UK Polar Data Centre team

The UK Polar Data Centre (UK PDC) is the focal point for Arctic, Antarctic and cryospheric environmental data management in the UK. Part of the Natural Environmental Research Council’s (NERC) network of environmental data centres and based at the British Antarctic Survey, we coordinate the management of polar and cryospheric data from UK-funded research and support researchers in complying with national and international data legislation and policy.

Our skills and experience reflect the broad and multi-disciplinary nature of polar research that produces data from all the Earth’s spheres. We provide guidance on best practice throughout the data management life cycle from data planning to developing tools for data discovery and access. We also provide operational data services, supporting data capture and transfer systems on UK polar stations, ships and aircraft. BAS ships and aircraft undertake some scientific research outside of polar and other ice-covered regions, therefore we also hold data from other areas within the British Antarctic Survey’s operational footprint.

Our main goal is to ensure that environmental data collected in the polar and cryospheric regions are made available and accessible to all in order to fully realise their reuse potential. This aim is in accordance with the NERC data policy and, for the Antarctic, upholds Article III 1(c) of the Antarctic Treaty. Whilst making data open, we also work to ensure that the original data collectors are properly acknowledged when data are reused through the creation of dataset citations.

As a data centre based primarily on geographical extent rather than scientific discipline we work closely with data scientists at the other NERC data centres and cooperate in many of our data management activities. The UK PDC represents the UK internationally on polar data issues through the SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management and the IASC sponsored Arctic Data Committee.

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Timothy Barnes

Data Manager

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Paul Breen

Data Manager

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Katy Buckland

Scientific Data Coordinator

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Peter Kirsch

Data Manager

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Helen Peat

Head of Polar Data Centre

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Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley

Director of Innovations and Impact

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Alexander Tate

Senior Data and System Architect

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Petra Ten Hoopen

Marine Data Manager

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Mari Whitelaw

Scientific Data Manager (Biological Focus)

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Alysa Hulbert

Assistant Information Officer

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Louise Bacon

Biological Data Assistant

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Alice Fremand

Scientific Data Manager, Geophysics

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Claudia Havranek

Scientific Data Manager (Biological Focus)

Marine Geophysical Data Portal

An interactive web tool allowing users to search for and visualise marine geophysical data collected on UK research vessels in the polar regions.

Marine Metadata Project

The Marine Metadata Project aims to enhance the availability and accessibility of BAS marine data.


Atmospheric Data Access System

An online data access tool to discover, visualise and access atmospheric and space weather data holdings from the polar regions.


Herbarium Collection

A collection of dried plant specimens from the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and surrounding continents.


Geological Collection

Contains over 200,000 individual rock and fossil specimens collected from Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands and thousands of meters of sediment core from the surrounding seabed.

NEWS STORY: Sea ice minimum explained

18 September, 2014

Arctic sea ice summer minimum 2014: A scientific perspective The Arctic sea ice minimum marks the day – typically in September – when sea ice reaches its smallest extent at …


Survival in macaroni penguins and the relative importance of different drivers: individual traits, predation pressure and environmental variability

1 September, 2014 by Catharine Horswill, Helen Peat, Jaume Forcada, Michael Meredith, Mark Preston, Norman Ratcliffe, Phil Trathan

1. Understanding the demographic response of free-living animal populations to different drivers is the first step towards reliable prediction of population trends. 2. Penguins have exhibited dramatic declines in population…

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