Conservation Team

Meet our conservation team who will be working on Base Y on Horseshoe 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. 

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.

Liesl Schernthanner
Conservation Team

With a degree in Economics and Anthropology, Liesl’s early career was in socioeconomic research. In 1995, however, Liesl took a sabbatical to work with the US Antarctic Program. Since then she has returned for 16 more seasons, working in the field and for Station Operations at McMurdo, Palmer and the South Pole, and now for the UKAHT. Along with husband Michael (they met at the South Pole in 2005), Liesl has spent the past few years working on projects in Antarctica, New Zealand, and the US. Liesl has worked with the UKAHT for three seasons and looks forward to working at Horseshoe Island. 

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.

Sophie Rowe
Conservation Team

Sophie read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic and History of Art at the University of Cambridge and then trained as a conservator at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She specialised in the conservation of organic artefacts while working at the British Museum, and developed a subspecialty in conserving Egyptian polychrome objects.  Outside her life in museums she relishes outdoor activities and camping in remote places whenever the opportunity arises.  As a conservator sponsored by UKAHT she has worked with the collections at the Polar Museum in Cambridge for the last 4 and a half years, and is really looking forward to her first trip to Antarctica to work with similar Polar objects in their original environment at Horseshoe Island.

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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.