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Welcome to SPRI

SPRI's mission is to enhance the understanding of the polar regions through scholarly research and publication, educating new generations of polar researchers, caring for and making accessible its collections, and projecting the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community.


Research at SPRI

Research at SPRI

We investigate a range of issues in the environmental sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities of relevance to the Arctic and Antarctica.

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Graduate study

Graduate study

SPRI has a friendly community of postgraduate students, working for the PhD degree or the MPhil in Polar Studies.

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The Polar Museum

The Polar Museum

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a unique collection illustrating polar exploration, history and science. Find out how past discoveries in the Arctic and Antarctic help today's scientists to investigate our changing environment.

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Staff and students

Staff and students

SPRI's staff publish regularly in a range of leading journals, and attract research funding from a wide variety of sources.

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Library

Library

The Library offers a collection with over 700 current journals and over 250,000 printed works covering all subjects relating to the Arctic, the Antarctic, and to ice and snow wherever found.

Library catalogue

Gareth Rees's work in Arctic featured in Financial Times

11th September, 2022

 

The work of Gareth Rees and others studying the Boreal forest biome has been featured in an article in the Financial Times.

The article explores how climate change is affecting the forest around the Arctic circle, with a particular focus on Russia. There is some commentary on the role of diplomacy and conflict in enabling or preventing vital research, which impact on understandings of environmental change that affect the entire globe.

Premdeep Gill elected to RGS Council

12th July, 2022

 

PhD student, Prem Gill, has been elected by members of the Royal Geographical Society to the Council of the RGS as the Expedition and Fieldwork Councillor for the next three years.

The Council is responsible for the Society's governance and Prem joins a group of 21 elected members. As the Expedition and Fieldwork Councillor, Prem will lead the Expeditions and Fieldwork Committee, using his specific expertise to help guide members and Society staff.

Prem Gill is currently a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr Gareth Rees, leading the "Seals from Space: the study of Antarctic pack-ice seals by remote sensing" priority project with the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Sea ice can control Antarctic ice sheet stability, new SPRI research finds

17th May, 2022

 

SPRI researchers have used over 40 years of satellite observations and ocean and atmosphere records to show that abrupt changes in offshore sea ice cover can either safeguard from, or set in motion, the final rifting and calving of icebergs from even large Antarctic ice shelves.

The research, led by Dr. Frazer Christie, has been published as an article in the journal Nature Geoscience.

This research was supported in part by the Flotilla Foundation, Marine Archaeology Consultants Switzerland, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

Professor Philip Gibbard awarded the Merit Medal by the German Quaternary Association (Deuqua)

25th April, 2022

 

Emeritus Professor Philip Gibbard has been awarded the Verdienstmedaille (Merit Medal) by the German Quaternary Association (Deuqua). The medal is awarded biennially as a special honour for outstanding scientific achievements in Quaternary research.

Ancient subglacial water paths revealed around Antarctica

19th April, 2022

 

A new paper involving colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey, Neil Arnold and Julian Dowdeswell at SPRI, and other international colleagues, has been selected as an Editor's Highlight by the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface.

The paper analyses the results of new observations in the Marguerite Trough area, Antarctic Peninsula, using a combination of echosounders, remotely operated vehicles and sediment coring. The data show a complex network of channels formed as the Antarctic Ice Sheet was retreating from its peak extent at the last glacial maximum tens of thousands of years ago, including potholes and small, branching channels on the floors of the larger channels formed by erosion by highly turbulent water flow. A hydrological model developed at SPRI shows that such water flow was associated with floods from subglacial lakes that happened every few tens to hundreds of years.

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SPRI Centenary

SPRI Centenary

Our Centenary Campaign aims to build the endowment funds of the Institute to support new academic posts, to enhance our ability to undertake polar fieldwork, to secure the future of our Museum and Archive activities, and to train the next generation of polar researchers.

There are no seminars scheduled at present, but you can view the archive of previous seminars.