NRF Call for SANAP Funding Proposals (2024-2026)

NRF Call for SANAP Funding Proposals (2024-2026)


The NRF-SANAP Funding call is now open! 

Click on the link below to access the submission portal. 

Have you registered on NRF Connect?

Submission deadline: 15 June 2023


Important Documents – as indicated on the NRF website

(Please click on the images below to open the various documents)


Anche Louw, South African Polar Research Infrastructure (SAPRI DPS Node), 20 April 2023

International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Break the Bias”.

This year we are featuring three inspiring women within the South African National Antarctic Programme. They are leaders in their fields and represent South Africa on an international level.


Prof Annie Bekker – Stellenbosch University

Professor in Engineering, Director of the Sound & Vibration Research Group, and currently on the international Endurance 22 expedition (Antarctica).

“My job is about applying maths and science to technology… discovering and searching for new things. It is sometimes difficult, it takes long hours, breakthroughs can be incremental… and many times the belief, momentum, and enthusiasm for success have to come from within myself… Today, I love my job and the hard work to this point is absolutely worth it. I could not get here without encouragement, love, and mentorship in key moments. I cannot continue without the support of my family, the example of my colleagues, or the curiosity of my students – their excellence and hunger for their own new frontiers of discovery.

This is your life. Invest in your education. Believe in yourself, try, try again, never give up. Be hungry to learn. Sharpen your skills. Absorb all that is positive around you. Find mentors. Accept responsibility. Rebound from failure. Celebrate success. Be brave. Dream”.

Check out the Sound & Vibraton Research Group website:

Read more about Annie’s work and adventures here.



Prof Isabelle Ansorge – University of Cape Town

Head of the Oceanography Department at UCT and mastermind behind South Africa’s first class afloat – SEAmester.

Isabelle Ansorge is an observational oceanographer, Professor, and first female Head of the Oceanography Department at the University of Cape Town. Having built an observational oceanography career both nationally and internationally, Prof. Ansorge’s interests lie in Indian, Atlantic, and Southern Ocean dynamics that include Southern Ocean eddy transports of heat and salt, frontal dynamics, and variability in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and its effects on Subantarctic Islands such as Marion Island. Another passion of Isabelle’s is the shipboard training of postgraduate students from all over South Africa and she is the mastermind behind the SEAmester Floating University programme. SEAmester provides an incredible teaching and research platform for South African early-career scientists and lecturers alike. Prof. Ansorge’s list of affiliations is a testament to her extensive experience in the field including being a committee member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), as a member of the start-up committee for the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), as an Executive Bureau Member of the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and formally the vice-president of the International Association for Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO).

Check out the SEAmester website:

Read more about Isabelle here.



Prof Bettine van Vuuren – University of Johannesburg

Professor of Zoology, Director of the Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife Conservation, and Chair of the South African Committee for the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SANC for SCAR).

“The first thing to say is that I believe there is nothing that any person can’t do if they apply their mind (and time) to it. We often set our own ceilings based on general beliefs that society or others impose on us, and it is crucial that we break through these (non-real) boundaries. STEM fields are a case in hand. This is especially true for women, who traditionally were seen as homemakers or child-carers. In STEM specifically, fields such as mathematics, physics, and engineering, and traditionally more field-based disciplines such as zoology, botany, or oceanography, are seen as more suited to men (either because women were not traditionally considered as analytically strong, capable to work in the field, or for that matter, be away from home for any period of time).  It is critical that any person (both men and women) should carefully consider what they enjoy, what their specific strengths are (be that a STEM career for a woman, or as a childcarer/homemaker for a man), and then pursue that with all their strength and passion. Personally, I was initially directed into a field that I had no interest in (because I could not answer questions asked re where I would work if my husband lived in a small town), and from a personal perspective I strongly urge and support women that want to step out of the usual/ typical / what is expected from you by society and follow what they are passionate about”.

Follow Bettine on Twitter (Click here).

You can also visit her website:

Meet the SANC for SCAR committee here.

Read more about Bettine here.


Image of Prof Bekker supplied by: James-John Matthee. 

Anche Louw, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa, 08 March 2022
South African Youth Day – Celebrating our SANAP Students

South African Youth Day – Celebrating our SANAP Students

Today 16 June 2021 on South African Youth Day we congratulate the students within SANAP community that have graduated during the past year.

“The lack of a real graduation ceremony made it less sensational, and we risk to forget that we should celebrate our students’ achievements” – Marcello Vichi

Left: Liezel Rudolph received her PhD certificate (all the way from Fort Hare University) during takeover to Marion Island on the S.A. Agulhas II with supervisors Werner Nel and David Hedding. Right: Brendon Nickerson with his supervisor Annie Bekker at PhD graduation ceremony at Stellenbosch University wearing masks.

