Rothera have been traditional, as shown by the number of winning photos that are proudly hung around the dining room. …

June – Presents

20 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter Presents On first hearing about the presents that winterers give to each other on Midwinter’s Day, I was full of dread. Why? Because they are …

June – Celebrations

15 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Midwinter’s Week Midwinter’s week for Rothera base started on the Midwinter’s day (Saturday 21st June). The day started with tea, coffee and toast delivered to those …

June – LIDAR

15 June, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

June 2003 – Midwinter Rothera Lidar Facility During the 2002/2003 summer season a new atmospheric research laboratory was installed at Rothera. This facility houses a single piece of equipment, the …

May – Winter Arrives

30 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

May at Rothera May brought the true onset of winter with colder wilder weather and darker days. Snow finally started to settle permanently round the base. Towards the end of …

May – Wildlife

30 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Wildlife in May A duty that is shared by all those on base is to record the local wildlife. This survey has been continuous for five years and is a …

May – Field Training

28 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

May Winter Field Training Trips Summary The winter training trips in May started with bad weather, poor contrast and blizzards once again, with two trips bogged down together just south …

May – Centurian Night

20 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Centurion Night! Birthdays are a good excuse for a party. The official line, of course, is that we are boosting base moral. So, when it was Adam’s birthday, the youngest …

May – Sun Visions

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Rothera Diary – May 2003 Sun Visions Sunsets in Antarctica are like no other that I have ever seen. This may be because the sunsets also happen to be part …

May – Plumbing

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Plumbing…. I’m supposed to be writing about plumbing. There is just one small problem that I can see right from the onset with me writing about plumbing, that being I …

May – Fondue Night

15 May, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Fondue Night Saturdays and Sundays are our days off and as a result Saturday night is always something special. At the very least we have a sit down dinner but …

Apr – Isolation

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Isolation Isolation was finally complete when the remaining two twin otters and the Dash 7 flew north on the 15th. The moment was captured by a farewell salute to the …

Apr – Diving

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Diving for Science Rothera Station Diary – April 2003 There was a crisp feeling to the air as it blew over my face. I could feel the start of an …

Apr – Sledge

30 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Manhauling Madness’ Preparations for this trip started almost two months prior to departure. One mistimed remark too many about the demonic nature of skidoos and a man-hauling trip was born. …

Apr – Winter

28 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Winter Begins. As I’m sure everyone connected to BAS is aware, winter here at Rothera started a little later than usual this year. April the 15th proved to be long …

Apr – Visit

20 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Visit by the Almirante Iriza On the 17th April, two days into winter, Rothera received a visit form the Argentinean icebreaker Almirante Iriza. Seventeen personnel came ashore in the Sea …

Apr – Training

15 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

April Winter Field Training Trips One of the best things about being posted down south is the Winter Field Training Trip. These superb trips offer the opportunity for base members …

Apr – Cooking

15 April, 2003 by BAS Bloggers

Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook So, what is the most important job on base? Well, some would argue that it is the science that we are here for and so the …

Rothera Diary July 2001

30 July, 2001 by Peter Milner

Rothera Diary – July 2001 written by Pete Milner The Sun Returns With our limited access to email facilities I try and write regularly to friends at home and strangely …

Modernisation milestones achieved in Antarctica

10 July, 2024

Construction teams have completed significant stages of the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme and joined the over-wintering staff for the first time as the 2023/24 summer season ended.  The improvements, led by BAM and technical advisors Ramboll will transform future science and operations at Rothera, the UK’s largest polar research station in Antarctica.

New connectivity for Antarctica

10 April, 2024

A new trial of Eutelsat OneWeb at British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station is providing new opportunities for science, and even live broadcasting. The low Earth orbit service was launched …

Antarctic Runway is upgraded to support UK hub for polar science

4 March, 2024

As part of the British Antarctic Survey’s Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), the runway at Rothera research station has successfully been resurfaced by construction company BAM and the design completed by Ramboll. The station is a major hub for international science in Antarctica, and this significant achievement is a pivotal moment for BAS and the UK’s future polar research capabilities.

Update on construction season in Antarctica

12 May, 2023

Modernising Antarctic Infrastructure for Future Generations of Polar Scientists Specialist construction teams are travelling home to the UK after five months of work in Antarctica to modernise British Antarctic Survey …

New season begins for Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation programme

2 December, 2022

The next phase of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation programme (AIMP) is set to begin with a 6-month construction season at Rothera Research Station. The station is the UK’s largest Antarctic research and operations hub that supports leading researchers in frontier science in the region. 

