Professor Peter Ryan, Biological Sciences, FitzPatrick Institute, UCT

This two-lecture course describes the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) which offered an opportunity to put the African sector of the Southern Ocean in a broader context. This was a novel public-private partnership in science funding. It attracted scientists from all over the world to work on twenty-two research projects while based on a Russian ice-breaker for ninety days. The cruise, which started and ended in Cape Town, called at an array of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic localities on its circumnavigation of the frozen continent. Participants will learn about the results of two research projects: one on the distribution and abundance of seabirds, with special focus on updating the global population estimate of wandering albatrosses, and one on the impacts of microplastics on Southern Ocean foodwebs.

The two lectures will take participants on a visually spectacular and sometimes humorous trip around Antarctica, giving insights into the vagaries of Antarctic science.



1. The sub-Antarctic isles

2. Antarctica and peri-Antarctic islands


Recommended reading

Ryan, P. 2006. Seabirds of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik.

Terauds, A., Cooper, J., Chown and Ryan, P. 2010.  Marion and Prince Edward: Africa’s southern islands. Stellenbosch, Bloemfontein, Gauteng: SUNMedia.


Date: Saturday 12 August
Time: 4.00–6.00 pm
COURSE FEES: Full R193,00;  Staff R95,00;  Reduced R50,00