Umthombo 2 - Page 13



was one of only a handful of institutions
approached to participate in the Weddell
Sea Expedition 2019. This almost unprecedented scientific
expedition – a joint venture between organisations in the
United Kingdom, the Netherlands, South Africa and New
Zealand – hopes to survey the underside of the Larsen C
Ice Shelf, document the marine wildlife of the Weddell Sea
ecosystem and find the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship
Endurance, which sank there in 1915.
The scientists who make up the expedition will travel to
the Weddell Sea at the edge of Antarctica aboard the South
African vessel R/V SA Agulhas II during January and February
2019. Among the glaciologists, marine biogeochemists and
archaeologists will be UCT oceanographers Dr Sarah Fawcett,
who lectures in oceanography, and Dr Katherine Hutchinson,
who recently completed her PhD.
“This will give us an unprecedented opportunity to
investigate and explore one of the most remote and leaststudied places on our planet,” says Associate Professor
Isabelle Ansorge, head of the Department of Oceanography.
According to former head of the UCT oceanography
department, Emeritus Professor Geoff Brundrit, UCT’s
involvement with the Weddell Sea Expedition recognises its
long and growing expertise in the Southern Ocean.
“UCT scientists have made a significant contribution
to research in this area, both in the knowledge of
the important processes at work in the Southern
Ocean and for advancing understanding
of their implications for global
climate change.”
PHOTOGRAPH: DANIEL SCHILPEROORT
UCT
umt ho mb o
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