Research projects



See also Infrastructure Project Management Teams or Marine ecosystems

A group of people on a boat in the water.

A new polar research ship for Britain: project delivery

A new research platform to put UK scientists at the forefront of polar science


The ASCCC Project  has been funded by ACE (Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition) to investigate, quantify and understand the role of polar and subpolar seabeds in the carbon cycle, particularly in response …

Black-browed albatross with chick

Black-browed Albatross Juvenile Tracking

Until the last decade, South Georgia held the third largest population of black-browed albatrosses at any island group (Phillips et al. 2016) [4]. However, assuming trends at surveyed sites are …

Wandering albatrosses displaying

Bycatch risk of wandering albatrosses from radar detection

Wandering albatrosses are threatened by bycatch. Populations at South Georgia have declined catastrophically since the 1960s due to incidental mortality (bycatch) in fisheries (Pardo et al. 2017) [1]. This led …


Pushing forward our understanding of calcium production in the marine environment

Chinstrap Penguins

Chinstrap Penguin Tracking

The commercial fishery for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) operates in the southwest Atlantic, in particular along the west Antarctic Peninsula, and over the shelf breaks of the South Shetland Islands, …

Antarctic krill


CONSEC is addressing the challenge to understand the links between the biodiversity, structure and function of Southern Ocean ecosystems and the impacts of rapid environmental changes to improve scientific knowledge …

A close up of a box.

Continuous Plankton Recorder

Contemporary research has shown that the Southern Ocean is warming. Summer surface temperatures have risen by more than 1 degree Centigrade in the last 80 years and a strong upper-layer …

A close up of an animal


CUPIDO aims to address: what is the role of zooplankton in promoting the transport of plastic in the ocean?
and how this plastic transport interferes with zooplankton’s ability to store carbon in the deep ocean?

Data As Art

DATA AS ART is an ongoing science & art project in development at NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It visualises science data (in its widest definition), to create stunning and …

A close up of a snow covered mountain.

EC Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service

The Copernicus marine environment monitoring service provides regular and systematic reference information on the state of the physical oceans and regional seas. The observations and forecasts produced by the service …

A fish swimming under water

Evaluating climate change risks to Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish

This is a Darwin Plus  project, funded by Defra, and its activities are focussed in the UK Overseas Territory (OT) of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. The project …

A flock of seagulls are standing in a parking lot.

Gentoo Penguin Tracking

A fishery for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) operates over the shelf breaks of the South Orkney, South Shetland and South Georgia archipelagos [8]. Krill is an important food source for …

Grey-headed Albatross with chick

Grey-headed Albatross Juvenile Tracking

The grey-headed albatross is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of a decline since the 1970s of the largest global breeding population, which is …


The HEXPLORES project aims to explore for active hydrothermal vents in the Red Sea Rift. Although the Red Sea Rift hosts the world’s largest submarine metalliferous sulphide deposit, no active …

Grey-headed Albatross

Higher Predators – Bird Island – Albatrosses and giant petrel monitoring

Four species of albatross breed in large numbers on Bird Island: wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris), grey-headed albatross (T. chrysostoma) and light-mantled albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata). Although all …

Big mac

Higher Predators – Bird Island – Penguin monitoring

Two species of penguin breed on Bird Island: macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) and gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua). These species have contrasting breeding and foraging strategies and ranging behaviour. Gentoo penguins …

Flying wanderer

Higher Predators – Long-Term Science

The British Antarctic Survey carries out Long Term Science that measures changes in Antarctic ecosystems and seeks to understand the underlying drivers and processes. Marine predators are sensitive to changes …

Signy penguins

Higher Predators – Signy Island – Penguin monitoring

Three species of penguin breed on Signy Island: Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarcticus) and gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua). These species have contrasting breeding and foraging strategies and …

A whale in the sea.

Hungry Humpbacks

Whales are the largest krill predators in the UK Overseas territory of South Georgia, yet their impacts on krill stocks are poorly understood. Recently, whale surveys revealed high summer abundance …

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 …

A boat floating on top of a snow covered mountain


The Greenland Ice Sheet is decaying at an accelerating rate in response to climate change. Warm ocean waters moving through the fjords eventually meet the faces of marine-terminating glaciers, increasing …

Krill Hotspots

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) are a key component of the food chain throughout much of the Southern Ocean. These small, shrimp-like animals occur in dense swarms, but their distribution is …

A collection of small marine creatures

Larsen-C Benthos

On 12 July 2017, the Larsen-C Ice Shelf calved one of the largest iceberg originating from the Antarctic Peninsula ever recorded. As iceberg A68 moves north, it  leaves behind an …

A close up of small marine creatures

Modelling Movement of Antarctic Krill

The MMAK project is using state-of-the-art ocean-sea ice models to improve our understanding of processes that influence the distribution of krill in the South Orkney Islands region.

ozone measuring

National Capability for Global Challenges

Polar Expertise – Supporting Development


Oceanographic models for the Scotia Sea

Development of regional models to examine the detailed oceanography of island shelves and surrounding regions.



The main deliverable of the Western Core Box (WCB) is a consistent unique time series of mesoscale distribution and abundance of macro-zooplankton and micronekton, and an understanding of the physical …

Safeguarding Antarctic krill stocks for baleen whales

This Darwin Plus funded project aims to improve our understanding of how Antarctic krill, foraging whales and the krill fishery interact in space and time, to improve krill fishery management …

A close up of an animal.


The South Orkney Islands is a small archipelago located in the Southern Ocean, 375 miles north-east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The seafloor around the South Orkney Islands …

A close up of an animal.

SO-AntEco Biodiversity

In this collaboration with the Natural History Museum (NHM) and the University of Liverpool, we have developed novel methods for using existing data to contribute to marine conservation and fisheries …

A group of people on a boat in the rain.


The Southern Ocean Network of Acoustics (SONA) represents a group of scientific institutes and industrial partners who have united to measure an under-sampled component of the ecosystem – the mid-trophic …

A boat sitting on top of a mountain

South Georgia Pelagic Biodiversity

The South Georgia Pelagic Biodiversity project is a Darwin-funded project, led by BAS, and in partnership with the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) and the …

Wandering albatross in flight

Spatial Segregation of Seabirds at South Georgia

Seabirds are amongst the most globally threatened birds, often as a consequence of incidental mortality (bycatch) in fisheries [1] [2]. At South Georgia, wandering albatrosses have declined since the 1970s [3], and are listed …

Background pattern

The evolution and ecology of Antarctic sea floor communities

The evolution and ecology of Antarctic sea floor communities is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, led by Dr Rowan Whittle, looking at the past, present and future of life at …

The Heated Settlement Panels

How will life and biodiversity on Earth will respond to climate change? This information is particularly urgent for the waters along the Antarctic Peninsula, which are experiencing rapid regional climate …

white-chinned petrel

White-chinned Petrel Tracking

The white-chinned petrel is the most common bird species recorded as fisheries bycatch in the Southern Ocean [1]. Although currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, limited population trend data …

A large body of water with a mountain in the background

Winter Krill at South Georgia

The Winter Krill project is a Darwin Plus project, funded by Defra, and its activities are focussed on South Georgia (SG), which is part of the UK Overseas Territory (OT) …