Who are we ?

The southern Ocean Task Force

Coordinated by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Southern Ocean Task Force was set up to develop the Southern Ocean Action Plan.

The SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal (Biodiversity.aq) gathers a community of researchers, data custodians and developers from around the world which support the mobilisation, publication, retrieval and analysis of biodiversity data.

The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is a thematic organisation of the International Science Council (ISC) which is in charge of initiating, developing and coordinating high-quality international research in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region.

The Southern Ocean Observation System (SOOS) facilitates the collection and delivery of essential observations on dynamics and changes of Southern Ocean Systems.

The European Polar Board’s (EPB) work involves improving coordination in polar research at the European level by promoting knowledge and data sharing, enhancing infrastructure and technological capacity, and optimising joint initiatives between its Members.

Developed by SCAR, SCOR and IGPB, ICED is now a regional programme of SCOR and IMBeR, which fosters a coordinated circumpolar approach to better understand and integrate climate and ecosystem interactions, and to support conservation and sustainable management of resources.

The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) is a programme launched by the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. IODE’s mission is to make progress in marine research, exploitation and development.

As part of the International Science Council (ISC), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) aims to promote international cooperation in  conducting interdisciplinary oceanographic research.

The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) principally performs and promotes academically excellent multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research addressing important scientific and societal questions pertinent to the functioning of oceans and seas.

Clivar is one of the five core projects of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It aims to facilitate the observation, analysis, and predictability of the Earth’s climate system. Together with CliC and SCAR, Clivar also co-sponsors the Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP).

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) is a member organisation that advocates and promotes the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.

The World Wide Fund (WWF) is the world’s largest conservation organization. The WWF Antarctic Program works collaboratively with the science community, NGOs, industry and governments to co-design solutions to conserve Antarctic habitats and biodiversity.

The Pew Charitable Trust is an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization that has been committed for nearly a decade to finding science-based solutions for Southern Ocean management and protection.

Who is involved?

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

  • Eoghan Griffin is Executive Officer of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research since 2015. From 1994, Eoghan spent the next 15 years at University College London in the Atmospheric Physics Laboratory studying the polar upper atmosphere, first as a PhD student and then as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow until 2009. He then joined the Imperial College INSPIRE teacher training programme and became a qualified teacher in 2010 before joining SCAR as a Project Officer in September 2011.  In this role he has helped manage aspects of the Open Science Conferences, Climate Change communications and most recently the day-to-day finances at the Secretariat. 
  • Deneb Karentz is a professor of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of San Francisco. She is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology. Deneb has served as an associate program manager in the US National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, and is currently co-director of the US National Science Foundation International Training Program in Antarctic Biology, the US delegate to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), on the SCAR Executive Board as the Vice President for Science, and a science advisor to the US Delegation for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. 
  • Susie Grant is a marine biogeographer at the British Antarctic Survey. Her research is focused on supporting marine conservation and the sustainable use of marine resources, and she is the Chief Officer of the SCAR Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System (SC-ATS).

SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal (Biodiversity.aq, Regional node for OBIS)

  • Anton Van de Putte is a marine biologist that obtained a PhD working on the ecology and evolution of Antarctic fish. During his PhD he became passionate about Open data. He is currently based at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences and Free University of Brussels. He currently manages the SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity Portal, a regional node for the Ocean Biodiversity Information System. As the Belgian scientific representative to CCAMLR he is keen on translating open data and open science into ecosystem based management in the Southern Ocean. 
  • Annemie Rose Janssen is a marine ecologist with a Master’s Degree from the Catholic University of Louvain. Owing to her international experience both in research and international environmental policy, she has gained a hands-on view of conservation and now has a much more holistic outlook on current environmental issues across different parts of the world. She currently works at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences as a Science Officer for the UN Ocean Decade focussing on the Southern Ocean region.

Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS)

  • Mike Williams is Chief Scientist, Oceans at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand. He has a science background in physical oceanography, ocean acidification, climate change and ice-ocean interaction under Antarctica’s ice shelves and sea ice.  
  • Eileen Hofmann is a Professor in the Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA. Her Southern Ocean research focuses on physical-biological controls of food web productivity and the physical oceanography of continental shelves. She is Co-Chair of the Southern Ocean Observing System and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. 
  • Sian Henley is a marine biogeochemist based at the University of Edinburgh (UK), interested in changing biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem functioning in both polar ocean regions. Alongside her core research, Sian is Vice Chair of the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), a lecturer in marine science and an active driver of public engagement and science communication around climate and ocean change. 

European Polar Board (EPB)

  • Renuka Badhe currently serves as the Executive Secretary of the European Polar Board, based in the Netherlands. She was previously based at the SCAR Secretariat as their Executive Officer. Her educational background is both in biological oceanography and in economics and public policy. As a knowledge broker, she has long standing expertise working with projects at the interface of governance, science, and policy in the polar regions. Renuka has worked with a wide range of national, European and International organisations on various aspects of polar science, policy and/or strategy development for over 20 years. 
  • Joseph Nolan is the Policy Officer in the European Polar Board Secretariat. With a background in Geography, he has experience working with various initiatives focused on polar infrastructure and observations, and of broader coordination in polar research.
  • Pjotr Elshout is the Project Officer at the European Polar Board Secretariat. He has a background in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Governance and has gained experience working on several projects focussed on lowering environmental impacts of polar research and more general coordination activities in polar research.