Elizabeth RudolphPhDFH - Geography and Environmental SciencesWerner Nel, David Hedding
Towards an improved understanding of the Southern Ocean’s biological pump: Phytoplankton group-specific contributions to nitrogen and carbon cycling across the Subantarctic Indian Ocean
Mapuka NomsaMScFH - Geography and Environmental SciencesWerner Nel
The characteristics and trends of rainfall on sub-Antarctic Marion Island and associated air circulation patterns
Tegan Carpenter-Kling PhDNMU - Zoology (MAPRU)Pierre Pistorius
Foraging in a dynamic environment: Movement and stable isotope ecology of marine top predators breeding at the Prince Edward Archipelago’
Heather ForrerMScUCT - Oceanography (Fawcett Lab)Sarah Fawcett
Towards an improved understanding of the Southern Ocean’s biological pump: Phytoplankton group-specific contributions to nitrogen and carbon cycling across the Subantarctic Indian Ocean
Mark HaguePhDUCT - Oceanography (MARIS)Marcello Vichi
The implications of ice - ocean - atmosphere interactions for phytoplankton phenology in the Southern Ocean
Ashleigh WomackMScUCT - Oceanography (MARIS)Marcello Vichi
Atmospheric drivers of ice drift in the Antarctic marginal ice zone
Jamie JacobsonMScUCT - Oceanography (MARIS)Marcello Vichi, A Mishra,R Verrinder
Development of Antarctic ice-tethered buoys
Ayanda MpalweniMScUCT - Oceanography (MARIS)Marcello Vichi, Sarah Nicholson
Characterising the seasonal response of the mixed layer and the transitional layer to the passage of storms in the Sub-Antarctic Zone
Siobhan JohnsonMScUCT - Oceanography (MARIS)Tokoloho Rampai, Marcello Vichi
Evaluation of the changes in the crystal structure of Antarctic sea ice from the marginal ice zone during winter and spring
Alexis OsborneMScUCT - Zoology (Fitzpatrick Institute)Peter Ryan
Understanding moult patterns in albatrosses and petrels breeding on Marion and Gough Islands
Mancha MabasoMScUP - Natural & Agricultural Sciences (GRI)Thulane Makhalanyane
Elucidating the effects of physicochemical variables on the structure, composition and functionality of microbiomes in the Prince Edward Islands
Sunette VosMScUP - Natural & Agricultural Sciences (GRI)Thulane Makhalanyane, Suzanne Fietz
Viral-host dynamics in marine environments
Liezl PretoriusMScUP - Zoology and EntomologyGreg Hofmeyr, Marthán Bester, Maëlle Connan
Effect of sex and ontogeny on the trophic ecology of Southern Ocean fur seals
Kyle LloydPhDUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Chris Oosthuizen
Individual variation in male southern elephant seal demography
Rowan JordaanPhDUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Chris Oosthuizen, Ryan Reisinger
Demographics of Marion Island killer whales
Nico L ü bckerPhDUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, RP Millar
Trophic influences, nutritional status, endocrine response on amino acid metabolism and reproduction of mammals
Yinhla ShilomuleMScUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Ar Hoezel, Chris Oosthuizen
Hybridization and genetic variation of fur seals at Marion Island
Itai MukutyuMScUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Mia Wege
Isotopic niche partitioning in sympatric fur seals from Marion Island
Caitlin van der MerweBSc HonnsUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Cheryl Tosh
Oceanographic indicators of southern elephant foraging area avoidance
Leandri de KockBSc HonnsUP - Zoology (MIMMP)Nico de Bruyn, Chris Oosthuizen
Phenology of southern elephant seal moult
Brendon NickersonPhDUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
Inverse models for ice induced propeller moments on a polar vessel
Gerhard DurandtM.EngUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
Data driven Regression Models for Voyage Cost Optimization Based on the Operating Conditions of the SA Agulhas II
Jesslyn BossauM.EngUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
The Detection and Quantification of Wave slamming from Full Scale Measurements on a Polar Vessel
Armand van ZuydamM.EngUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
An investigation of the seakeeping behaviour of a polar vessel in waves
Nicole TaylorM.EngUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
A Human Cyber Physical System Implementation for Seafarers. (Upgraded to PhD)
Martnique EngelbrechtM.EngUS - Engineering (SVRG)Annie Bekker
Human response to wave induced motion, slamming and whipping. (Upgraded to PhD – awaiting faculty approval)
Jean LoockPhDUS - Geology & Earth SciencesAlakendra Roychoudhury
Austral Summer and Winter Trace Metal Distributions in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic Seasonal Sea Ice
Ryan CloetePhDUS - Geology & Earth SciencesAlakendra Roychoudhury
The distribution and biogeochemical cycling of bioactive trace metals in the Southern Ocean
Tahlia HenryMScPlymouth University - School of Biological and Marine SciencesAlex Nimmo-Smith
Critical analysis of physical drivers of sediment movement at the mouth of the Erme Estuary.



