Fausto Ferraccioli

Airborne Geophysics Group Leader, British Antarctic Survey

Fausto Ferraccioli is the airborne geophysics group leader at the British Antarctic Survey since 2002.
Prior to joining BAS he worked for 9 years for the Italian Antarctic Programme mainly in the field of aeromagnetic research. He obtained a PhD in Geophysics in 2000 in the University of Genoa where he also got his first degree in Geology in 1995. His undergraduate and PhD dissertations both focussed on geophysical research in Antarctica.

His main research interests are the structure and evolution of the Antarctic continent and determining the variable basal conditions that exist beneath Antarctic ice sheets.

His group, together with both UK and international collaborators, use a combination of airborne radar, aeromagnetic and airborne gravity methods to unveil the structure of the ice sheet, the subice landcape and hydrology, the subice geology and the deeper crustal architecture in Antarctica.

Ferraccioli has been at the forefront in several major international geophysical exploration projects over major Antarctic frontiers, including the 7 nation AGAP effort carried out during the International Polar Year that successfully explored the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains hidden beneath Dome A in central East Antarctica.

He is also active in several international studies of major subglacial basins in East Antarctica, including the Wilkes, Aurora and most recently the Recovery basin.

Several of his studies have focused on the Transantarctic Mountains and the West Antarctic Rift System, and he is currently involved in studies of the Weddell Sea Rift System.

He has also studied the Antarctic Peninsula and Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica and Dronning Maud Land and Coats Land in East Antarctica.

He has co-authored 96 publications, including papers in Nature, Science and Nature Geoscience and he has been involved in over 300 international conference presentations.

He is currently part of the steering committee of the new ADMAP-2 project that aims to compile all the available magnetic anomaly data collected by the international community over the continent.

In 2010 he was awarded the Polar Medal for outstanding dedication and scientific results in polar research.

In 2014 he was awarded the national abilitation to Full Professor in Geophysics by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research in Italy.


  • –present
    Airborne Geophysics Group Leader, British Antarctic Survey