Pre-Conference Workshops

Workshops are included in your registration fee, but we require you to sign up for planning purposes. If you have already registered, please sign up via the link which has been emailed to you, otherwise you will be able to register through the online registration form. More information about any workshop you have signed up to will be sent closer to the time.

Date and Time

Saturday 29th July and Sunday 30th July
We have some morning, afternoon and full day workshops on offer so please check the dates and times carefully.


(Please note this is different from the conference venue and transport is not provided)

University of Canterbury
20 Kirkwood Avenue, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041

Google Map Link:

Saturday Workshops

Sub-Antarctic Conservation: an assessment of status, trends, threats and management

Jul 29, 2023 | 1000 – 1700

This workshop aims to identify status and trends of sub-Antarctic taxa and current state of island ecosystems and their threats. The workshop will inform a contemporary conservation assessment for the sub-Antarctic region. In bringing together experts working in the region, we will collectively assess the current conservation status of sub-Antarctic ecosystems. We aim to capture monitoring efforts currently underway across the region.

Who should attend? Researchers undertaking population monitoring, or modelling of species or ecosystems on a sub-Antarctic island, invasive species impacts, island ecological assessments. Scope: includes vertebrates, plants and invertebrates. People leading island management initiatives, particularly related to invasive species management or species restoration.

Early Career Researcher Workshop

Jul 29, 2023 | 1000 – 1700

This workshop aims to bring ECRs together in a networking/social event ahead of the conference. From 10 to 11:30 there will be a walking tour around Christchurch city center with a break for lunch. In the afternoon (1-5pm) , there will be a grant writing workshop including a panel with tips and tricks from different international researchers. We welcome people to join for whatever portion they are able to attend as we are aware that people may be travelling on the Saturday.

ANTOS General Workshop

Jul 29, 2023 | 1300 – 1700

A general workshop will be held to update the community on the ANTOS (Antarctic Nearshore and Terrestrial Observing Systems) Expert Group’s activities. Topics to be covered include updates on our second community-wide on existing long term observations, baseline evaluation and instrumentation manuals, and plans for the future.

Understanding funding availability through EC's Horizon Europe for NZ researchers

Jul 29, 2023 | 1300 – 1700

Horizon Europe opens world of opportunities for New Zealand researchers as they can now apply to Pillar Two of Horizon Europe, the European Union’s (EU) largest ever research and innovation programme, on equal terms as researchers from the EU. New Zealand-based researchers can now join or lead Horizon Europe projects and receive funding on equal terms with their European counterparts. This workshop will introduce Horizon Europe, its Programme structure, Work programmes, Applications & assessment criteria and New Zealand specific information. Further information will also be provided on European polar programs, their capabilities and about European research and priorities for the coming years.

Sunday Workshops

Synthesis of Biogeographic Knowledge from Literature

Jul 30, 2023 | 0800 - 1200

To understand what Antarctic ecosystems may look like following environmental changes driven by a warming climate, it is necessary to have a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the extant biodiversity and biogeography. As part of the New Zealand Antarctic Science Platform, an informatic pipeline has been designed and implemented, and biogeographical knowledge for the Ross Sea region has been retrieved from almost 5,000 PDFs, identified from more than 250,000 potentially relevant articles using expert-approved broad search terms from full-text search engines. In this workshop, we will present detailed behind-the-scenes information on the design and construction of this informatic pipeline, seek input from international subject experts on Antarctic biota, and explore opportunities for future collaborations.

Monitoring the Ross Sea region MPA

Jul 30, 2023 | 0800 - 1200

The establishment of the Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Ross Sea region of the Southern Ocean in 2017 provides an opportunity to study to what extent large high-seas MPA provide important (and measurable) conservation benefits.
However, at over 1.55 million km2 in size, tracking change and evaluating the value of the Ross Sea MPA is a highly complex, technical and unprecedented challenge. How can the science community address the challenge of empirically demonstrating the conservation value of a large, high-seas MPA in the Southern Ocean, given oceanographic variability, global change and mobile species?
This workshop will consider how we can monitor change, understand ecosystem function and ascertain the value of marine protection across components including:

