Principal Investigator

Professor Ian Meiklejohn


Participation: Principal Investigator (active since project inception)

Place of Birth: South Africa

Nationality: South Africa

Research Interests: deterioration of indigenous rock art, Antarctic and sub-Antarctic geomorphology, climatology, environment change, applications of GIS and remote sensing


As a young boy Ian grew up in the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa, and discovered that a distant relative was Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who was a privateer on Robert Scott’s fatal expedition and author of the Antarctic classic “The Worst Journey in the World”. A passion for Mountains and the Antarctic was a logical outcome. Ian F Meiklejohn in John Rymill’s British Graham Land expedition had the Meiklejohn Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula named after him. It is not clear if he is a relative, but the coincidence makes a great story. So with the scene set, his Professor and later friend and colleague, Kevin Hall at University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa was working in the Maritime Antarctic. He was amazingly fortunate to realise a childhood dream and take part in the British Antarctic Survey Mars Glacier Party in 1992/3 with Kevin; their contribution was recognised in the naming of Natal Ridge on Alexander Island. After entering Academe, Ian’s involvement in Antarctic research started with projects on Sub-Antarctic Marion Island, which were later extended to Western Dronning Maud Land through the South African National Antarctic Programme. The immense scale of landscapes and icescapes, indescribable beauty, and silence of Antarctica are his addiction. He has also been fortunate to work in the Swedish Arctic through an association with colleague Jan Boelhouwers at Uppsala University. The Antarctic and Arctic are our global early-warning systems and the interactions of Geomorphology with the climate and biota are his fascination. Many of the answers to the vexing questions around global environmental change are most likely to be found in the Polar Regions. A thrill is passing on his love of the continent to the next generation of scientists and he has been fortunate to be part of several students fulfilling their Antarctic dreams. Ian’s only regret is that his wife and children are not able to experience Antarctica with him.

Academic History:

1991 – 1994: University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – PhD (Aspects of the weathering of the Clarens formation in the KwaZulu/Natal Drakensberg: implications for the preservation of indigenous rock art)

1985: University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – BScHons (Geography)

1984: University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – HDE

1981 – 1983: University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) – BSc (Geography & Chemistry)


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