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Standing Scientific Group on Life Sciences (SSG-LS)

The Antarctic as a cold, isolated, pristine environment is undergoing significant change through regional climate warming, ozone depletion, alien introductions, long range transport of contaminants and increased global attention as a scientific and tourist destination and a fisheries provider. Over the 21st century, the Antarctic is projected to warm by 3.4 ± 1°C and lose about 30% of its sea ice extent. Biologically, the Antarctic is a centre of evolutionary divergence and adaptation to polar extremes. Its diversity is now threatened by environmental changes occurring on short time scales that do not accommodate natural selection.

SSG‐LS coordinates research focused on:

  1. understanding the impact of past, current and predicted environmental change on biodiversity and the consequences for adaptation and function.
  2. determining the effects of cold, darkness, isolation and pathogens on the health and welfare of scientists and support staff in the Antarctic,
  3. through multidisciplinary collaborations, understanding the complexities of the Antarctic environment and predicting the consequences of change.


5th Polar and Alpine Microbiology Conference, 8 - 12 September 2013, Big Sky, Montana, USA

SCAR SSG-LS Meetings

People in SCAR Life Sciences

Codes of Conduct for Fieldwork, Animals and SAEs

SCAR Data Policy

The SCAR Data Policy aims to provide a framework for SCAR-related research data to be handled in a consistent manner, and to strike a balance between the rights of investigators and the need for widespread access through the free and unrestricted sharing and exchange of both data and metadata. In order to be considered part of a SCAR Research Programme, each Project should follow this policy:

Reports & Articles

Action Groups

Expert Groups

Scientific Research Programmes within SSG-LS

Data and Information Services

Partnerships and Links

ACAP - Advisory Committee to the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve albatrosses and petrels by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to albatross and petrel populations.

SCAR provides an Observer to the annual ACAP meeting.

CCAMLR - Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources

The SCAR link for CCAMLR is Mark Hindell (

GBIF - Global Biodiversity Information Facility

SCAR became an Associate Member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) on 18 February 2008. For more information, see the news item on the SCAR Science and Business News page. The SCAR link for GBIF is Bruno Danis of SCAR MarBIN.

ICED - Integrating Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Southern Ocean Programme

For more information, see how SCAR partners SCOR and other organisations in sponsorship of ICED.

SCOR - Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, Oceanography Expert Group

In addition to the SCAR/SCOR partnership sponsoring ICED (see above), a joint SCAR/SCOR Oceanograpy Expert Group was set up to focus on physical oceanography, while recognising the inter-dependence of physical, chemical and biological processes in the Southern Ocean. It is co-sponsored with the Physical Sciences SSG.

SO-GLOBEC - Southern Ocean component of the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Programme (GLOBEC)

SCAR is a co-sponsor, with GLOBEC, of the Southern Ocean GLOBEC Regional Programme. The SCAR link for GLOBEC is Dr Mike Meredith, British Antarctic Survey (