ROICE 2015 Expedition Objectives

The Romanian Governmental Scientific Expedition in Antarctica – ROICE 2015, is organized by INCDSB in partnership with Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI). The team of Romanian researchers will be taking part in this expedition during 3 – 23 February 2015, at the Antarctic King Sejong Station, the host station of the Korea Institute for Polar Research, on King George Islands in West Antarctica.

The Objectives of the ROICE 2015 Expedition are as follows:

1. Implementing the bilateral agreement for scientific collaboration with Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), through the expedition in Antarctica

The scientific community interested in learning about and making use of the full scientific potential of Antarctica, has realized that whatever the degree of development, the equipment, etc., only through a unified approach to research and open international collaboration, can it give answers to the major questions concerning all processes in Antarctica and the Arctic, to their influence on the whole planetary system and, based on the results of this research, can predict the future of our planet.

In line with the above, the National Institute for Research and Development of Biological Sciences (INCDSB), has initiated and concluded a framework agreement with Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) regarding the scientific cooperation in the field of polar sciences.
Under this partnership, we will conduct the Romanian Governmental Scientific Expedition in Antarctica – ROICE 2015.

The implementation of the agreement began with the development of the research plan of the ROICE 2015 team, in cooperation with Korean researchers and in concordance with the Korean Antarctic Research Program (KARP).

Travelling to Antarctica, to the KOPRI King Sejong Station, represents the cornerstone in the implementation of the agreement, as well as in the extension of its cover to the Arctic area.

2. Initiating the development of a Romanian research direction in Antarctica

Through a modern approach, in keeping with the international directions, INCDSB would like to continue on the path started by Emil Racoviţă and affirm itself both nationally and internationally, through a solid research focused mainly on the microbiology of polar habitats.

Preliminary research will be carried out in the western part of Antarctica, together with KOPRI partners. In future, ROICE members propose expanding the research and achieving the same research objectives in east Antarctica, at the Law – Racoviţă – Negoiţă Station.

Appreciating the research of the Romanian expeditionary predecessors in the Arctic and Antarctica, based on their experience and their scientific results, and considering the interest manifested by the research entities of internal and international notoriety, from Romania, specializing in adjacent fields, (genomic sciences, physical sciences, life sciences – oceanography, humanities, etc.), INCDSB aims to become a leader in defining a coherent research foundation, based on internationally recognized scientific results.

3. Collecting relevant data for the implementation of future research projects (national and/or international)

During the ROICE expedition we will be focusing on different Antarctic habitats, the communities of microorganisms associated with these representing models for both the reconstruction and decipheration of the mechanisms of adaptation to extreme environmental conditions, as well as a rich source of microbial and biomolecular species, which, due to their special characteristics, constitute an important research basis in a wide range of bionanotechnologies.

In field travelling will be improved to increase the efficiency of sampling. We will also be optimizing techniques for sampling the biological material from different environments (soil, snow, ice, etc.) and we will be recording the physico-chemical conditions specific for these ecosystems. The effect on the expeditionists and their behavior under extreme conditions, the equipment performance in the context of magnitude variations, will be other issues pursued and observed, so that during future expeditions, the effect of extreme conditions upon both team & equipment, will be more predictable and therefore reduced.

The experience gained by the team members, following the ROICE expedition, will constitute an important source of information for future expeditions to Antarctica.

The biological material collected will form the basis of interdisciplinary research, which will encourage the collaboration with partners in the country and abroad.