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Department of Geography



Alice Oates

PhD Candidate

Historical geographer interested in scientific governance of the Antarctic, focused on the history of science at Halley Bay Research station. I am funded by an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership studentship working with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Royal Society.


Career and qualifications

  • PhD in Geography/Polar Studies, University of Cambridge, 2019 – 2022 (expected)
  • Communications and Information Office, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), 2018 – 2019
  • College Recorder, Pembroke College, Cambridge, 2016 - 2019
  • MSc in Geopolitics and Security, distinction, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2015 - 2016
  • BA in Geography, University of Cambridge, 2011 – 2014

Awards and scholarships

  • 2019: Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Studentship, Arts and Humanities Research Council


My PhD aims to provide an account of the emergence of scientific governance in Antarctica by focusing on the historical geography of Halley Bay research station. Halley Bay was established by the Royal Society in 1956 in preparation for the International Geophysical Year, 1957-58. The station operated continually until 2017, when overwintering became too dangerous, and has become a critical centre for observations in global science, including the discovery of the ozone hole in the 1980s. I will use archive collections at the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Society, and Scott Polar Research Institute, supplemented by material from other collections, to investigate the history of Halley Bay and its place in the international story of Antarctic science and governance.

This project is an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) (Science Museums and Archives Consortium).

Partners: Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers); Royal Society.