Positioning of the project compared to other programs in France, Europe or worldwide:

The ambitious work program planed for the MERTZ-DIVA project constitute a natural extension of numerous national
and international projects that were carried out (or are still undergoing) in the Mertz area: Glaciology (CRACICE
2006-2012 ; PI B. Legrésy), Physical oceanography (ALBION, 2007-2016, PI M-N. Houssais), Ecosystem structure and functioning (ICELIPIDS 2010-2012, European Research Council StG ICEPROXY ; PI G. Massé),
palaeoceanography (Chaire d’excellence CLIMICE PI G. Massé, Projet ESF Holoclip, IODP Wilkes land), biodiversity
(ICOTA 1996-2000, CEAMARC 2007-2008, REVOLTA-I 2009-2013, ANR-07-BLAN-0213 ANTflocks PI. G.
Lecointre) and benthic ecosystem studies (MACARBI 2006-2009 PI L. Chauvaud, REVOLTA-II 2014-2017 PI C.
Gallut & M. Eleaume). Mertz DIVA will benefit from both the acquired experience of the area and the results from
these past projects as most of the MERTZ-DIVA team members were involved in the above-cited projects either as
PIs or co-PIs. In addition, the unprecedented effort that will be made during the field operations will allow to go much
beyond the current knowledge of the peculiar eco and geosystems. To our knowledge, such a multidisciplinary study
combining simultaneous measurements of biotic and abiotic parameters together with the detailed analysis of an
ecosystem. All this in a changing context. This has been clearly identified as one of the few priority subject for polar
research over the next decades (Kennicutt et al., 2015). In addition, all these observations will be directly feeding
applications for the creation of new Marine protected Areas around Antarctica.

Zodiac reconnaissance trip to Boradaile island, Balleny (ACE expedition)
Credit: Ian Hogg EPFL

The «Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne» (ACE expedition coordinator) and its partner institutes
(French, Australian, Swiss, Norvegian, Sud-African, Russian and United Kingdom polar research institutes)
are supporting the MERTZ – DIVA project.