Celebrating Polar Pride Day 2022

18 November, 2022

Today (18 November) British Antarctic Survey (BAS) joins global celebrations to mark LGBTQIA+ STEM DAY and Polar Pride Day. Polar Pride is a celebration of the contribution of LGBTQIA+ people in polar research …

Antarctica drawing competition launches

2 November, 2022

The British Antarctic Survey and its partners are launching a drawing competition for schools, to inspire the next generation of polar engineers, scientists and explorers. School children between the ages …

BAS’ 2021-2022 field season has ended

27 May, 2022

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) field season has finished for another year.   RRS Sir David Attenborough departed Rothera Research Station for the final time earlier in May and is …

New aircraft investment supports polar science

21 April, 2022

On 17 March 2022, Professor Dame Jane Francis, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Nigel Bird, Director of Major Programmes at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Brian Love, Chief …

Job opportunities in Antarctica

9 March, 2022

Looking for a new challenge? British Antarctic Survey has launched its latest recruitment campaign for a wide range of jobs in Antarctica for the 2022/23 Antarctic season. Antarctica is the …

Opportunities for Antarctic research – Apply now

11 January, 2022

Applications to carry out small-scale research projects in the Antarctic in the 2022/23 season are invited from UK-based researchers. The Collaborative Antarctic Science Scheme (CASS) provides opportunities for scientists in …

Celebrating Christmas in Antarctica 2021

23 December, 2021

2021 has been a rollercoaster year for British Antarctic Survey, operating research stations in the Antarctic and the sub-Antarctic through the Covid-19 pandemic, while our new polar research vessel, the …

Antarctica experiences rare total solar eclipse

3 December, 2021

A rare total solar eclipse in Antarctica this weekend (Saturday 4 December) is giving researchers a unique opportunity to learn more about how solar eclipses affect space weather. The next …

Celebrating Polar Pride 2021

18 November, 2021

Today (18 November) British Antarctic Survey (BAS) joins global celebrations to mark LGBTQ+ STEM DAY and Polar Pride Day. Polar Pride is a celebration of the contribution of LGBTQ+ people …

UK takes vaccines to Antarctica

12 October, 2021

A consignment of AstraZeneca vaccines has been received by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Rothera Research Station in Antarctica – the furthest south any British Covid-19 vaccine has yet travelled. …

Celebrating Midwinter in Antarctica

21 June, 2021

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is celebrating Midwinter’s Day (Monday 21 June) as staff in three British Antarctic Territory Research Stations mark the shortest and darkest day of the year on the frozen continent. The tradition began in …

BAS field season underway

8 January, 2021

The BAS field season is underway. Since the RRS James Clark Ross departed the UK in November last year, it has safely delivered summer and wintering staff and essential cargo …

Festive Greetings from BAS!

18 December, 2020

Staff at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ships and research stations prepare to celebrate the festive season. It’s been a year like no other, with extraordinary arrangements made to keep facilities …

New building at Rothera breaks ground

30 January, 2020

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of Antarctica by the British naval officer Edward Bransfield on this date in 1820, a new building to facilitate the …

Ramboll re-awarded Technical Advisor role

16 January, 2020

Engineering, design and consultancy company Ramboll has been re-appointed as Technical Advisors for British Antarctic Survey (BAS), successfully winning the next phase of work in a series of projects to …

Festive Greetings from Antarctica

20 December, 2019

As you make the last preparations for the festive period, spare a thought for those who will be working away in Antarctica for British Antarctic Survey. Over 300 staff, scientists …

Antarctica: Getting Ready for RRS Sir David Attenborough

19 December, 2019

A major modernisation programme at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station begins its second ‘summer season’ this month with the arrival of a 60-plus person team from BAM. Construction …

First Antarctic construction season success

21 May, 2019

ANTARCTICA: At the onset of the Antarctic winter British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station bids farewell to 50 construction workers.  They have spent the last six months building the …

British Antarctic Survey seeks small passenger aircraft for Antarctica

18 December, 2018

British Antarctic Survey is seeking to purchase a small passenger aircraft to work alongside its de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Series 110 (Dash 7). The aircraft will transport science and support teams and cargo between Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula and Punta Arenas, Chile.

Practice makes perfect

26 September, 2018

The construction team responsible for building a new Antarctic wharf at Rothera Research Station  have been practicing full-scale assembly of the 30 tonne steel rigs in Southampton before deployment South. …

Fungi respire millennium-old carbon from Antarctic soil

30 May, 2018

Fungi in Antarctic soils release carbon that is more than a thousand years old, a team led by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has found. This discovery sheds light on how carbon is released into the atmosphere as polar regions warm.

