Science in the field

Opportunity Projects

The Platform is supporting a range of short-medium term research projects alongside our core long-term projects. These projects allow us to be responsive to changing research priorities and new opportunities, and to attract new talent and capability.

The Antarctic Science Platform’s Opportunities Fund aims to support researchers in taking advantage of unexpected, high priority opportunities, which are not supported by other means. Such opportunities could leverage an important capability, a substantial international effort, or contribute a unique and critical Aotearoa New Zealand perspective.

This contestable funding provides grants of up to NZ$100,000.

Applications for the Opportunities Fund have now closed. See below for a full list of funded projects.

Funded Projects

Environment Antz Powell photo

Seed Projects

A small contestable research funding round was run in 2019, with a focus on data analysis and the development of early career researchers.

Weddell Seal Photo Harry Seagar

The status and future of the Weddell seal in the Ross Sea

Weddell seals can tell us about the health of the Southern Ocean – how have Ross Sea populations been doing over the past ten years, and what environmental conditions cause instability in their populations?

Sea ice photo by Tim Haskell

Geophysical assessment of fast ice and sub-ice platelet layer in Terra Nova Bay

Platelet ice contributes to Antarctic fast ice volume and is an important biological habitat – what are the regional atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions driving its formation?

Hut Point Photo Blake Mc Davitt

Groundwater Flux into the Ross Sea: An invisible driver of change

Hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice lies a network of lakes and rivers – is this connected to the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area, and what does this mean for the surrounding ocean?

Ice wall

Linking oceanographic driven sediment flux to geologic records in Antarctic submarine canyons

Submarine canyons can serve as pathways for water, sediment and organic carbon transport to the deep ocean – what is the role of Antarctic submarine canyons in global ocean circulation and ecosystem functioning?

Ross Ice Shelf

A microbial perspective of the Ross Ice Shelf

Very little is known about the ecosystem under floating Antarctic ice shelves - what microbial processes occur in this permanently dark environment?

Ant image TO Alanna AB

Enhancing New Zealand’s Earth system modelling capability through ice-sheet coupling

The effect of melting polar ice sheets on our environment and ecosystems remains uncertain - can the coupling of ice sheet and climate models be improved to make more robust predictions for the future?

Fig 1 Dry Valleys landscape Charles Lee

Structuring five decades of Antarctic biogeographical records from scientific literature

Comprehensive databases of biogeographic information support research and conservation – what biogeographic data from across Antarctica is hidden as unstructured information in the scientific literature?

Antarctic sea ice in the Ross Sea. Photo: Lana Young/NIWA

Studying the impact of cyclones on Antarctic sea ice using a new brittle sea ice model

Sea ice plays an important role in global climate, ocean circulation and Antarctic ecosystem habitats - how do cyclones affect the behaviour of sea ice?