Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station is the only research facility of its kind operated by a Polish scientific institute, while only 20 countries have their year-round research stations in the Antarctic. Thus, this globally unique facility gives Poland access to the largest natural “laboratory of nature”, which is the Antarctic, an opportunity to conduct ambitious, multidisciplinary research programmes and an opportunity to cooperate with the best scientific institutions from other countries. The extreme climatic conditions prevailing in the Antarctic, the high environmental requirements and the enormous logistical difficulties associated with the maintenance of research stations and the implementation of scientific programmes make this area also a laboratory for testing new technologies. Many of the scientific programmes implemented using the Station have potential application value.
Based on Arctowski Station and two field bases “Lions Rump” and “Demay” research are carried out in areas such as oceanography, geology, glaciology, geomorphology, climatology, microbiology, botany, ecology, ornithology, genetics, marine biology and chemistry, cartography and permanent environmental monitoring. This research are organised as part of interdisciplinary research programmes on issues such as the variability of polar ecosystems, evolution, structure and dynamics of biodiversity or the impact of climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula on the functioning of marine and land ecosystems.
Materials and data collected since 1977 based on Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station have been continuously used in Poland by more than 20 scientific facilities and scientific institutions from 22 countries. On the basis of these materials, among others, a bank of psychrophilic strains of microorganisms from different environments was organised. Currently, the collection consists of several hundred strains, including those with a potential indicating their usefulness in biotechnology.