A variety of glaciers, bays, domes, mounts and inlets in Antarctica have been named in honour of modern British scientists and explorers. 

In all, 28 locations within the British Antarctic Territory – a section of Antarctica claimed by the UK – have been named after Brits who have made ‘an exceptional contribution’ to scientific understanding of Earth’s southernmost continent.  

Among those honoured are Jonathan Shanklin, who in 1985 discovered a hole in the ozone layer, the thin part of the Earth’s atmosphere that shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. 

The Shanklin Glacier, a glacier about about 7.5 miles long and 2 miles wide has been named in honour of the pioneering meteorologist.   

Also recognised is filmmaker and producer Alastair Fothergill, who produced BBC TV series such as Frozen Planet and Planet Earth, ‘advancing public awareness of Antarctica and climate change’. 

Two University College London scientists who tragically died within months of each other in 2013 have also had bays named after them. 

Locations of the 28 glaciers, bays, domes, mounts and inlets that have been named after British scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the continent

Locations of the 28 glaciers, bays, domes, mounts and inlets that have been named after British scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the continent

Many of the 28 people recognised have worked with the British Antarctic Survey, the UK government-backed national Antarctic operation. 

The 28 names were chosen by the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee, which considers proposals and makes recommendations for place names within the British Antarctic Territory (BAT) – one of the UK’s 14 British Overseas Territories. 

This year’s place-names mark the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Antarctic by Russian, British and American explorers in 1820. 

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‘We are thrilled to announce 28 new place-names in BAT, marking the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica,’ said the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee.

The locations are withing British Antarctic Territory (BAT) - one of the UK's 14 British Overseas Territories

The locations are withing British Antarctic Territory (BAT) – one of the UK’s 14 British Overseas Territories 

Francis Peak, newly named after director of the British Antarctic Survey, Professor Dame Jane Francis, as seen from Rothera research station in Antarctica

Francis Peak, newly named after director of the British Antarctic Survey, Professor Dame Jane Francis, as seen from Rothera research station in Antarctica

‘Those recognised today represent leading UK Antarctic scientists or those who have contributed to our greater understanding of the continent, and who until now have not been honoured with a place name.’  

The current and first female director of the British Antarctic Survey, Professor Dame Jane Francis, has been given a prominent peak, measuring 1,136 metres. 

The peak has imposing cliffs on its eastern side, on the horseshoe shaped ridge east of Mount Liotard, Adelaide Island.

Adelaide Island itself is off the west side of the spindly Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the mainland.  

UK Antarctic Place-names Committee has also honoured Dr Katharine Giles and Professor Seymour Laxon, two prominent sea ice scientists who died in 2013, with bays around Renaud Island along the western side of the peninsula.

Dr Giles was a ‘ground-breaking’ researcher into sea ice, ocean circulation and wind patterns, and a passionate science communicator, UCL said, who was killed whilst cycling.  

Dr Katharine Giles and Professor Seymour Laxon, who were prominent sea ice scientists, have been given bays around Renaud Island

Dr Katharine Giles and Professor Seymour Laxon, who were prominent sea ice scientists, have been given bays around Renaud Island

A lecturer at UCL, she carried out ground-breaking research into sea ice, ocean circulation and wind patterns. 

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Both Dr Giles and Professor Laxon, who died following an accident on New Year’s Day 2013, pioneered the use of satellite altimetry, a radar technique to measure sea ice thickness and surface circulation in the Arctic Ocean.  

Also recognised with a glacier is Professor David N. Thomas, a sea ice ecologist and Honorary Professor at Bangor University in Wales. 

‘I am stunned, humbled and delighted at news today that I have an Antarctic Glacier named after me in recognition of my modest contribution to sea ice research,’ Professor Thomas said.     

28 PLACES IN ANTARCTICA NAMED AFTER BRITISH SCIENTISTS  

Bamber Glacier – Professor Jonathan Bamber

Bone Glacier – Mr Douglas Bone

Bremner Glacier – Mr Steven Bremner

Corr Dome – Hugh Corr

Cox Mount – Mr Nicholas Cox

Dudeney Nunataks – Dr John Dudeney

Fiennes Mount – Virginia (Ginny), Lady Twistleton-Fiennes

Fothergill Cape – Alastair Fothergill

Francis Peak – Professor Dame Jane Francis

Fricker Ice Piedmont – Professor Helen Amanda Fricker

Giles Bay – Dr Katharine Giles 

Heywood Glacier – Professor Karen Heywood

Hindley Glacier – Mr Christopher Hindley

Hindmarsh Dome – Professor Richard Hindmarsh     

 King Dome – Dr Edward King

 King Glacier – Professor John King

Ladkin Glacier – Russell Scott Ladkin

Laxon Bay – Professor Seymour Laxon

Morris Glacier – Professor Elizabeth M. Morris

Mulvaney Promontory – Dr Robert Mulvaney

Pinnock Nunataks – Michael Pinnock

Pudsey Bay – Dr Carol Pudsey

Rodger Nunataks – Professor Alan Rodger

Shanklin Glacier – Jonathan D. Shanklin

Thomas Glacier – Professor David N. Thomas

Tranter Glacier – Professor Martyn Tranter 

Watkins Glacier – Dr Jonathan L. Watkins 

Turner Inlet – Dr John Turner 

 More information: UK Antarctic Place-names Committee

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