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Antarctic Engagements Research Group

With the current focus on climate change, the Antarctic has emerged as a region of intense interest for non-scientists as well as scientists. For a decade now the University of Tasmania has been building its capacity in non-science areas of Antarctic Studies, including cultural history, textual and artistic representation, tourism, geography and geopolitics, environmental management, policy, governance and law.

Antarctic Engagements is a network of researchers across the University working to understand the social, cultural and political dimension of human engagement with the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region, past, present and future. Strategically located at a “polar gateway,” our group aims to strengthen and broaden the University's international reputation for excellence in Antarctic research. By diversifying the University’s knowledge base in this area, the group helps to foster the holistic interdisciplinary approach that is increasingly recognised as necessary to deal with the problems currently facing humanity.

Banner Image Credit: Meredith Nash

Our Research Group

Business and Economics - Tourism.

Political Science, IMAS. Marcus Haward is a political scientist specialising in oceans and Antarctic governance and marine resources management at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), University of Tasmania. He has held visiting or adjunct appointments at the Australian Maritime College, Australian Antarctic Division, the Australian National University and Dalhousie University, Canada. He is currently working on oceans and Antarctic governance, knowledge systems in coastal management, and Australia’s regional fisheries interests.

Law (Polar Governance). Julia Jabour is the leader of the Ocean & Antarctic Governance Research Program at IMAS. She has been researching, writing and lecturing on polar governance for more than 20 years. Most of her teaching and research is trans-disciplinary involving international law, international relations, and environmental social sciences. She has strong links to the Arctic law community through hosting the 7th Polar Law Symposium in Hobart in 2014 and this year is the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research’s Visiting Scholar to Iran.

Dr Annaliese Jacobs



English. Elizabeth Leane holds an ARC Future Fellowship split between the School of Humanities and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. With degrees in both science and literature, she is interested in building bridges between disciplines, and particularly in bringing the insights of the humanities to the study of the Antarctic.

Dr Ben Maddison

Oceans & Cryosphere, IMAS.

Sociology. Meredith Nash is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Tasmania. Her research interests focus on gender and social change. She is currently undertaking a longitudinal project exploring the role of Antarctica in shaping the leadership capacities of a global group of women in STEMM fields.

Psychology. Kimberley Norris is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher with an interest in Antarctic Psychology, in terms of health and performance of people living and working in Antarctica, as well as their families. Kimberley is looking to develop new and innovative ways to provide psychological support for individuals in remote, rural, maritime and extreme environments at an individual, organisational, and familial level. Kimberley is also a member of the SCAR-COMNAP Joint Expert Group on Human Biology and Medicine.

Music. Carolyn Philpott is the Research Coordinator and a Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, as well as an Adjunct Researcher at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Her research focuses on intersections between music, place and the environment – including music composed in response to Antarctica – and she has published articles in leading journals within the fields of musicology and polar studies, including Musicology Australia, Organised Sound, Popular Music, The Polar Journal and Polar Record.

News and Events

News and Past Events

Antarctic Engagements

6 August 2019

Polar Extremes: Sydney Ideas Forum

Elizabeth Leane was invited to take part in a forum on ‘Polar Extremes’ held at the University of Sydney as part of its “Sydney Ideas” series. [link to] She joined international law expert Prof. Tim Stephens, polar historian Dr Rohan Howitt, with Prof. Glenda Sluga chairing, to discuss our changing relationships with the polar regions in the 21st century. Listen to the presentations

Image credit: Andrea Huang. Description: The Sydney Ideas Panel – r-l, Glenda Sluga, Elizabeth Leane, Rohan Howitt, Tim Stephens.

Available Research Degree Projects

There are currently no available Research Degree Projects currently available with the Antarctic Engagements Research Group. However, this will change in the future so please continue to visit this section.

For a full list of current University projects, see the Research Division – Available Research Degree Projects.


A full range of publications relevant to Antarctic Engagements can be found on our researcher's full profiles linked above. These include journal articles, books, chapters in books, reviews, conference publications, thesis, and other public output. Some notable books are listed below.