The Spirit of Mawson - Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013 - 2014

Australasian Antarctic Expedition

AAE Science Team

Both Legs

  • Graeme Clark

    Legs One and Two - Marine Ecology
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Graeme is a marine biologist who specialises in plants and animals living on the seafloor. He is particularly interested in the processes that structure these diverse communities, and how they are threatened by a range of human activities. Graeme conducted his PhD in Antarctica, where he spent two summers diving under sea-ice to study future impacts of climate change on marine invertebrate communities. These unique animals constitute a large proportion of Antarctic coastal biodiversity, but seem to be highly sensitive to predicted climate change. Graeme is incredibly excited about the opportunity to conduct more Antarctic research on The Spirit of Mawson voyage.

  • Kerry-Jayne Wilson

    Leg One and Two - Ornithology
    Institution: The Blue Penguin Trust

    Kerry-Jayne Wilson is fascinated with the southern part of our world. She has worked on conservation and ecology of seabirds for 40 years with a special interest in petrels and penguins. Kerry-Jayne has written three books and over 70 other scientific publications. Climate change and oil exploitation pose new threats to seabirds. Importantly, birds are easier to count than other animals and changes in their numbers reflect changes in the marine ecosystem. This expedition will provide a unique opportunity to compare to data collected over the last century and establish a base line against which we can measure future change.

  • Eleanor Rainsley

    Legs One and Two - Palaeoclimatology
    Institution: University of Wollongong

    Eleanor is a palaeoclimatologist and glacial geomorphologist living in New South Wales, Australia. Eleanor’s research is focused on the climatically-sensitive polar regions, where her work aims to reconstruct the past extent and dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets over millennia.

    Her work helps us better understand the interactions between ice and the climate system, and is critical to help us to gain new insights into how our planet will behave given current rapid climate change. She has led and participated in numerous polar research programmes from Svalbard and Greenland in the high Arctic to the remote Ross Sea in Antarctica.

    She cannot wait for the opportunity of further scientific exploration that the Spirit of Mawson promises! Eleanor will be leading the geomorphology and glaciology apects of the programme.

Leg One

  • Emma Johnston

    Leg One - Marine Ecology
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Emma is an Australian Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales and inaugural Director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Emma investigates the ecology of human impacts in such diverse marine environments as Antarctica, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour. Emma is a commercially trained diver and publishes across many facets of marine science. She leads a large research group and she has won awards for her research, teaching and public communication of science. She regularly appears in the media and is a presenter for Foxtel’s new series Coast Australia. Emma will be leading the investigation of marine communities during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

  • Richard Jones

    Leg One - Lakes
    Institution: Exeter University, UK

    Richard is based in Geography at the University of Exeter and is a palaeolimnologist — using lake sediments to reconstruct past environmental change over the late Quaternary. His research interests are wide and varied and currently include the use of lake sediments to study past variation in the Asian and Indian Monsoon, the impact of rapid climate change in Holocene Australasia and the use of ancient DNA as a tool for palaeo-environmental reconstruction. On the expedition he will head up the lake sampling group on the subantarctic leg of the journey.

  • Matt McGlone

    Leg One - Past Climates and Environments
    Institution: Landcare Research, New Zealand

    Matt is a senior scientist at Landcare Research, Lincoln New Zealand. His research speciality is palaeoecology and climate change. He has led two expeditions to the New Zealand subantarctics to obtain cores from the deep peats that cover these islands. These peats contain unrivalled information about past vegetation and climatic changes spanning the end of the last glaciation to the present day. Results from these studies have already provided new and provocative insights into how the southern ocean and westerly winds have affected climates in the southern half of the world.

  • Jonathan Palmer

    Leg One - Dendrochronology
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Jonathan is a dendrochronologist interested in the development of palaeoclimate records from Australasia. His activities include not only the collection of tree-ring material from some remote locations but a significant portion of time is spent on local counterpart training in countries such as Myanmar, Indonesia and across the Himalayas. Another aspect of his research is the extension back in time of tree-ring chronologies using subfossil wood preserved in bogs located primarily in New Zealand. Often coupled with subfossil collections are sample preparations for radiocarbon dating and the development of the Southern Hemisphere radiocarbon calibration curve. Jonathan will be leading the tree ring dating across the subantarctics.

  • Sarah Richardson

    Leg One - Terrestrial Ecology
    Institution: Landcare Research, New Zealand

    Sarah is an enthusiastic terrestrial ecologist with a passion for understanding modern day vegetation responses to changing environments. Originally from the UK, she studied the responses by subarctic plants to global warming for her PhD before moving to New Zealand in 2000. Since then, Sarah has worked on a broad range of ecological issues, including the application of knowledge in conservation management. Sarah will lead the terrestrial ecology programme, concentrating on the structure and function of New Zealand’s southernmost tree lines, and their potential response to warming climates.

