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In this edition:

  • Director’s message
  • MNF Primary Application call is now open
  • MNF Supplementary call is now open
  • Join an MNF Advisory Committee
  • Find us at the Hydrospatial Conference
  • Research on the radar
  • CSIRO vessel embarks on Antarctic trip
  • MNF in the news

Director's message

Welcome to the New Year and welcome to the first edition of the Marine National Facility (MNF) Newsletter for 2024.

The year got off to a great start, with CSIRO research vessel (RV) Investigator setting off on its longest voyage in its 10-year history on 5 January.  The 60-day voyage is travelling to the Southern Ocean and sea-ice edge to improve our ability to anticipate the impacts of future climate change. The scientists onboard the voyage, known as MISO, for ‘Multidisciplinary Investigations of the Southern Ocean’, are exploring how links between physics, biogeochemistry, plankton, aerosols, and clouds influence the Earth’s climate. 

The year ahead will be an important one for the MNF as we move closer towards the mid-life refit of RV Investigator in 2024.

Of note for our research community, this newsletter announces the opening of the 2024 Primary Application call for fully funded grants of sea time on RV Investigator. This call invites applications for grants of sea time – and piggyback applications - in the 2026-27 financial year. Successful applications will be used to build the Primary Voyage Schedule for that year. These grants are funded by the Australian Government and are provided to conduct excellent research of national benefit.

Also now open is the MNF Supplementary Application call for the 2025-26 year. This opened on 1 February 2024 and will run until 4 March 2024 with further information and links for applying for sea time included in this edition.

Coming up in March is the World Science Festival Brisbane where INVESTIGATE, our immersive marine science experience, will be showcased to attendees. Make sure you check out the program of events and stop by INVESTIGATE to learn more about the amazing science delivered on board RV Investigator.

Our MNF team has been busy. We recently attended the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Conference in Canberra and, as you’ll read in this edition, we’ll soon be at the Hydrospatial Conference in Hobart in April. Please stop by and say hello!  

I wish you all a great start to the year and wish those at sea safe and prosperous voyages.

Toni Moate
MNF Director

Primary Application Call is now open

A Primary Application call is now open for fully funded grants of sea time on RV Investigator in the 2026-27 financial year. The call is open from 15 Feb to 22 May 2024. Applications are invited from Australian researchers and their international collaborators for projects that demonstrate excellent research that will deliver national benefit.

Find out more about the 2024 Primary Applications call.

Supplementary Application Call now open

Supplementary Applications are now invited to fill available capacity in the 2025 -26 Granted Voyage schedule on RV Investigator. The call is open from 1 February 2024 and will run until 4 March 2024. Supplementary applications are invited for research, student training or equipment testing on board RV Investigator to maximise use of available capacity in the Primary Voyage Schedule.

Find out more about the Supplementary Application call.

Join an MNF advisory committee

Are you a motivated, early career researcher interested in enhancing your career development by assessing and discussing applications for sea time on board CSIRO’s research vessel (RV) Investigator?

We have two exciting opportunities open for those interested in joining the Marine National Facility’s National Benefit Advisory Committee and Research Advisory Committee:

If you are interested in these roles and working alongside our respected experts to facilitate excellent marine science for the nation, please contact and we can provide more detail.

Applications close: Sunday 17 March 2024, 11:59pm AEST

Find us ‘At the Edge’ Hydrospatial Conference in Hobart

We are looking forward to presenting our research at the Hydrospatial Conference being held in Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart on 9-12 April 2024.

Find out more about AT THE EDGE and register to attend.

Research on the radar

Welcome to our newsletter feature where we highlight recent publications from research delivered using MNF infrastructure and data.

Characterizing Ice Nucleating Particles Over the Southern Ocean Using Simultaneous Aircraft and Ship Observations

Kathryn A. Moore, Thomas C. J. Hill, Christina S. McCluskey, Cynthia H. Twohy, Bryan Rainwater, Darin W. Toohey, Kevin J. Sanchez, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Paul J. DeMott | Jan 2024

Although Antarctica is remote, the continent and the Southern Ocean (SO) that surrounds it play a fundamental role in shaping regional and global climate. The clouds in this region are unique, with less ice and more liquid water present at low temperatures than in other areas. This is likely related to very low concentrations of rare aerosol particles called ice nucleating particles (INPs), which cause liquid water droplets in clouds to freeze. This study presents results of INP measurements from several recent field campaigns over the SO, including the first observations within and above clouds in the region. Our results suggest different types of particles are present below and above clouds, which have varying ability to nucleate ice.


Characteristics and Variability of Precipitation Across Different Sectors of an Extra-Tropical Cyclone: A Case Study Over the High-Latitudes of the Southern Ocean

S. C. H. Truong, S. T. Siems, P. T. May, Y. Huang, É. Vignon, A. Gevorgyan | Nov 2023

There are still significant differences between current precipitation products over the Southern Ocean (SO). This makes it harder to understand the hydrological cycle and different meteorological processes in the region. In this study, we used the shipborne observations from the Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, Radiation, and atmospheric Composition Over the Southern Ocean (CAPRICORN) 2018 field campaign to investigate the characteristics and variability of precipitation across different sectors of an extra-tropical cyclone on 16 February 2018, over the SO. Overall, the frontal passage recorded a total accumulation of 1.9 mm, with 96% of its phases being rain, while the cyclone period recorded the highest precipitation (4.0 mm), with 10% being snow and 40% being mixed.


Find out how to acknowledge the MNF for the research services we provide.

CSIRO vessel embarks on Antarctic trip

Watch the Sky News coverage of the departure of RV Investigator on its longest voyage so far, a sixty day round trip to the Antarctic and back, researching sea level and climate interactions.

In the news

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The Marine National Facility is national research infrastructure funded by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and operated by CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, on behalf of the nation.