Dating West Antarctic ice sheet collapse using molecular sequence data

Research Projects | Updated 5 years ago

Image of Zodiac near South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica
Zodiac near South Sandwich Islands, Antarctica
Sharif Mirshak/ACE

This project aims to investigate the past stability and configuration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) by comparing genomic signatures in present day bottom-dwelling Antarctic marine animals. By employing this novel biological approach to address a key question for physical scientists, this project will provide an independent test of the hypothesis that during the most recent interglacial the WAIS collapsed and formed a trans-Antarctic seaway. Expected outcomes of this project include increased resolution on the most recent collapse of the WAIS. This should provide significant benefits in predicting future collapse and its impact on global sea level rise, which is a key uncertainty resulting from climate change.


About this project

This Project is led by Assoc. Prof. Jan Strugnell (James Cook University) in collaboration with Dr Nerida Wilson (Western Australian Museum), and Assoc. Prof. Nick Golledge and Prof. Tim Naish (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ).

This project has received funding from the Australian Research Council and the Thomas Davies Research Grant from the Australian Academy of Sciences.