SCIENCE EXPEDITIONS

Our research vessel Australis provides a flexible, relatively low-cost research platform and logistical support to National Antarctic Programs, Institutions, Laboratories and other peer-reviewed projects. Each year for nearly two decades, our science-support capability has grown and is now a significant part of our operations. Here are some of the projects to receive our support:

Australian Antarctic Division

For more than a decade we’ve played an integral role supporting the pioneering research into seabird mortality by Dr Graham Robertson, seabird ecologist with the Australian Antarctic Division. As a result of this work, Graham has recently been awarded a prestigious Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship. Congratulations Graham!

View project details at: AAD Research

Malaysian Antarctic Research Program

When the Malaysian Antarctic Research Program was looking for cost-effective logistical support for their inaugural dedicated Antarctic research cruise, they chose Ocean Expeditions. The main research focus was to determine the effect that Antarctic climate change has on the lives and economies of those living in the tropics. The projects didn’t require the support of icebreakers or other large vessels and the results have the Malaysian team keen to return next season.

View project details at: UTM Antarctic Research

Leopard Seal Acoustics

Ocean Expeditions supported the acoustic work of Marlee Tucker from the Rogers lab UNSW to calculate density of seals present on the antarctic peninsula.

View project details at: Marleetucker – fieldwork

  • List of scientific papers

    This is a list of scientific papers that have been published as a result of science done onboard one of our vessels:

    • Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir, Matthew Ashfold, Mhd Firoz Khan, Andrew D. Robinson, Conor Bolas, Mohd Talib Latif, Ben M. Wallis, Haris hasrizal, ZamZam Tuah, Goh Thian Lai, Juneng Liew, Fatimah Ahamad, Royston Uning, Azizan Abu Samah, Iq Mead and Neil R. P Harris. The temporal and spatial distribution of surface ozone in the marine boundary layer during Malaysian Antarctic Scientific Expedition Cruise’16 (MASEC’16).
    • Raimilla, V., Suazo, C. G., Robertson, G., & Rau, J. R. (2014). Observations suggesting cooperative breeding by Striated Caracaras (Phalcoboenus australis). Journal of Raptor Research, 48(2), 189-191.
    • Robertson, Graham, Carlos Moreno, Javier A. Arata, Steven G. Candy, Kieran Lawton, Jose Valencia, Barbara Wienecke, Roger Kirkwood, Phil Taylor, and Cristián G. Suazo. “Black-browed albatross numbers in Chile increase in response to reduced mortality in fisheries.” Biological Conservation 169 (2014): 319-333.
    • Acevedo, J., Haro, D., Dalla Rosa, L., Aguayo-Lobo, A., Hucke-Gaete, R., Secchi, E., … & Pastene, L. A. (2013). Evidence of spatial structuring of eastern South Pacific humpback whale feeding grounds. Endangered Species Research, 22(1), 33-38.
    • Raimilla, V. (2012). Primer registro documentado del Salteador Pardo Stercorarius Antarticus (Lesson, 1831)(Stercorariidae) para las costas del Pacífico desde el Archipiélago Diego Ramírez, Sur de Chile. In Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia (Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 151-154). Universidad de Magallanes.
    • Acevedo, J., O’Grady, M., & Wallis, B. (2012). Avistamiento de la ballena común en el Pacífico Sur Oriental Subtropical:¿ Una potencial área de reproducción?. Revista de biología marina y oceanografía, 47(3), 559-563.
    • Aguayo-Lobo, Anelio, Jorge Acevedo R, José Luis Brito, Paola Acuña G, Manuela Bassoi, Eduardo R Secchi, and Luciano Dalla Rosa. “”Presence of the leopard seal, Hydrurga leptonyx (de Blaincille, 1820), on the coast of Chile: an example of the Antarctica-south America connection in the marine enviroment.” Oecologia Australis 15, no. 1 (2011): 69-85.
    • Acevedo, J., Matus, R., Droguett, D., Vila, A., Aguayo-Lobo, A., & Torres, D. (2011). Vagrant Antarctic fur seals, Arctocephalus gazella, in southern Chile. Polar Biology, 34(6), 939-943.
    • Acevedo, J., Olavarría, C., Plana, J., Aguayo-Lobo, A., Larrea, A., & Pastene, L. A. (2011). Occurrence of dwarf minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata subsp.) around the Antarctic Peninsula. Polar biology, 34(2), 313-318.
    • Kirkwood, R., Lawton, K., Moreno, C., Valencia, J., Schlatter, R., & Robertson, G. (2007). Estimates of southern rockhopper and macaroni penguin numbers at the Ildefonso and Diego Ramírez Archipelagos, Chile, using quadrat and distance-sampling techniques. Waterbirds, 30(2), 259-267.
    • Robertson, G., Moreno, C. A., Lawton, K., Kirkwood, R., & Valencia, J. (2008). Comparison of census methods for black-browed albatrosses breeding at the Ildefonso Archipelago, Chile. Polar Biology, 31(2), 153-162.
    • Robertson, G., Moreno, C. A., Lawton, K., Arata, J., Valencia, J., & Kirkwood, R. (2007). An estimate of the population sizes of Black-browed (Thalassarche melanophrys) and Grey-headed (T. chrysostoma) Albatrosses breeding in the Diego Ramírez Archipelago, Chile. Emu, 107(3), 239-244.
    • Lawton, K., Robertson, G., Kirkwood, R., Valencia, J., Schlatter, R., & Smith, D. (2006). An estimate of population sizes of burrowing seabirds at the Diego Ramirez archipelago, Chile, using distance sampling and burrow-scoping. Polar Biology, 29(3), 229-238.
    • Lawton, K., Robertson, G., Valencia, J., Wienecke, B., & Kirkwood, R. (2003). The status of Black‐browed Albatrosses Thalassarche melanophrys at Diego de Almagro Island, Chile. Ibis, 145(3), 502-505.
27

