Priority program Antarctic research

The polar regions play a key role in the global climate system. Interdisciplinary research is particularly important for understanding these regions and their changes due to climate change. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has been funding German Antarctic research as part of the priority program “Antarctic Research with Comparative Studies in Arctic Ice Regions” (SPP 1158) since 2003. In the next program phase 2025 – 2030, the research work will focus on four overarching topics:

  • Connectivity and exchange in polar systems
  • Dynamics of climate components
  • Responses to climate change
  • Improved understanding of polar processes and mechanisms

The puzzle structure of the Antarctic continent symbolizes the multidisciplinary approach of the DFG Priority Program 1158. A complete picture is only achieved with all the puzzle pieces combined.
The funding of German polar research through the Priority Program enables scientists from all natural science disciplines to make significant contributions to the pressing scientific questions of the polar regions.

Through the priority program, German scientists can participate in international Antarctic research and gain access to the necessary infrastructure for the polar regions. These are essential for research under the extreme polar conditions. The priority program also ensures the training of young researchers. The funding of polar research at universities made polar topics an integral part of many university curricula.

The overall coordinator of the priority program is Prof. Dr. Ulf Karsten, University of Rostock.

Coordinator for Biological Sciences:
Prof. Dr. Petra Quillfeldt, University of Gießen
Coordinator for Physics and Chemistry:
Prof. Dr. Tilmann Harder, University of Bremen

Coordination assistence:
Dr. Angelika Graiff, University of Rostock
Dr. Julia Ehrlich, Universität Rostock

For technical questions, please contact Dr. Ismene Seeberg-Elverfeldt
Tel: +49 228 885 2825

For questions of a formal nature, please contact Ute Bennerscheid
Tel: +49 228 885 2455

Funding for research in the Arctic is provided through individual project funding and collaborative research centers.