Polar Data Discovery Enhancement Research (POLDER)

  • Pip Bricher is the data officer for the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), based in Hobart, Australia. In this role, she supports the SOOS Data Management Sub-Committee and leads the implementation of SOOS data products and services, in collaboration with colleagues around the globe. The SOOS vision is of a sustainable system of ocean observing that brings together researchers and data managers from many nations, scientific disciplines, and both polar and oceanographic programs. This cannot succeed unless the community develops and adopts best practices to make existing and new data more FAIR. Pip supports the SOOS Data MAnagement Sub-Committee, works with colleagues to develop SOOS’ data tools, and participates in several allied data management committees as part of her efforts to bridge divides between the different groups in the Southern Ocean and global research communities.

International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of IOC/UNESCO

  • Taco de Bruin is a physicist with a major in meteorology from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He is Scientific Data Manager at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, where he manages both oceanographic and polar data from national programmes of The Netherlands. Currently, he is co-chair of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) committee of IOC/UNESCO as well as a member of various data committees such as SCADM, SOOS-DMSC and ICES-DIG.

Scientific Committee for Oceanic Research (SCOR)

  • Patricia Miloslavich is the Executive Director of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and a retired professor from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela. Her background is marine biology and biological oceanography with a PhD in Oceanography from the University of Quebec at Rimouski. She was the International Project Officer of the Biology and Ecosystems Panel from the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) based initially at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and later at the University of Tasmania. Her role was to coordinate activities to implement global sustained observations of marine biodiversity and ecosystems to help mitigate or manage changes resulting from anthropogenic pressures. 

Integrated Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics of the Southern Ocean (ICED)

  • Eugene Murphy is the head of the Ecosystems Team of the British Antarctic Survey.  He is currently Chair of the Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED) programme and a Vice-Chair of the global Integrated Marine Biosphere (IMBeR) programme. The team he leads is developing analyses of the structure and functioning of Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean ecosystems to understand responses to variability and change and inform the development of conservation and fisheries management measures.
  • Eileen Hofmann is a Professor in the Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA. Her Southern Ocean research focuses on physical-biological controls of food web productivity and the physical oceanography of continental shelves. She is Co-Chair of the Southern Ocean Observing System and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. 
  • Rachel Cavanagh is a marine ecosystem scientist at the British Antarctic Survey. Her research is cross-disciplinary linking climate science and ecology to address the challenges in understanding and managing changing marine ecosystems. Rachel currently leads ICED’s Research Challenge on “Improving and achieving sustainable Southern Ocean governance.”
  • Nadine Johnston is a marine ecologist within the Ecosystems Team at the British Antarctic Survey. Her research is focused on understanding the impacts of past, present and future global change and fisheries on the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems of the Scotia Sea and circumpolar ocean in support of marine conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Nadine is also Programme Manager of the international multidisciplinary Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean (ICED).

The WMO/IOC-UNESCO/ISC World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

  • Mike Sparrow is Head of the World Climate Research Division, WMO & Head of the WCRP Secretariat. Mike’s responsibilities include polar issues, climate and oceans through the Climate Variability and Predictability project (CLIVAR), climate and cryosphere through the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) project as well as being responsible for the WCRP Grand Challenges on Sea Level, Melting Ice and Global consequences and Near Term (decadal) Climate Prediction. He has also represented WMO at Antarctic Treaty Meetings.

CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Region Panel (SORP)

  • Elisabeth Sikes is a paleoceanographer and professor of oceanography at Rutgers University.  She is a sea-going oceanographer and her research focuses on the role of the Southern Ocean in moderating climate change via the carbon cycle, sequestering CO2 and temperature change. She is the co-chair of SORP and sits on the UNOLS (University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System) Council for the US Scientific fleet.
  • Torge Martin is an oceanographer and research scientist at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel studying ocean-ice-atmosphere coupled feedbacks in climate variability on inter-annual to centennial time scales. His current research focuses on modelling  mesoscale ocean dynamics and their role in enhanced  ice-shelf melting and climate impacts of meltwater. He is also co-chair of SORP.

International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO)

  • Amanda Lynnes, Dir, Environment and Science Coordination, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). Amanda’s role is to support IAATO in meeting environmental obligations arising from its mission to promote the practice of safe, environmentally responsible travel and also through the Antarctic Treaty System. She represents IAATO at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting which IAATO attends as an Invited Expert. 

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

  • Taco de Bruin is a physicist with a major in meteorology from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. He is Scientific Data Manager at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, where he manages both oceanographic and polar data from national programmes of The Netherlands. Currently, he is co-chair of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) committee of IOC/UNESCO as well as a member of various data committees such as SCADM, SOOS-DMSC and ICES-DIG.
  • Marten Tacoma is an ecologist with a Master’s degree from Wageningen University. Since his graduation in 2013 he has been employed by the Royal NIOZ on Texel in the Netherlands as web developer, and database and GIS specialist. He started at the WaLTER (Wadden Sea Long Term Ecosystem Research) project, after which the focus of his work shifted to the polar regions as the National Polar Data Manager. Nowadays he works on many types of data from different regions and for various purposes. Marten is co-vice-chair of the IASC/SAON Arctic Data Committee. 

Pew Charitable Trusts

  • Nicole Bransome is a marine ecologist focused on achieving conservation outcomes for the ocean. She has worked with the Pew Charitable Trust’s Protecting Antarctica’s Southern Ocean program for over seven years to secure marine reserves and a krill ecosystem-based fisheries management system through CCAMLR.

World Wide Fund

  • Emily Grilly is a marine biologist with eight years experience in Southern Ocean science and conservation. Emily leads the global Antarctic Programme for World Wildlife Fund, working with an international team to achieve conservation outcomes in the Southern Ocean.
  • Rhona Kent is the polar oceans specialist with WWF UK. In partnership with the wider Polar team, both in the UK and internationally, she develops WWFs policy on polar ocean governance and conservation, including Southern and Arctic Ocean fisheries and marine protected areas.