Scientific papers written as a result of data collected onboard

126

Citations since 2003

18

Institutions and laboratories supported

4

National Antarctic Programs supported

R/V ‘Australis’ – Scientific Installations

Instruments:CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) profiler + options
Rosette Sampler / Niskin Water Sampler
Acoustic release
Labs:Wet lab / Dry lab / Computer lab (Please request in advance)
Cold storage capabilities:Freezer 390 Lt at −18 °C
Refrigerator largest 450 Lt at 4 °C
Water supplyDesalinated water
Forecasting:Wind speed and direction
Air temperature
Barometric pressure
Relative humidity
Precipitation
Cloud cover
Snow fall
Sea surface temperature
Sea state
Swell direction height & whitecap probability
Weather imagery:NOAA satellite live weather imagery receiving capability world over.
Accurate coastline overlay on all pictures.
Thermal readout/image colouring.
Integrated Ocean depth 2 nml intervals & land elevation display.
Overlay of wind information.
Ice imagery:ENVISAT satellite real time ice extent imagery
Mapping ice sheet characteristics and dynamics.
Mapping sea ice distribution and dynamics.
Spatial resolution of 150m
Accurate coastline overlay overlay on all pictures.
100km swath.
GIS enabled (GPS overlay for vessel to navigate on directly.
Cartography:Customised topographic cartography for specific Mountaineering or scientific expedition needs.
SWATH imageryCustomised satellite SWATH to order on location & real time satellite imagery

R/V ‘Australis’ – Hydrographic Installations

Winch:Max line pull: 680 Kg
Max line speed: 118 mt/min
Motor: Hydraulic 15″ Cuin 104-1434 Char-Lynn
Discs: 355 mm Stainless Steel Splitter: Bronze
(Please request in advance)
Rope:600 M x 8 mm Dyneema double braid (SWL) 2800 kg
Sidescan Sonar:Beam width 95 M
Depth 30 M
2D & 3D bathymetric mapping
Real time display & recording
DualBeam Eco sounder:Depth 450 M
Frequency 200/83/455 kHz
2D & 3D bathymetric mapping
Real time display & recording
SingleBeam Eco sounder:Commercial Furuno Ecosounder FCV-295
Commercial Furuno Transducer 200/50 kHz
2D & 3D bathymetric mapping
Real time display & recording
A-frame:Stern and side (Please request in advance)
Wet lab / dry lab:Stainless steel tray 2M x 600mm x 35mm (Please request in advance)
Bottom, Sediment, Benthic Grab sampler – Van Veen GrabSample volume: 5 Lt (Please request in advance)
Sample area: 150mm x 290mm
Material: Stainless steel
Weight: 20kg

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