Celebrating Women involved in SANAP on International Women’s Day.

Celebrating Women involved in SANAP on International Women’s Day.

Today on International Women’s Day we are celebrating all those women involved within the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP). International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March of each year. 2021 Theme: “IWD 2021 campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge; A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively we can help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.”

                             Within SANAP, women take on many roles. Throughout SANAP we find women in leadership positions which we celebrate; the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister Babara Creecy, the Director at Knowledge Advancement and Support (KAS) of the National Research Foundation Tracy Klarenbeek, Deputy Directors Kusi Ngxabani and Chuma Phamoli. (Above l-r: Min Creecy, Tracy Klarenbeek, ChumaPhamoli, Kusi Ngxabani)

In the science environment there are many Principal Investigators and the chair for the National Committee of SCAR, Bettine van Vuuren(left). The Champion for the Antarctic Youth Coalition for Antarctic Gateway Cities is Rudzani Silima(right). There have been several students and other women over the past years within SANAP. See slideshow on ALSA Archive and Womens day 2020 on

Cover Image : Tahlia Henry

SANAP projects 2021-2023

SANAP projects 2021-2023

InstitutionA1:D8Principal InvestigatorShort TitlePrimary Research Fields
Bayworld Centre for Research and EducationLamont, T DRSAMOC-SAPhysical sciences & Earth and marine sciences
CSIR - Natural Resources and the EnvironmentNicholson, S DRContemporary and Future Drivers of CO2 and Heat in the Southern OceanPhysical sciences
Department of Environmental AffairsMtshali, TN DRSeasonal Iron speciation in the Southern Ocean, from open ocean environments to naturally fertilized sub-Antarctic Islands (Marion and Gough Islands)Earth and marine sciences & Chemical sciences
Nelson Mandela UniversityConnan, MA DRAvian scavengers as indicators of recovery of an island biotaBiological sciences
South African National Space Agency (SANSA)Kosch, MJ ProfSANAE HF radarPhysical sciences
South African National Space Agency (SANSA)Lotz, SI DRPolar Space Weather StudiesPhysical sciences
Stellenbosch UniversityBekker, A PROFThe Digital SA Agulhas II - Flagship for Vessel 4.0Engineering sciences
Stellenbosch UniversityOlivier, M MsAntarctic Legacy of South Africa History (Humanities)
Stellenbosch UniversityVersfeld, DJJ PROFSignal Processing and Control of a long-range Unmanned Surface Vehicle for Cetacean Detection in the Antarctic and Southern Sea sciences
University of Cape TownAnsorge, IJ PROFSEAmester-South Africa's Floating UniversityEarth and marine sciences
University of Cape TownFawcett, SE DRParallel cycling of nitrogen and iron in the upper Southern Ocean: implications for biological CO2 drawdown and global ocean fertilityEarth and marine sciences
University of Cape TownRampai, TInfluence of physical and biogeochemical processes on the Mechanical properties of Antarctic Sea IceEngineering sciences & Chemical sciences
University of Fort HareNel, W PROFLandscape and climate interactionsEarth and marine sciences
University of KwaZulu-NatalMOODLEY, K PROFObserving Dawn in the CosmosPhysical sciences & Mathematical sciences
University of PretoriaCOWAN, DA PROFComparative microbial ecology of pan-Antarctic soilsBiological sciences
University of Pretoriade Bruyn, PJN PROFMarion Island Marine Mammals in Changing Environments: Individual Heterogeneity and Population ProcessesBiological sciences & Earth and marine sciences
University of PretoriaLavery, CM DRAfrica, Antarctica and the ArtsHumanities & Arts
University of PretoriaMakhalanyane, TP PROFEnhanced insights regarding the ecology, evolution and function of marine microbiomesBiological sciences
University of South AfricaMcIntyre, T DRRoss seal ecology, behaviour and physiology in a changing environmentBiological sciences


See more detail of project  here. This schedule will be update on the SANAP website under research in January 2021.

© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits