Keynote Speakers


Prof. Dana Bergstrom

Prof. Dana M. Bergstrom, is an Antarctic ecologist, writer and science communicator. She first travelled south to Macquarie Island as an energetic 21 year old, almost 40 years ago, and the southern realm has captured her heart and mind ever since. Her research has focused on improving understanding of Antarctic and subantarctic ecosystems. She has spent decades initiating and leading applied conservation science, shaping how Antarctica and subantarctic islands are viewed and protected. She is a founding member of SCAR’s ANTOS program, holds an Honorary Visiting Professorship at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and is also an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia, after two decades at the Australian Antarctic Division. She is the writer of the podcast musical Antarctica, Beneath the Storm.


Dr Cassandra Brooks

Dr. Cassandra Brooks is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder who works across the science-policy-public interface to advance marine conservation in the Antarctic. She studies life history connectivity of Antarctic fish, and was a core member of The Last Ocean, a grand-scale media project focused on protecting the Ross Sea. This effort helped drive the adoption of the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. She received a Switzer Environmental Leadership Award, Society of Women Geographers Jackie Ronne Award, Explorer’s Club 50 honor, and the Association for Environmental Studies & Sciences Early Career Award.


Dr Huw Griffiths

Huw is a marine biogeographer with an interest in the Polar Regions and completed a PhD in Southern Ocean marine biogeography with the British Antarctic Survey and Open University. He mostly study the animals that live at the bottom of the sea around Antarctica and the Arctic. He also study the potential effects of marine protected areas, climate change, human impacts and pollution on these unique ecosystems. Huw, has worked for the British Antarctic Survey since the year 2000 and has participated in multiple expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, studying everything from the intertidal to the deep sea.

Huw is a passionate believer in science communication and making science more accessible to the public, policy makers and government. In 2020 he won the SCAR Medal for Education and Communication. He regularly presents work to the media, schools, open days and special events and has written two plain language advice documents for the Antarctic Environments Portal, he is also an author on both United Nations World Ocean Assessments. Huw has also worked with BBC Earth on Blue Planet II and is an advisor to Frozen Planet II.

Michael Circle

Dr. Michael Stevens

Dr Michael Stevens is one of a small group of Māori scholars who have moved out of university appointments and into iwi-centred positions, in order to develop fresh perspectives upon Indigenous histories.

A self-employed historian, he works with and for various Ngāi Tahu institutions, including the Archive Team at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Michael’s work spans cartography, literacy, maritime history, and historiography. He has pinpointed and documented the immense importance of seafaring and marine mobility for Southern Māori and Māori-Pakeha, not just for subsistence or economic reasons but pervasively through family and social life, traditions and relationships.  He is shifting the boundaries of Indigenous historical research both inward to the person and outward to interactions across Oceania.