skip to primary navigation skip to content

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.

Read more

Graduate study

Graduate study

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

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.

Viking partners with the Scott Polar Research Institute to advance scientific research into the Polar Regions

14th April, 2022

 

We pleased to announce the establishment of a new professorship to advance research in the field of polar environmental science, thanks to a generous endowment by Viking.

The Viking Polar Marine Geoscience Fund will endow the Viking Chair of Polar Marine Geoscience, the first fully funded professorship based at the Scott Polar Research Institute. This new post will enhance the scientific leadership at the Institute and enable the development of new lines of research into the past, present and likely future behaviour of polar ice sheets, sea ice and ocean circulation.

Shackleton's ship Endurance found

9th March, 2022

 

The wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance has been found 3000m deep on the floor of the Weddell Sea.

Ernest Shackleton's diary from the expedition is cared for by the Institute's archive, which is available to researchers working on the history of the polar regions.

In February, the BBC visited the Institute to make a film about the diary and some of our other Shackleton related collections, to mark the departure of the search expedition.

View all news

Twitter Instagram Facebook

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.

  • 19th May 2022:
    Arctic coastal communities and increasing shipping activities: local impacts and adaptive responses. Details…
    Polar Humanities and Social Sciences ECR Workshop
  • 26th May 2022:
    Heroic Networks: objects, museums and Antarctic explorers. Details…
    Polar Humanities and Social Sciences ECR Workshop