University of Cambridge > > British Antarctic Survey - Director's Choice > Life in the freezer: how do you mix biology and ice ages?

Life in the freezer: how do you mix biology and ice ages?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dan Jones.

Even today, terrestrial life in Antarctica is surprisingly poorly known in detail. It is clear that most currently ice-free ground in Antarctica would have been covered and scoured by glacial advances at the Last Glacial Maximum or previous maxima. However, as new baseline survey data have become available, in combination with modern molecular biological analysis, it has become clear that long-term persistence and regional isolation is a feature of the Antarctic terrestrial biota whose generality has not previously been appreciated. As well as creating a new paradigm in which to consider the evolution and adaptation of Antarctic terrestrial biota, this opens important new cross-disciplinary linkages in the fields of understanding the geological and glaciological history of the continent itself, and of the climatic and oceanographic process that can both lead to isolation and support colonisation processes. This new and more complex understanding of Antarctic biogeography also provides important practical challenges for management and conservation in the region, as required under the Antarctic Treaty System.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey - Director's Choice series.

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