From December 2016 to March 2017, scientific teams from all over the world boarded the Russian research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov for an unprecedented expedition around Antarctica, organised by the Swiss Polar Institute. During the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE), researchers worked in a number of fields, from biology to climatology to oceanography, to improve knowledge on what the future may hold for this continent and the world.

In order to foster interdisciplinarity, ACE combined competences and know-how from a broad range of scientific disciplines, an open call for projects was launched in November 2015 with over 100 world-class applications. Twenty-two projects comprising 55 researchers from 30 countries were selected following peer-review by an international scientific committee.

ACE in figures

  • Samples taken: 26,637
  • Data-collection opportunities: 3,106 in 96 different places
  • Liters of water collected with the rosette (an instrument for analysing ocean water): 3,916
  • Number of Agassiz trawls: 64
  • Number of radiosondes released: 90
  • Number of helicopter hours flown in 19 flying days: 107
  • Number of landings in 14 different locations: 494
  • Kilometers travelled: 33,565
  • Total number of researchers: 159
  • Number of research institutions represented: 73
  • Number of countries represented on board (scientists only): 23
  • Number of island groups visited: 12

Scientific publications and datasets

The SPI is committed to open access to datasets and publications resulting from its expeditions. The uniqueness of the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) is demonstrated in the huge variety and nature of the data collected. A growing list of openly accessible datasets and publications are available.