A coastal ice-free ridge in the Antarctic has been officially named ‘Hopkins Ridge’, in honour of Professor David Hopkins, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Environment.
RAU scientist represents the UK at international Antarctic research committee
Professor David Hopkins, the Dean of the School of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester, is a UK delegate for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR); charged with the initiation, promotion, and co-ordination of scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
The SCAR is a body of the International Council for Science. It is recognised by 53 countries or governments worldwide, each of which has two voting delegates on the committee. The SCAR provides international, independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty; the system of governance for Antarctica. The treaty is aimed at ensuring the Antarctic remains one of the few places on the Earth where the there has never been a war, where the environment is fully protected, and where scientific research and discovery are the priority.
SCAR meets formally once every two years. The next meeting is in late August 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Professor Hopkins’ participation has been sponsored by the Royal Society of London. Professor Hopkins has published extensively on the soils, and ecology, of Antarctica for more than a decade; primarily as a result of 10 seasons of field work undertaken before joining the RAU in September 2014.
Professor David Hopkins said: “Of course, it may seem strange for the UK to be represented by someone from an agricultural institution on Antarctic science matters, but understanding our environment and the ways in which it fluctuates is as important for agriculture as it is for the polar regions – the world is a single ecosystem. I am fortunate to be one of a relatively small number of scientists to have conducted research in Antarctica, and it is a privilege to play a role in helping to maintain Antarctica as one of the world’s last remaining true wildernesses.”
Find out more about the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.