BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1-3 March 2023

This time last week BIOPOLE community gathered for the Annual Science Meeting at Northumbria University in the lively city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Thank you to every single one of you who joined the meeting virtually or in-person!

A photo of BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting 2023 attendees, in person and virtual

The meeting lasted for three days and was full of exciting and interesting presentations delivered by project members, project partners, and stakeholders (the BIOPOLE community). Thank you all for taking the time and sharing your knowledge and invaluable expertise!

BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting in Newcastle was a success due to everyone’s involvement. The poster sessions, breakout groups, and plenary discussions were all very interesting and productive. Thanks also to the Programme Advisory Board for their important feedback.

A photo of BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting poster session

A photo of BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting poster session
A photo of BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting presentations
A photo of BIOPOLE Annual Science Meeting presentations

We are eager to implementing the suggested changes, actioning the feedback, and distributing outcomes of the breakout and plenary discussions, kindly collated by the rapporteurs, to the BIOPOLE community.

BIOPOLE is also very grateful to organisers who supported us in such a brilliant venue at Northumbria University!

We are looking forward to doing it all again around this time next year in Cambridge!

A photo of the Great Hall in Northumbria University

Potential collaborations to extend the spatial and temporal coverage of BIOPOLE into east and west Antarctic 

BIOPOLE recently held a meeting with a range of stakeholders (i.e., individuals or groups who may benefit from the outputs of BIOPOLE) to discuss potential collaborations that could extend the spatial and temporal coverage of BIOPOLE in the Southern Ocean beyond the Southwest Atlantic sector, providing mutually beneficial scientific outputs to all parties. These stakeholders included Antarctic researchers from a range of national research programmes (e.g., the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Germany, the Palmer Station Antarctica Long Term Ecological Research (Palmer Station Antarctica LTER), US, the Australian Antarctic Programme, Australia, the National Institute for Polar Research (NiPR), Japan, Instituto di Scienze Polari (ISP), Italy) and national and international initiatives (e.g., The Marine Observatory in the Ross Sea (MorSea), the Argo Network, the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey, and the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) programme) that carry out BIOPOLE-relevant research activities in the east Antarctic, the Ross, Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas, along the west Antarctic Peninsula, across the Scotia Sea, and into the Weddell Sea.  

Participants shared current and future plans of these programmes and initiatives, together with their research foci and spatio-temporal scope. With these in mind, we discussed a range of possibilities to increase opportunities for biological, physical and biogeochemical data collection in areas of interest to BIOPOLE aligned with future national Antarctic programmes (e.g., sharing of free berths with BIOPOLE researchers and/or opportunities for stakeholders to collect samples from marine cruises/expeditions and underway technologies, and provide data from glider and mooring programmes and marine mammal tagging studies), technologies associated with international initiatives (e.g., MORSea, Argo, and SOCCOM, including Argo and BIO-Argo floats, gliders, and mooring platforms equipped with a range of sensors), and data from long-term monitoring programmes (e.g., from Palmer Station Antarctica LTER, US Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR), the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and monitoring programmes conducted by the Germans, Norwegians and Koreans) and data stored in open access portals (e.g., the Southern Ocean Observing System, SOOS). To maximise the use of data collected in the field, everyone agreed the need for standardised sampling protocols (as per the BIOPOLE cookbook) and trial samples to calibrate equipment (e.g., to replicate BIOPOLE activities already underway for the Arctic). Recognising the cost of Southern Ocean research, BIOPOLE also extended help to these stakeholders in addressing data and analysis gaps (e.g., in collecting and sharing samples and data, or providing BIOPOLE expertise) and linking to relevant international programmes and initiatives. Given the uncertainty of Antarctic fieldwork plans and ship logistics (of both current and new vessels) and our shared research interests, we all agreed on the value of collaborating and sharing opportunities for sampling and berths as they arise. This will ultimately provide mutual benefit to both BIOPOLE and the activities of our stakeholders. We would also like to hear from other national operators and programmes who are interested in working with BIOPOLE to achieve these objectives. Please contact