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Research Programs

The currently funded research programs under SANAP are listed here. Follow the links for information on the various programs. A comprehensive list of past and present SANAP/NARF funded projects and programs can be found on the NRF website. Navigate to ‘NRF Funded Research Projects’ and search on ‘South African National Antarctic Program’. You can also visit the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa (ALSA) and their comprehensive list of SANAP-NRF funded projects.

The list below is incomplete and will be updated as we collect all the relevant information.

TraceEx – Southern Ocean Trace Metal & Marine Biogeochemistry

Research Field:

Marine Biogeochemistry
Research Focus: Studying macro-nutrient (e.g., N, P, Si) and trace metal cycling in the modern ocean (e.g., Fe, Mg, Zn, Cd, Co, Cu), interactions with biological organisms (especially with microbes and algae), and impact of atmospheric deposition (dust).
Location: Southern Ocean; Antarctica
Website: TraceEx
Facebook Page:


Principal Investigators & Institution: Susanne Fietz & Alakendra N Roychoudhury from Stellenbosch University
How to Get in Touch: Via the Website or e-mail Susanne Fietz at sfietz@sun.ac.za

     Antarctic Legacy of South Africa

Research Field: Humanities & history
Research Focus: Collecting and archiving the South African history in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, managing the historical record of maps, journals, logbooks, newspaper articles, artworks, out-of-print South African research articles, unpublished papers residing in governmental archives, departments and museum
Location: Antarctica, sub-Antarctic & South Africa
Website: ALSA

     Gondwana Amalgamation and Correlation (GAACRP)

Research Field: Earth sciences
Research Focus: Investigating the amalgamation and fragmentation of Gondwana at ~550 Ma and ~180 Ma, respectively, as well as correlation between crustal blocks in a reconstituted Gondwana, involving southern Africa, Antarctica and Sri Lanka
Location: Antarctica
Website:  GAACRP

     Landscape Processes in Antarctic Ecosystems

Research Field: Earth sciences
Research Focus: Periglacial geomorphology, biotic-abiotic interactions, ground thermal dynamics, climate change, human impacts on cold-climate systems
Location: Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
Facebook Page: LPiAE

     Marion Island Marine Mammal Program

Research Field: Pinniped research
Research Focus: Investigating the response of the southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina, sub-Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis, Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella and killer whales Orcinus orca to environmental change in the region of Marion Island
Location: Prince Edward Islands, sub-Antarctic
Facebook Page: Marion Seals

     Microbial Ecology in Antarctic Ecosystems

Research Field: Biochemistry & microbiology
Research Focus: Obtaining a better understanding of the populations of cold adapted microorganisms in Antarctic soils, to investigate the impact of introduced microorganisms on the natural populations and compare findings to that from pristine sites on the continent where little human activity occurs
Location: Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
Facebook Page: Antarctic Microbial Ecology

     Neutron Monitor Program

Research Field: Atmospheric sciences
Research Focus: To intercalibrate the worldwide neutron monitor network, in order to use the data for spectral studies, and to design and built mobile calibration neutron monitors
Location: Antarctica
Website: Centre for Space Research

     Sub-Antarctic Landscape Climate interactions

Research Field: Earth sciences
Research Focus: Landscape and climate interactions in a sub-Antarctic setting
Location: Prince Edward Islands, sub-Antarctic
Facebook Page: Sub-Antarctic Landscape Climate interactions

     Vibration responses of the SA Agulhas II Polar Supply and Research Vessel

Research Field: Engineering
Research Focus: Investigating human responses to slamming, shaft-line vibration measurements, operational modal analysis of vessel structure as a function of operational profile, investigating global ice loads through measurement of the ship’s rigid body motion, ice-induced load measurements with the strain gauges mounted on the ship hull, and ice thickness measurements with a stereo camera system and EM device and visual observations from the ice conditions
Location: S.A. Agulhas II, Southern Ocean
Website: Sound & Vibration Research Group (SVRG)
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