Johann Gregor Mendel Czech Antarctic Station

Masaryk University is the only university in the world to sponsor the national research programme in Antarctica. Since 2007, it has owned and operated the research station on Ross Island, near the northernmost tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Mendel’s legacy

The abbot after whom the polar station was named is world-known as the founder of genetics. However, he considered himself primarily a meteorologist. Together with his ties to Brno, this is one of the reasons why the station with the climate research programme bears his name.

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Pavel Kapler

“The abbot and scientist Mendel is an inspiration for us and an excellent trademark for the station, which opens many doors in international negotiations. When Brno hosted the Annual General Meeting of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs in 2017, my colleagues were touched by the possibility to visit places where Mendel worked, and they appreciated the care given to Mendel’s legacy in the Moravian metropolis. Their enthusiasm showed us that Johann Gregor Mendel deserves more attention in his homeland.”

Pavel Kapler
manager of the Czech Antarctic Research Programme

Polar research

The scientists annually spend five to nine weeks during December to March at the polar station. This is the period of Antarctic summer on the southern hemisphere. Researchers from dozens of scientific disciplines work here on their projects under the imaginary auspices of J. G. Mendel. What is the current state of climate change and the ozone layer? How does life in the form of simple plants originate in places where glaciers have retreated? What new species of microorganisms are hidden on the white continent? What is the geology of Antarctica? These are just a few questions to which the researchers at the station seek answers.

A few figures


years since the establishment of Mendel Polar Station


places for researchers each year


specializations as part of the station’s research programme


scientists have worked on their research projects at the station

Respecting the environment

Thanks to its technologies, the station is a modern complex considerate of the Antarctic environment. The main living quarters are located in the centre, surrounded by eleven containers that serve as storage and technical facilities. The station boasts unique technologies: a passive air heating system, its own water treatment plant and waste incinerator, motor boats and off-road quad bikes.

More about sustainability at MU

Tested in Antarctica

The universal nature of the research station reminds of Mendel’s universality. The station pursues its own research programme and is also used for testing products and technologies for industrial and application purposes. The researchers test, for example, the durability of newly developed coatings and plastics, outdoor equipment, or the use of green energy sources and other technologies in extreme conditions. Those that pass the tests can receive the trademark “Tested in Antarctica” from Masaryk University.

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Where to find the station

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Czech Antartic Research Programme

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