Antarctic iceberg in the snow

Brno Scientists Depart For Antarctic Research Expedition

Despite the current situation, the Czech Antarctic Research Program will continue with field research. An eight-member team departs from Prague on Wednesday, December 16th to Chile, where they will quarantine before heading on to JG Mendel Station in Antarctica. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.  

Brno, Dec 16 [Updated 12:30 Dec 17] (BD) – This morning, an eight-member team of Czech scientists begin an expedition to the Antarctic. In early January, the team should arrive at the research station off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. The aim is to examine the long-term impact of climate change on the outskirts of Antarctica. 

The team will depart from Prague, and travel via Frankfurt, Madrid and Santiago de Chile to reach Punta Arenas, where they will quarantine for two weeks at a hotel. On condition of a negative PCR test, the team members will continue to the JG Mendel Station on James Ross Island.

The expedition will be led by climatologist and polar explorer Kamil Láska from the Department of Geography, at Masaryk University’s Faculty of Science. The doctor on the expedition is Daniela Murínová. The scientific and technical crew include geomorphologist and glaciologist Jan Kavan, microbiologist Pavel Švec and geomorphologist Jana Smolíková. Also joining the team is glaciologist Zbyněk Engel from Charles University in Prague. The operation of the station will be overseen by technicians from Czechoslovak Ocean Shipping, František Vorel and Tomáš Spáčil.

The team will collect data from about 20 weather stations in the vicinity of the base and return with the data and collected samples for further research. The team is expected to return in March. However, on their previous expedition this Spring, their return was delayed by a month due to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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