Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica (MISA) is a series of biennial event which gathers researchers from different countries to share findings and experiences in polar research and also provides the platform for our scientists to strengthen existing and forge new collaborations. MISA also provides opportunities for local researchers and students who are interested in pursuing their career in polar sciences especially global sciences.

We are pleased to invite you to participate in the conference as an oral or poster presenter as well as in the TATE or AntECO workshops. Please kindly note that seats for the workshop are limited for 30 participants only.

The opening ceremony will be held at 8.00 am on Tuesday, 18th June 2019 at the Pusat Kebudayaan Dan Kesenian Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Universiti Putra Malaysia (Dewan Besar, UPM). All registered participants are kindly invited to attend. 

Scan the QR Code for location direction.

Selected papers will be published in Advances in Polar Sciences - Special Issue entitled “Polar Regions in the Global Climate System” 

Post-seminar workshop

As part of the MISA8 we are organising a Tropic Antarctic Teleconnections (TATE) workshop on the 20th of June 2019 at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Attendance requires MISA8 registration. More information and updates on the Workshop can be found here.

We are also organising workshop on State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntECO) with theme: Microbial Resilience; Emerging Knowledge from Antarctic Ecosystems will be held on the 20th June 2019. The aims of the workshop are to review the emerging spatial pattern of Antarctic microbial life, as well as their response to the environmental variability.


For practical questions regarding the workshop please contact

Plenary Speakers


1. Prof. Dr. Timothy Naish


Antarctic Research Centre,

Victoria University of Wellington,

New Zealand

Talk: “What does the Paris Climate Agreement Mean for Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

This presentation will outline the implications of the 2015 Paris Agreement for Antarctica and the Southern ocean. The consequences of 1.5°C, 2°C, and more than 2°C of global warming are examined based on the latest international science, much of which has been conducted under the auspices of SCAR’s (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) strategic research programmes. Future Antarctic research priorities with global reach that address important knowledge gaps of relevance to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report and the Antarctic Treaty System activities will also be discussed.

2. Prof Akiho Shibata

Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC),


Talk: “Future and Challenges of Antarctic Governance”

The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), consisting of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and its associated legal instruments and measures adopted by its Consultative Meetings (ATCMs), has achieved in maintaining the peace in Antarctica and promoting international cooperation in science, regulating industrial activities such as fisheries and tourism, and protecting its environment and ecosystem, despite many challenges it encountered both internally and externally over its six decades of existence. ATS was able to withstand those challenges based on its:

  1. Unchanging foundational principles (eg. Antarctic Treaty Art.IV; public values; science-based decisions; consensus)

  2. Flexibilities allowed within the principles (eg. norm-development, institution-building; external accommodation).

However, with the profound transformation in the global power structure, including the rise of Asia not only economically and technologically but also politically and militarily, it is noted that the veneer of moral legitimacy often ascribed to the ATS must be open to rigorous scrutiny and alternative arguments. This plenary talk will analyze those future challenges the ATS may face in the coming years up to 2048, the year the Madrid Protocol with its prohibition of mineral resource activities could come under review, and examine the way in which the ATS and its members, including Japan and Malaysia, can address such challenges still within the System’s purview.


3. Dr. Gwen Fenton
Chief  Scientist,

Australian Antarctic Division,

Talk: "Surviving and thriving in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in a changing world"


Antarctica is one of the most challenging environments on earth for life to survive and thrive. It is also facing increasing challenges from environmental change and a range of threatening processes. The presentation will provide an overview of research in the Australian Antarctic Science Program, which provides insights into biodiversity, survival and adaptation in this extreme and changing environment. Case studies will be used to illustrate ecological processes, biological thresholds and their interactions with these threatening processes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. These case studies will also highlight how research can be used to inform environmental management in the region.


Session I: Policy, Governance and Social Sciences and Humanities

Malaysia’s interest in the policy and governance of the Antarctic region has emerged as early as the 1980s. This has led to the country’s involvement in its scientific expeditions and research, which culminated the public awareness of the vulnerability of the region to the threats of global climate change driven by human activities. The recent attention has thus diversified to include public perception, environmental education, outreach and tourism related studies.  Hence, the MISA8 aims to bring together researchers and practitioners in social sciences and humanities for the exchange and sharing of knowledge and experiences about the Antarctic region. In particular, this session welcomes SCAR-Standing Committee for Humanities and Social Sciences [SCAR-HASS] members to actively participate in the discourse related to the topics, which include but not limited to national and international policies and governance, geopolitics, environmental and tourism management, anthropology, history, arts and media studies.


Session II: Biology

The idea that the Earth is alive may be as old as humankind and polar regions are the crucial assets of this ‘miracle planet’. The polar regions have the largest amount of fresh water on Earth in the form of snow and ice, and play an important role in the global water cycle and sea level changes. Life in the polar regions is incredibly difficult, challenging only the ‘fittest to survive’. These isolated, unexplored regions are currently facing unprecedented threats through global climate warming, ozone depletion, pollution and invasive species introductions from the constant research and tourism visits. Thus, as stewards of this planet, it is our duty to ensure the coexistence between nature and humans remain harmonious. MISA8 will be a gathering of minds in our efforts to study the biological thresholds and/or ecological processes that provide new insights to the organisms’ biodiversity, survival and adaptation.

Session III: Polar Meteorology and Atmospheric Chemistry

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean have a significant role in the global climate system especially under the background of climate change.  To understand how the global climate system works, including future changes to the Polar environment resulting from anthropogenic forcing, it is essential to have a comprehensive knowledge of the physical, chemical and cryosphere processes taking place in Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean. Certain Greenhouse gases (GHGs) has significantly long lifetime in the atmosphere which means they can travel far from the emitted region leading to the polar region. Yet, our understanding of Polar atmospheric and cryosphere processes and their linkages to a changing climate is limited due to sparse observations and insufficient modelling efforts. Pollutants from tropical region such as South East Asia (SEA) can influence the photochemistry of GHGs in the atmosphere due to the anthropogenic activities, comprising rapid development and constructions of mega cities. This session will be a platform to discuss the role of physical and chemical transport of atmospheric GHGs from tropics to polar region and their influence on climate, observational and modelling aspects of polar meteorology and climatology, stratospheric processes and cryosphere processes.

Organized and Supported by:

Polar Regions in the Global Climate System