  1. physico-chemical environment
  2. bio-regions (representative areas)
  3. carrying capacity (phytoplankton,primary production and energy flow through the microbial system)
  4. keystones (krill, silverfish, myctophids, zooplankton)
  5. avian krill predators (Adélie, emperor penguins)
  6. toothfish predators (Weddell seals, killer whales, sperm whales)
  7. toothfish prey (macrourids, icefish)
  8. Antarctic toothfish (the fishery’s target-species)
  9. bycatch species (especially skates)
  10. vulnerable benthic ecosystems (structure-forming benthic invertebrates)

Cross-cutting these components, the workshop will explore system-level challenges to environmental and ecosystem monitoring in the context of the Ross Sea MPA.

EGBAMM - expert group on birds and marine mammals

Jul 30, 2023 | 0800 – 1200

More Information to follow

EGABI group (Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics)

Jul 30, 2023 | 1300 - 1700

The Expert Group on Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics ( fosters the application and development of biodiversity informatics (computationally-driven biodiversity science and information processing) in the SCAR community. We will hold an information and discussion session at the SCAR Biology meeting for interested SCAR members. This will be an informal session in which we will provide information about EGABI, including the structure and aims of the group, and some of our current activities. The remainder of the session will be an open discussion around opportunities for engagement between EGABI and the broader SCAR community. This could include current or proposed projects that EGABI members could potentially contribute to, new collaboration ideas, or suggestions for community resources that EGABI might be able to assist with (software, tutorials, workshops, etc).

Developing and applying new technology for Antarctic research

Jul 30, 2023 | 1300 - 1700

The ecology of the Southern Ocean is chronically under-observed, with highly-limited spatial, temporal and seasonal coverage. Typically, observations are clustered around research stations and often cover summer only. A fundamental lack of observation and high-cost of data collection means that at present we don’t understand environment-ecology connections in the Southern Ocean well enough to anticipate or manage the effects of stressors like climate change and fishing. New technology provides the potential to transform the scale and scope of ecological observations over the near future (5-50 years), especially in extreme environments like the Southern Ocean.
Almost all aspects of ecology may be amenable to better observation through innovative and autonomous technology.

This workshop will include discussion of:

  • Priorities: What parts of the Southern Ocean physical-biological system should we focus on for developing new observational technology? How do we prioritise observations?
  • Sensors: What current sensors are amenable to long-term operation in the Southern Ocean? What new sensors are coming on stream soon? What “blue-skies” ideas for new sensors should be investigated? How can the data be collected to best enable post-mission AI data analysis?
  • Platforms: Which of the many autonomous platforms are looking most fit-for-purpose and which need more work? This part will include (but is not limited to) consideration of: drifters and position-holding profilers; autonomous seacraft (surface and subsurface); aerial vehicles; ice-based instruments; and animal-mounted technology.
  • Partnerships: The development of autonomous instruments will require international and long-term partnerships between Antarctic scientists, research engineers and funders. How can these partnerships be fostered?

Southern Ocean Regional Ocean Acidification Collaborative Hub

Jul 30, 2023 | 1300 - 1700

We are in the process of establishing the Southern Ocean Regional Ocean Acidification Hub and are interested in engaging with the Antarctic ocean acidification research community. This workshop will give updates on where we are in the process of establishing a collaborative hub and getting feedback on community interest and desired deliverables

A coordinated approach to surveillance, monitoring and responding to Avian Influenza outbreaks in the sub-Antarctic & Antarctic Territories” (or Southern Ocean)

Jul 30, 2023 | 1300 - 1700

This workshop will provide an overview of the SCAR Antarctic Wildlife Health Network’s updated Risk Assessment on the risk of Avian Influenza and discuss the development of a coordinated approach to surveillance, monitoring and response to Avian Influenza in the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Territories for the 2023/24 season, including policy, logistics, medical and scientific requirements.
Topics covered will include; Risks to human health, PPE requirements, signs and symptoms in different wildlife species, techniques and materials required for sample collection and analysis of bird flu for surveillance and diagnostics and non-invasive tools for monitoring outbreaks and the potential for a central recording system to monitor the movement of the virus in real time.