A pioneering Polar scientist from Angus is Antarctica-bound once again after securing a prestigious international research award.
Dr Kate Winter of Northumbria University, Newcastle, is only the second female academic to win the €150,000 Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship.
The recognition will see her head for the cutting-edge Princess Elisabeth research facility, the only zero-emission polar station.
Educated at Colliston primary and Arbroath High School, Dr Winter is forging an impressive reputation as one of the leading exponents in the use of techniques including the use of ice-penetrating radar to reveal what is happening below the frozen expanses of Antarctica.
Earlier this year, the applied physical geographer’s work made international headlines when she discovered three huge unknown canyons and mountain ranges buried near the South Pole – the largest the size of New York’s Manhattan Island.
Dr Winter will hold the Fellowship until 2020, enabling her to carry out two Antarctic visits – the first in January when she will spend up to two months applying advances in terrestrial laser scanning, photogrammetry, drones and ice-penetrating radar to her research of landslides, ice flows and sediments.
Research into the ocean’s nutrient-rich sediments could also unlock important knowledge on how Antarctica is playing a role in future global climate change.
She will return the following year to repeat the same tests to see how much sediment has accumulated in a 12-month period, providing a barometer of climate change.
Dr Winter said: “I am delighted and honoured to be awarded the prestigious Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship for 2018-2020.
“It will give me the unique opportunity to explore the important science questions that early career researchers are often unable to ask.
“The research I conduct over the next two years, thanks to this Fellowship, will enable me to establish myself in an internationally competitive field, allowing me to lay the foundations for a career in scientific research.”
In June, 27-year-old Dr Winter returned to Arbroath High as guest of honour at the secondary’s prizegiving ceremony, having been inspired to pursue her career by a school trip to Iceland which led on to a six-week exploration of Greenland during her school holidays
Professor John Woodward, acting pro-vice-chancellor of Northumbria University’s Faculty of Engineering and Environment, who is a fellow glaciologist and also preparing for a trip to Antarctica, said: “While Kate is in the early stages of her research career, her work is already attracting global attention for its significance and impact.”