The research programme carried out at the station is focused on long-term monitoring of the environment and multidisciplinary investigations. The multidisciplinary character of the research programme is determined by its focus on a complex study of one of the largest deglaciated area in Antarctica (the coastal Antarctic oasis with significant research potential). Both its abiotic and biotic components are studied, as well as their relationship and the functioning of the entire system, including predictions of its further development. The scientific programme includes fields of Earth Sciences (geology, geomorphology, palaeontology, geochemistry and analytical chemistry, climatology, and hydrology), a number of biological disciplines (in particular botany, ecology, eco-physiology, plant stress physiology, microbiology, parasitology and soil biology) and technical sciences as well (e.g. advanced polymers, UV-radiation resistance, etc.).
Our geoscientific group has a broad scope of research activities within the fields of permafrost and
active layer monitoring, periglacial geomorphology and palaeoclimatology.
One of the most important activities of the group is a long-term monitoring of the thermal state of permafrost and active layer and a study of the effects of atmospheric warming on the periglacial environment. While working primarily at field sites on James Ross Island, we collaborate closely with other researchers and our results therefore have a significant overlap to other regions within the Antarctic Peninsula. Further, we contribute to several global databases SoilTemp (Lembrechts et al., 2020), Global Cryosphere Watch and Ground Terrestrial Network - Permafrost.
The main research topics include:
- numerical modelling of spatiotemporal variation of the active layer and permafrost dynamics
- study of paraglacial and periglacial processes and their dynamics including the formation of present landscape
- measurement and analysis of soil physical and biogeochemical properties
- study of the past and present status and evolution of Antarctic lakes
- (palaeo)communities of diatoms, archaeas and bacterias and their response to climate warming
- comparison of lake records-derived climate and environmental changes with James Ross Ice Cap ice core record
- deglaciation chronologies and reconstruction of past glacial processes from sediments and landforms
- sediment budget and material transport by glacial, fluvial and aeolian processes
Filip Hrbáček, PhD
Assoc. Prof. Daniel Nývlt
Research on structure and function of vegetation components of James Ross Island has been carried out mainly in the field of stress physiology of Antarctic autotrophs, their capability to survive in has Antarctic terrestrial environments. Special respect has been devoted to the responses of extremophilic organisms such as lichens, algae and cyanobacteria to particular environmental stressors. Moreover, the responses of polar algae, cyanobacteria, lichens and mosses to ongoing climate changes, especially atmospheric warming are studied both in the field by special installations and in laboratory-based experiments (Open top chamber approach, long-term measurements of dissolved oxygen in small-area freshwater ponds) and in laboratory-based experiments. Apart of global warming effects on photosynthesis and production of selected representatives of Antarctic vegetation, the underlying physiological mechanisms activated in Antarctic autotrophs by low and sub-zero temperature, UV-B light, desiccation and photoinhibition by photosynthetically-active radiation are studied as well (Extreme environments Life Laboratory). Last but not least, selected Antarctic microautotrophs isolated from the samples collected at the James Ross Island (algae, cyanobacteria) are cultivated either on agar plates (Collection of autotrophs) or liquid media in order to optimize their growth protocols using a photobioreactor approach, and identify the driving factors of their growth.
The main topics involved into recent research directions
• Stress physiology of Antarctic autotrophs
• Primary photosynthetic processes in Antarctic autotrophs
• Application of advanced biophysical methods in Antarctic plant physiology (chlorophyll fluorescence, spectral reflectance, thermostability measurements)
• Antarctic Autotrophs Taxonomy and Ecology
• Low and Freezing Temperature effects (including cryoresistance)
• Collection of Autotrophs, their Cultivation and Productivity Potential (WG4)
• Radiation biology of Antarctic Autotrophs
• Structure and function of biological soul crusts with a special respect to autotrophs
• Vegetation mapping by AUV and spectral reflectance indices analysis
Prof. Miloš Barták
Peter Váczi, Ph.D.
Josef Hájek, Ph.D.
Michaela Bednaříková, Ph.D.
Alla Orekhova, Ph.D.
Kumud Bandhu Mishra, Ph.D.
Kateřina Trnková, Ph.D.
Our microbiological research on James Ross Island focuses on monitoring, taxonomy and experimental studies of bacteria and microscopic fungi. Studied microorganisms are annually isolated either from diverse abiotic sources or from oral mucus layer and faeces of Antarctic animals.
Our group intensively studies bacterial component of heterotrophic and cold-adapted microbiomes in various freshwater sources including rivulets, streams, lakes and temporary lakes. We further explore biodiversity of heterotrophic bacteria colonizing inorganic materials in Antarctic environment such as permafrost and its active layer, permanently shaded rocks, lakes sediments and cryoconites representing unique microbial hotspots. In addition, within our research we specifically target bacterial isolates producing compounds with antimicrobial properties, a promising alternative to synthetic antibiotics and possible solution for constantly raising microbial resistance. Our mycological research is focused mainly on diversity of rock-inhabiting fungi. Apart from cultivation-based activities, we are also study permafrost and lake sediments microbial communities through metagenomics (emphasizing domains Bacteria and Archaea in James Ross Island environment).
The main research topics include:
- biodiversity of bacteria, mainly psychrotrophic and heterotrophic, isolated from abiotic sources
- taxonomy of photosynthetic microorganisms (cyanobacteria, diatoms, limnic microalgae) isolated from Antarctic environment
- studies on cold-adapted fatty acids, enzymes and pigments
- “safety Antarctica” – complying with regulations and measures to avoid/minimize introduction of non-native species to Antarctica and import of zoonoses from Antarctica to South America
- studies on potential pathogens colonizing oral mucus layers of selected Antarctic animals (seals, penguins, elephant seals, sea lions and skuas)
- studies on potential of natural probiotics in faeces of sea animals
- studies on diversity, taxonomy and physiology of microscopic fungi colonizing porous rocks
Prof. Ivo Sedláček
Assoc. Prof. Pavel Švec, Ph.D.
Stanislava Králová, Ph.D.
Monika Laichmanová, Ph.D.
Dana Nováková, Ph.D.
Czech Polar Reports is an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal related to polar science. It is issued 2 times a year. Publisher of the journal is MUNI Press (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic). The journal is dedicated to provide original research papers for sciences perfomedin the Arctics and Antarctics, high moutains, and the planets with polar analogues. The journal is published both electronically and in printed version. Electronic papers are freely donloadbale from the journal webpage: link: https://journals.muni.cz/CPR/.
The journal is indexed in SCOPUS and other databases. According to RESURCHIFY database, the Czech Polar Reports is a journal covering the technologies/fields/categories related to Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous) (Q3); Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous) (Q3); Environmental Science (miscellaneous) (Q3). It is published by EMUNI Press. The overall rank of Czech Polar Reports is 17822. According to SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), this journal is ranked 0.226. SCImago Journal Rank is an indicator, which measures the scientific influence of journals. It considers the number of citations received by a journal and the importance of the journals from where these citations come. SJR acts as an alternative to the Journal Impact Factor (or an average number of citations received in last 2 years). This journal has an h-index of 7. The best quartile for this journal is Q3. The impact score (IS) 2020 of Czech Polar Reports is 0.61, which is computed in 2021 as per its definition.