Marine Biology in Antarctica: Then and Now.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Marine life around Antarctica, dictated by its extreme climate, has always been a fascinating topic for biologists. In the 19th century, first documentations of the abundant marine life were revealed through the eyes of the first sealers. Those expeditions further contributed significant information on the diversity and distribution of Antarctic marine life (McClintock, Amsler et al. 2001). But despite several expeditions, Antarctica was regarded as a 'terra incognita' at the end of the 19th century. The beginning of the 20th century, however, brought a change with the departure of several scientific expeditions into Antarctic regions. While geographical exploration and magnetic studies were of major importance, biologists were eager to discover and study the marine life and its adaptations to the Antarctic climate (McClintock, Amsler et al. 2001; Lüdecke 2003). Until today, Antarctic marine biology has undergone major changes, but is still of major interests for marine biologists, due to its extreme environments and importance in the world's ocean cycles (Hempel 2007). Six expeditions (Table 1), leaving into Antarctic regions at the turn of the 19th century, were selected for this report and will be investigated for methods and research areas of marine biology. These methods will further be compared to and reviewed for their influence on modern studies in marine biology. A further aspect includes international collaboration of scientific studies during early expeditions and today.