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Welcome to Landscape Processes in Antarctic Ecosystems!


We are a South African National Research Foundation funded project and work in Dronning Maud Land of Antarctica. Our current home is the Department of Geography at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.


This page is about our research in the Antarctic where we deal with permafrost environments. These environments are an integral part of the terrestrial cryosphere and, therefore, ecosystem functioning. However, they are highly fragmented and poorly documented. The active-layer environments in the region are critical to understanding interactions between abiotic variables and biological distribution, as well as responses of the cryosphere to the rapidly changing climates in the Antarctic. A necessity, therefore, exists to improve knowledge of landscape processes, the processes that drive them, the landforms that result, and how the landscape impacts on patterns of biodiversity at a local and regional scales. Existing landform inventories, geomorphological process studies, and ground thermal monitoring are being conducted at a range of temporal (from seconds, to seasonal, to annual and decal) and spatial (from cm to regional) scales. Ground thermal monitoring, in particular, will enable us to determine the short and long-term responses of the permafrost and active-layer environments to climatic drivers and climate change. The findings from this study will provide information on the abiotic components of the terrestrial Antarctic ecosystem in western  and central Dronning Maud Land.

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