  • Janet Wilmshurst

    Leg One - Past Climates and Environments
    Institution: Landcare Research, New Zealand

    Janet is a passionate palaeoecologist based in the South Island of New Zealand. She has spent her career using fossils and sediment analyses to reconstruct past ecosystems, documenting how they have responded to both natural and human disturbance and climate change over the last 10,000 years. Of particular interest is the timing and impact of the recent initial human settlement on remote islands in the Pacific which has taken Janet to numerous far-flung bogs, swamps and caves. Janet will lead the peat coring programme, and hopes to find new evidence for early Polynesian discovery of the subantarctics.

Leg Two

  • Ben Maddison

    Leg Two - History
    Institution: University of Wollongong

    Ben’s lifelong passion for wild places has taken him to many of the planet’s most spectacular environments. Ben’s connection with nature in all its forms has been honed and shaped by his many trips to extreme environments through a 40 year romance with rockclimbing, mountains and the sea. He has pioneered rockclimbing in Tasmania, Victoria, the Blue Mountains (NSW), Greenland and North Wales. He worked for many years as a climbing guide and instructor in the Blue Mountains.

    Ben is an academic historian, currently employed at the University of Wollongong in Australia. His love of history began at high school in Sydney, and led to an MA in Social and Industrial history (1987), and a PhD in Australian history. His teaching profile includes polar history, with an emphasis on the contribution of working class people to Antarctic and Arctic history. An active researcher, he is published extensively in Australian and international historical journals. There will be a pre-publication launch of his forthcoming book Class and Colonialism in Antarctic exploration 1750-1920 (Pickering and Chatto, 2014) somewhere in the vicinity of Commonwealth Bay.

  • Ezequiel ‘Ziggy’ Marzinelli

    Leg Two - Marine Ecology
    Institution: University of New South Wales & Sydney Institute of Marine Science

    Ziggy is a marine ecologist who investigates interactions between micro- and macro-organisms in marine communities. He is particularly interested in understanding the impacts of climatic change and other human disturbances on the ecological interactions and processes that shape these communities. By combining large-scale surveys with field experiments, Ziggy’s research goal is to provide sound information for conservation and management of marine ecosystems. The Spirit of Mawson voyage will provide a unique opportunity to increase our understanding on how Antarctic marine communities are responding to environmental changes.

  • Andrew Peacock

    Leg Two - Expedition Medical Officer

    Andrew graduated from medical school with Honours from Flinders University of South Australia and lives in Queensland, Australia while working in emergency medicine and general practice. He has a passion for outdoor adventure and photography and enjoys nothing more than combining all these skill sets on an expedition and has a wide range of experience as the doctor for groups on remote journeys in the polar and mountain regions of the world including ascents of two 8000 meter peaks in the Himalaya. A paddler since childhood, Andrew has paddled Bass Strait, run the rapids of the Colorado River and sea kayaked among the icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula. He is an award winning photographer and his images can be seen at

  • Tracey Rogers

    Legs Two - Marine Mammals
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    The common thread of Tracey’s rather diverse research is the attempt to understand how mammals respond to change specifically the recent warming in the Antarctic? Tracey is interested in using multidisciplinary approaches to understand the ecology of mammals. Most of her work includes a little modelling, trialling new ideas with captive populations, applying these in field settings and comparative modelling. Tracey also uses a number of different techniques including stable isotope analysis, satellite telemetry, acoustics and comparative analysis. Tracey has worked in the Antarctic since the early 1990s and will be leading the project focussing on marine mammals on the expedition.

  • Annette Turney

    Leg Two - Education

    Annette is a teacher and educational researcher based in New South Wales, Australia.  Originally from the UK, Annette taught for a number of years before moving out to Australia.  Her great interest in exploring how we communicate led her to undertake a MEd Language and Literacy at University of Wollongong followed by an MSc in Educational Research focusing on multimedia education at University of Exeter, UK. Annette is passionate about getting students engaged in the world around them and developing critical thinking skills.  On the expedition Annette will be coordinating the development of educational materials for schools.

  • Erik van Sebille

    Leg Two - Oceanography
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Erik is a physical oceanographer and enthusiast of everything ocean. He is a lecturer at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and an Associate Investigator of the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. In 2013, he was awarded a Discovery Early Career Research Award by the Australian Research Council, allowing him to expand his research on the circulation in the Southern Ocean and around Australia. He is a Media Fellow of the Australian Government Climate Commission and speaks often in the media about oceanography and climate change. Erik will be leading the oceanography on the voyages to and from Antarctica on Leg 2.

