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Cynan Ellis-Evans

Microbiologist, British Antarctic Survey

Joined BAS in 1975 and spent two winters at Signy Island studying freshwater microbiology. Winter Base Commander in 1977. Became permanent member of BAS staff in 1980 undertaking post-doctoral research on polar limnology. Was made Head of Freshwater Ecology in 1981 and Project Leader for Ecosystem Evolution and Environmental Change in 1995. Awarded Polar Medal 1986.

During this period I undertook eleven field seasons in Antarctica, working with British and Australian scientists, two seasons in the High Arctic, working with British, Austrian and Russian scientists and four trips to Sub-Arctic Abisko Station, Sweden. I became a founding member of the Subglacial Antarctic Lake Exploration international committee and contributed to the development of subglacial research planning for over 10 years.

In 2003 I was made Head of the new BAS Programme Office which is a small group tasked with supporting and helping to coordinate BAS science. The BPO became the core of a new BAS Division - the Science Coordination Group in 2004. My particular responsibilities were for international coordination and I became involved in the developing International Polar Year 2007-2008 during 2003 and helped establish an International Programme Office for the Polar Year at BAS. I took on the role of Acting Director of the IPO between October 2004 and May 2005 and then acted as a Senior Advisor. Since 2010 I have been Head of the NERC Arctic Office and science coordinator of the NERC Arctic Research Programme..


  • –present
    Researcher, British Antarctic Survey