Pertinence of Our Research

The scientific sites on the continent of Antarctica are increasing in activity, and they now host a growing number of researchers, biologists, scientists and engineers (and even mechanics, plumbers, pastry chefs, etc.).  Sometimes months-long in duration, these expeditions present major physical and mental challenges: cooperative and collective living, far from civilization, and in extreme weather conditions.


Already, researchers are investigating the effect of the environment on human behaviour, both psychological and physical.  Several studies have shown that disturbances in geomagnetic and solar activities effect our cardiovascular and nervous human systems, as well as our overall behaviour.


Our one-month Antarctic sailing expedition from the Argentine city of Ushuaia to the Antarctic/Ukrainian scientific base, Akademik Vernadsky, represents a significant physical and mental challenge, in no small part due to the hostile natural environment, but also to its geographical isolation - twelve people confined to less than 100 square meters of vessel.  We will use this to our advantage by observing and gathering data on how sailing in the polar region affects cardiovascular physiology, among other things.


     Principle and Secondary Objectives


Principle Objective: To describe the changes in heart rate and blood pressure during a one-month Antarctic expedition.  


Secondary Objectives:


      1.To identify the environmental characteristics significantly impacting these changes in heart rate and blood pressure.


      2.To describe the changes of additional physical parameters (weight, body temperature and others) as well as psychological (anxiety, depression, etc.) during a one-month Antarctic expedition.

     Course of the study


The vital statistics of each member of our crew will be measured daily, throughout the expedition. This data will be accompanied and recorded with our corresponding environmental conditions.


In order to create to reference the normal vital statistics for each of the crew members, we will begin to measure the vital statistics daily, beginning one month prior to our departure.