Shore based

  • Andy Baker

    Shore based - Environmental Monitoring
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Andy has spent more than 20 years characterising organic carbon in a wide variety of environments, from caves to drinking water treatment works. In particular, he was one of the pioneers of the use of intrinsic organic matter fluorescence to measure river water quality. He is co-author of the forthcoming Cambridge University Press book ‘Aquatic Organic Matter Fluorescence’ and brings his expertise in in-situ and laboratory organic matter characterisation to the expedition.

  • Lionel Carter

    Shore based - Marine Geology
    Institution: University of Victoria, Wellington

    Lionel is Professor of Marine Geology at Victoria University of Wellington. A key research theme centres on deciphering marine geological records to determine recent and past changes in global climate and ocean. This research contributes to observational and numerical models that help predict environmental responses to the present phase of climate change. It is also applied to engineering issues, in particular to the protection of the subsea fibre-optic cable network – the back bone of international communications and the Internet – from climatic and geological hazards.

  • Nick Golledge

    Shore based - Ice Sheet Modelling
    Institution: University of Victoria, Wellington

    Nick is a Senior Research Fellow in the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His first trip to Antarctica involved fieldwork along the west coast of the Peninsula, but more recent expeditions have taken him to the Ross Sea region, primarily to study the behaviour of outlet glaciers in the Transantarctic Mountains. In addition to field-based research, Nick specializes in high-resolution numerical modelling of the Antarctic ice sheets, exploring their evolution under warmer and colder climates and attempting to better understand how sensitive they are to environmental change.

  • Alan Hogg

    Shore based - Radiocarbon Dating
    Institution: University of Waikato, New Zealand

    Alan is an Associate Professor and Director of the University of Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory. He is particularly interested in what past atmospheric radiocarbon (14C) levels can tell us about previous climates and global carbon reservoir changes. He is currently focusing on 14C in trees growing during the Younger Dryas Stadial (~12,500 years ago), characterised by rapidly changing high Northern latitude climatic conditions, in an effort to understand the mechanisms driving extreme and rapid climate change. Alan have also made significant contributions to developing the Southern Hemisphere 14C calibration curve (SHCal13), permitting calendar ages to be derived from radiocarbon. Alan will be advising on sampling and dating deposits during the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

  • Mark Pharaoh

    Shore based - Archives
    Institution: The South Australian Museum

    Mark’s involvement with the Douglas Mawson’s personal collection dates back to the mid 1990s at Adelaide University, culminating in the exhibition Unpacking the Explorer Scientist (1996), at the South Australian Museum. He also oversaw the establishment there of the In the Footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson permanent gallery (2001). More recently he curated Quest for the South Magnetic Pole (2009), which toured Australia. His research interests include George Hubert Wilkins and John Riddoch Rymill. The Museum’s collections comprise the Australian Polar Collection (APC) which Mark established in 2006 and manages from the Mawson Centre. Publications range from in-house booklets, to an award-winning CD-Rom, as well as papers on Mawson’s non-polar expedition diary. He was instrumental in the Adelie Blizzard – Mawson’s Main Base 1913 ‘forgotten newspaper’ – being published as a facsimile for the centenary. Mark will be advising the team on different aspects of the original Australian Antarctic Expedition, including providing insights from unpublished material.

  • Jonathan Pritchard

    Shore based - Expedition Coordinator
    Institution: University of New South Wale

    After crewing on yachts across the Indian Ocean and bicycling from Dublin to Ho Chi Minh City, Jonathan decided to abandon his IT career and concentrate on outdoor leading. He completed a TAFE Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation course, during which he excelled at expedition planning. When asked if he would like to join the AAE team as its coordinator, he jumped at the chance. Jonathan will be supporting the expedition from the comfort and warmth of his Sydney office, but will be with the AAE team in spirit.

  • Stephanie Waterman

    Shore based - Ocean Modelling
    Institution: University of New South Wales

    Stephanie is both a sea-going and arm-chair oceanographer interested in better understanding the fluid dynamics of the ocean circulation.  She is an ARC Fellow at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and an Associate Investigator of the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science. Her current research focuses on understanding how small scale motions (eddies, internal waves, and small-scale turbulence) influence the bigger pictures of how the Southern Ocean ‘works’ and what role it plays in the climate system.  Stephanie will be supporting the oceanography program from shore, and in particular leading a project designed to better understand the rate and mechanisms of stirring and mixing in the Southern Ocean jets.

  • Nerida Wilson

    Shore Based - Genetic Connectivity
    Institution: Scripps Institution of Oceanography / Western Australian Museum

    Nerida has been working to understand phylogeographic and phylogenetic patterns among Antarctic marine invertebrates for nearly the past decade. She has participated in 6 Antarctic deployments, but this time will be part of the AAE shore-based team. She will be joining the Western Australian Museum in January 2013. Her current Antarctic research focuses on untangling cryptic species complexes, sorting out messy taxonomic questions, and understanding out how (dis)connected populations of Antarctic invertebrates might be.