Life in the slow lane

19 January, 2018

A new study from British Antarctic Survey shows how five common Antarctic marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone) use less energy to feed, grow and reproduce than their temperate and …

New footage shows crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf

21 February, 2017

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recently captured this video footage of a huge crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, on the Antarctic Peninsula. Currently a huge iceberg, roughly the size …

Construction partner announced

4 January, 2017

Construction expert BAM has been chosen to partner with British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to modernise UK Antarctic and other research facilities, enabling British scientists to continue delivering world class research …

New field season begins

29 November, 2016

As spring returns to the southern hemisphere British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has started another research season which will take them over land, sea and ice in search of answers to …

Medical evacuation successfully completed

20 June, 2016

The medical evacuation from the US South Pole station via British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station has been completed successfully. A Twin Otter arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile in the …

PRESS RELEASE: Cool Antarctic jobs

12 January, 2016

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is recruiting now. The smooth operation and maintenance of our research stations depends on skilled technical support teams. Check out our latest vacancies!

NEWS STORY: Polar Medal awards

8 January, 2016

Two British Antarctic Survey (BAS) personnel, and one former member of staff, have been awarded the Polar Medal. The announcement was made today (Fri. 8th Jan 2016) in the London …

NEWS STORY: Rothera participates in Live Earth 2015

12 November, 2015

British Antarctic Survey participates in Live Earth 2015 Rothera Research Station band ‘The Skadoos’ has written and performed a song called ‘Holding up the World’ which will be premiered online …

NEWS STORY: Christmas in Antarctica

19 December, 2014

British Antarctic Survey staff prepare to celebrate Christmas far away from home As you make the last preparations for the festive period, spare a thought for those who will be …

NEWS STORY: Commemorating Antarctica Day

1 December, 2014

Antarctica Day 2014: 55 years since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty Today, 1 December, is Antarctica Day and people across the globe are celebrating! The Day was inaugurated in …

NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica

20 June, 2014

Midwinter’s Day celebrations take place at Antarctic Research Stations Staff at the British Antarctic Survey are celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica. In a tradition which began in the days of …

NEWS STORY: Icebergs leave their mark

16 June, 2014

Climate related iceberg activity has massively altered life on the seabed Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have found evidence that climate change has fundamentally altered the way that life …

BLOG: Bird Island Station Leader

28 May, 2014

We caught up with Bird Island Research Station Leader Adam Bradley who was living and working on the island when the BBC crew came to film Deadly Pole to Pole. …

NEWS STORY: Pass the panda for Earth Hour

28 March, 2014

BAS staff support WWF’s Earth Hour with cuddly friend! This Saturday, 29 March, is WWF’s Earth Hour. Earth Hour aims to focus the world’s attention on the planet and the …

NEWS STORY: Glacier thinning at point of no return

14 January, 2014

Focus on Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica Pine Island Glacier, on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is the largest single contributor to sea-level rise in Antarctica.  The stability of the …

NEWS STORY: Greetings from Antarctica

24 December, 2013

Christmas messages from Antarctic staff Many British Antarctic Survey scientists and support staff will be spending this Christmas thousands of miles from home on the frozen continent. BAS has five …

NEWS STORY: Staff head into deep Antarctica

20 December, 2013

British Antarctic Survey field season is underway On the eve of the centenary year of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition the ship which bears his name is playing a crucial role …

NEWS STORY: More moss growing in Antarctica

29 August, 2013

Moss growth in Antarctica linked to climate change Increases in temperature on the Antarctic Peninsula during the latter part of the 20th century were accompanied by an acceleration in moss …

PRESS RELEASE Age and Antarctic clams

18 April, 2013

Age matters to Antarctic clams A new study of Antarctic clams reveals that age matters when it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change. The research provides new …

NEWS STORY: Dutch research lab opened

28 January, 2013

New Research Laboratory opened at Rothera Research Station A new scientific laboratory has been built at the UK Rothera Research Station in Antarctica as a result of an international collaboration …

NEWS STORY: Ocean sampling at Rothera

20 August, 2012

Ocean sampling: Rothera, Antarctic Peninsula: last but not least! Are the World’s oceans all the same, or are they different? OK at the most basic level, we all know that …

PRESS RELEASE: Shellfish and changing oceans

5 August, 2012

New study helps predict impact of ocean acidification on shellfish An international study to understand and predict the likely impact of ocean acidification on shellfish and other marine organisms living …

NEWS STORY: Antarctica celebrates Olympics

25 July, 2012

Rothera Station staff take part in ‘All the Bells’ to celebrate the Olympics Kitchen pots, glasses and a bedpan are just some of the items being used by staff at …

NEWS STORY: Antarctic band reform for one off gig

26 June, 2012

Nunatak reunion at the Sanday Soulka festival on the Orkney Islands Having performed at one of the world’s biggest concerts ‘Live Earth*’ on 7th July 2007, Nunatak** — the British …

