Cape Evans. Photo by Anthony Powell

A GPS sea-ice tracker placed on McMurdo Sound land-fast sea ice. The tracker sends information on its position via Iridium satellite, allowing the break-out of sea ice this summer to be followed in real time. Photo: Inga Smith.

New leaders to shape Antarctic Science Platform’s future

29 January 2024

The Antarctic Science Platform is delighted to announce two new senior appointments to our team. Together, this pair will lead the Platform’s future strategic direction and develop a second 7-year research programme.

Welcome to Prof Jenny Webster-Brown, Steering Group Deputy Chair

We warmly welcome Jenny Webster-Brown to the role of Steering Group Deputy Chair. Jenny will provide governance leadership as the Platform transitions to the next phase of research, which begins on 1 July 2025. Jenny’s career as a water quality scientist spans nearly 40 years, encompassing research, teaching and consultancy, as well as directorate experience. Her career also includes over 35 years of Antarctic research.

Steering Group Chair Gillian Wratt says the Platform began exploring the transition process in early 2023, in preparation for a further phase of funding to continue research into Antarctica’s impact on the global earth system and New Zealand in a warming world.

“Our goal is to maintain momentum. We need to ensure the best Antarctic science continues to be done.

“Jenny brings diverse leadership experience and a fresh perspective to our Antarctic community, which will be invaluable as we consider future priorities.”

Welcome to Dr. Natalie Robinson, Deputy Platform Director

We also warmly welcome Natalie Robinson to the role of Deputy Platform Director. Natalie’s role is to take a hands-on approach to the transition, leading stakeholder consultation and co-design of the Platform Plan for 2025-2032 - a high-level outline of our strategic direction and future research.

Platform Director Nancy Bertler says Natalie, a marine physicist, is a passionate advocate of Antarctic science,

“She brings a strong track record in research, fieldwork and science communication to our team.

“Her experience and vision will ensure the next phase of the Platform is positioned to address pressing and rapidly-evolving questions about changes we are seeing in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and the global and local consequences of those changes.”

The Deputy Chair and Deputy Platform Director will work within, and be supported by, the current Steering Group and Platform Leadership Team.

Stakeholder consultation and co-design of the Platform Plan is expected to start in March 2024. To be kept informed of upcoming workshops/hui that will shape the plan, please request to be added to our emailing list by contacting