UOW visiting fellow and Australian Antarctic Division researcher Dr Dana Bergstrom. Photo by Patti Virtue

Allan Sefton Memorial Lecture examines the value of Antarctic research

Allan Sefton Memorial Lecture examines the value of Antarctic research

Professor Dana Bergstrom to explore impact of scientific research

Professor Dana Bergstrom will present the annual Allan Sefton Memorial Lecture on Friday, posing the thought-provoking question, 'Is Antarctic science worth the carbon miles?' 

The Allan Sefton Memorial Lecture is held annually and is named in honour of the late Allan Sefton, who was well-known as a naturalist and conservator of the environment. The lecture was established in 1993 in recognition of his contribution to environmental science in the Illawarra. Each year, an Australian scientist is invited to deliver the lecture on a topic of environmental interest.

This year the event will be held on campus with UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia M. Davidson presenting the opening remarks. Audiences can also tune in from around the world via Zoom.

In the talk, Professor Bergstrom will look at the current human footprint in Antarctica, which is collectively small compared to the size of the continent but found mostly in areas used by wildlife.

“As Antarctic research has an environment impact, I will pose the difficult question of whether the carbon footprint and environmental damage caused by the scientific machinery is worthwhile in comparison to the resulting increase in human knowledge,” Professor Bergstrom said.

Professor Bergstrom is the first female scientist in Australia to spend her entire career in Antarctic and subantarctic science. Her work so far, spanning 40 years and ranging from paleohistory, climate change to understanding biogeography, has had fundamental impacts on the conservation of Antarctic ecosystems. She has been instrumental in understanding the impacts of non-native species in region and improving biosecurity efforts. She was a Principal Research Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division for the last 22 years and a past Australian delegate to the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. She won the 2021 Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science and has just been appointed an Honorary Senior Fellow at UOW.

Event Details

What: Allan Sefton Memorial Lecture

When: 5.30pm, Friday 16 August

Where: Building 20, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave. Tickets available here.