NEWS STORY: Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica

20 June, 2012

Antarctica celebrating Midwinter’s Day A hundred years ago Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team celebrated Midwinter in Antarctica (known as Midsummer’s Day in the UK) — a tradition that …

New Laboratories arrive at Rothera Research Station

3 April, 2012

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 …

Christmas Campers

22 December, 2011

As you get stuck into your turkey on Christmas Day, spare a thought for scientists working in Antarctica for British Antarctic Survey, where Christmas is just another working day. Around …

PRESS RELEASE: Study of largest glacier

5 December, 2011

Scientist on BBC Frozen Planet investigates how world’s largest glacier is contributing to sea-level rise A team of scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is to survey the largest glacier …

Frozen Planet: Autumn arrives

15 November, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 16 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores autumn in the polar regions. As life cools down in the Antarctic, …

Frozen Planet: Summer in Antarctica

7 November, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 9 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores Summer in the Polar Regions. As life thrives in the Antarctic, viewers …

This week on Frozen Planet

31 October, 2011

This week on Frozen Planet (BBC1 Wednesday 2 November at 21.00, repeated Sunday at 16.10) the programme explores Spring in the Polar Regions and how life begins the race to …

Raising the flag to celebrate the return of the sun

4 August, 2011

Staff at British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station recently raised the Union flag to mark the first sighting of the sun again after several weeks of continual darkness. The sun …

Midwinter’s Day Celebrations

21 June, 2011

Staff at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) celebrate Midwinter’s Day today. Celebrated as the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, Midwinter’s day is the shortest and darkest day for the …

An International Feel to Antarctic Research

16 February, 2010

There is a distinctly cosmopolitan feel around British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station this month (February). Science teams from eight countries enjoyed Rothera’s hospitality as they passed through on their …

PRESS RELEASE: New jobs in Antarctica

12 February, 2009

Antarctic jobs offer opportunity of a lifetime Trades people looking for a career with a difference should check the national press this week. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) launches a recruitment …

Reuters news team visit Rothera Research Station

12 January, 2009

Reuters reporters Alister Doyle and Stuart McDill are visiting Rothera Research Station to file a series of special reports about the research there. Dr Pete Convey is one of the …

PRESS RELEASE: Mission to buried mountain range

13 October, 2008

Challenge to discover Antarctica”s hidden world Later this month teams of scientists, engineers, pilots and support staff from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), USA, Germany, Australia, China and Japan will join …

Scraping the bottom

12 March, 2008

Iceberg scouring is a major factor affecting the diversity and abundance of marine benthic communities in Antarctica’s highly dynamic ecosystem. Reporting in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series biologist Dr …

Antarctica – musical images from the frozen continent

27 September, 2005

Antarctic is a beautiful new DVD/Book that describes through music, sound, film, photography and literature, composer Craig Vear’s three month journey into the mysterious frozen world of Antarctica. Craig Vear …

Antarctic Tragedy

23 July, 2003

Press Statement – 23 July 2003 It is with the deepest sorrow that British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reports the death of a marine biologist at Rothera Research Station on the …

Southern Ocean Clouds

SOC is a project of the NERC CloudSense Programme The biases observed in climate models over the Southern Ocean in surface radiation and sea surface temperature are larger than anywhere …

Filchner Ice Shelf System, Antarctica

Understanding the contribution that polar ice sheets make to global sea-level rise is recognised internationally as urgent.  The mission of this five-year project is to capture new observations and data …

Future Air Capability

The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) will invest in a new aircraft and runway enhancements to provide an essential link between South America and the Falkland Islands to Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.

Impact of Plastic in the Polar Regions

An estimated 75% of all the litter in our oceans is plastic, and around 5 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean annually. Scientific observations of a significant concentration …

Meteorology and Ozone Monitoring

Long-term meteorological and ozone observations and data help determine the causes of climate change in the polar regions. Meteorology Meteorological observations are made regularly throughout the day at Halley and …

Monitoring climate change in action

Long term science We know that our world is changing due to human influence. But how is it changing? Some areas, such as the Antarctic Peninsula, are changing more rapidly …

Rothera Research Station Modernisation

Over the next decade Rothera Research Station will be upgraded to ensure its facilities keep the UK at the forefront of climate, biodiversity and ocean research.

Skua monitoring at Rothera

The small population of south polar skuas (up to 25 pairs) at Rothera Point has been studied since the late 1990s. The initial intention was to monitor possible impacts of …


The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) Sustainability Strategy comprises eight major sustainability themes.


Realising the benefits of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation programme.