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Tuatara: Volume 15, Issue 3, December 1967

University Antarctic Issue — Foreword

University Antarctic Issue

In December, 1966, two Victoria University students, Vincent Neall and Ian Smith, were camping in a polar tent on Nussbaum Riegel in the Taylor Valley, Ross Dependency. They were members of VUWAE 11, working some distance away from the rest of this expedition.

In this setting they conceived the idea of publishing a collection of University Antarctic papers, especially those of biological character. The Victoria University of Wellington Biological Society's ‘Tuatara’ appeared especially appropriate as a journal for this purpose. In the ten years of V.U.W. Antarctic expeditions, many papers have been published in New Zealand and overseas scientific journals by V.U.W. members, but relatively few of these have been on biological topics and none to my recollection has been published in ‘Tuatara’.

While many New Zealand University students have worked in Antarctica since 1957 under various auspices, two Universities (Victoria and Canterbury) have undertaken major scientific projects in the Ross Dependency. Victoria University has at the time of writing sent eleven expeditions to various parts of the Dependency, the first in 1957. While some biology has been done by these expeditions, especially with earlier parties, in the main they have been concerned with the Earth Sciences.

Canterbury University has been sending biological parties south since 1961. Work on penguins, skuas and seals has been proceeding, and every summer during the last six years, staff, students, and technician groups, mainly from the Zoology Department of the University, have been active at Cape Royds, Cape Crozier, Cape Bird and other localities.

Of the five biological papers in this issue of ‘Tuatara’, two are written by former VUWAE members, the other three by the past and present leaders of the Canterbury Antarctic unit and one of their colleagues.