Conservation Team

Meet our conservation team who will be working on Base E on Stonington Island. They will be carrying out important survey and sampling work which will allow us to care and conserve this unique piece of our Antarctic heritage. 

Geoff Cooper
Conservation Team

After leaving university Geoff had a number of careers including being a Consultant Marine Biologist and a IT/IS Project Manager before he found his niche combining his love of historic buildings and his passion in working with wood and re-trained in America and the UK in traditional oak heavy timber frame carpentry.  After working for 10 years in Scotland on primarily new build oak frame buildings Geoff relocated to Suffolk three years ago in order to specialise in the conservation and repair of historic timber buildings and has since worked primarily on Late Medieval and Tudor timber buildings. Geoff has had a lifelong passion for Antarctica and in 2016 finally realised his dream of visiting Antarctica when he was employed as a Conservation Carpenter by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZAHT) to work on the conservation of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition Hut A at Scott Base.  He is also returning to Antarctica this year for a second season with the NZAHT Conservation Team to conduct the maintenance work on Scott’s and Shackleton’s Huts. 


Al Fastier
Conservation Team


Al has worked as the NZ Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Programme Manager since 2006. His role is to oversee the building and artefact conservation programmes for each of the expedition bases under the Trust’s care as part of the Trust’s long-term cold-climate conservation project; the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project. Before working for the Trust, Al had a career working for the Department of Conservation where he got the opportunity to work on remote sites such as Raoul and Stephens Islands. Al first visited Antarctica in 1987, and during his eighteen visits to the Ice, has worked for Antarctica New Zealand, the US Program and as a NZ government representative. Al is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys extended journeys by foot or bicycle in remote parts of the world.

Nathan Fenney
Conservation Team

Based in Cambridge, UK, Nathan is a Geomatics Specialist with the Mapping and Geographic Information Centre (MAGIC) at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).  After graduating in 2009 from the University of Auckland with a BSc in Geology and a BA in Anthropology, Nathan spent four years working as a geologist in Western Australia.  In 2015 he moved to the UK and undertook an MSc in Geographical Information Science at the University of Edinburgh, looking at how best to capture complex topography using unmanned aerial vehicles and oblique photogrammetry.  Now at BAS, Nathan provides geomatics support for both science and operational teams working in the Polar Regions.  It will be his first time in Antarctica. 


Joanna Hull
Conservation Team

Joanna gained a First Class Honours degree in Building Surveying from the University of the West of England whilst working for her family’s stone masonry business and it was during this time that she developed an interest in historic buildings.  As this passion developed she went on to achieve a Merit in MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings from Bath University and began to pursue a career in Heritage.  

 After gaining a position as a Site Surveying Assistant for English Heritage, Joanna swiftly developed her career carrying out roles in Facilities Management and Conservation Maintenance Project Management. 

In 2016 Joanna was offered the opportunity to undertake a collaborative doctoral award with Historic England and the University of Reading, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her research area draws upon her experience of Heritage Asset Management and will investigate new ways of digital data management for the historic built environment, in particular, Heritage Building Information Modelling (BIM). 

In 2017 Joanna took the step to set up her own heritage management and surveying consultancy, to sit alongside her PhD research, after winning her first contract with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust as their Heritage Project Manager. This will be Joanna’s first time in Antarctica. 

Lizzie Meek
Conservation Team

Lizzie is currently the Programme Manager-Artefacts for the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. For the last ten years, Lizzie has led and worked with teams conserving the heroic era expedition bases in Antarctica, including a winter at Scott Base and many summers in the field. In her spare time she is Vice-President of Lyttelton Museum, and is attempting to learn to ski. She completed a Diploma in Craft Design in 2008, then moved to the UK for six years, where she achieved her Post-graduate Diploma in Conservation of Library and Archival Materials. Prior heritage conservation posts include Senior Book Conservator, National Library of New Zealand, and Book Conservator, British Library. 

Torbjorn Opheim
Conservation Team

Toby started his outdoor career in 2005 as a border guard in Northern Norway. He has been working as an Operation Manager and Ski Patrol in a ski resort outside Oslo for seven years, combined with working for the Norwegian Armed Forces.  

After the “Arctic Nature Guide” study on Svalbard in 2013 he started working as a guide and field assistant in the Arctic regions. Since 2016 he has also been doing an apprenticeship in timber framing and restoration of historical buildings.  

Like all Norwegians, Toby is born with skis on his feet, and he is a passionate mountaineer. This will be his first trip in Antarctica.  He will take responsibility for life in the camp, keeping the team safe, warm well fed and in touch with the outside world. 

Michael Powell
Conservation Team

After successfully completing an apprenticeship in carpentry, Welshman Michael Powell joined the British Antarctic Survey in 1986.  His Antarctic career started with many summers and four winters as carpenter and Base Commander at Rothera, one summer at Bird Island; then in 2004, inspired by a Royal Geographical Society slide-show on the historic huts of Scott and Shackleton, Michael left the UK to assist the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust in the Ross Sea region. In 2005 he also worked for the United States Antarctic Program at the South Pole. In 2010 Michael began working for the UKAHT, carrying out the internal fit-out of the newly constructed Nissen Hut at Port Lockroy and undertaking extensive work at Damoy Hut and Detaille Island. The following seasons he has accomplished additional conservation and maintenance work at these historic sites as well as at Wordie House.

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Press Enquiries

We are very keen to promote the important heritage work that we do, telling the story of life in Antarctica both past and present. If you are interested in running a story about us, using our images or films or want to discuss an interview or potential collaboration opportunity we would love to hear from you.  Please contact either Sarah or Lewis at Limewash to discuss your requirements or +44 (0)1223 813 557.