Antarctic Thomas Glacier named after new University of Helsinki Professor David N. Thomas

The Government of the British Antarctic Territory has announced 28 new place names in the Territory. One of them, Thomas Glacier (Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula), is named after Professor David N. Thomas who has just started in the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki.

The new Antarctic place-names mark the 200th Anniversary of the Discovery of Antarctica. These place-names honour those who have made an exceptional contribution to furthering the understanding, protection and management of Antarctica over the last fifty years, and whose achievements warrant highlighting alongside those of the early explorers.

Those recognised today, on 3 December, represent leading UK Antarctic scientists or those who have contributed to our greater understanding of the continent, and who until now have not been honoured with a place name. 

”This is an unexpected and humbling honour, recognising my modest contribution to sea ice research. My type of research is based around team work and there are so many colleagues, ships crew, logistics support who have made my work possible. As always I owe them a great debt of gratitude,” says Professor David N. Thomas.

Names generally comprise a generic term, which describes the feature being named, and a specific name, which can be descriptive, themed on Antarctic history, science or culture, or after persons who have made a significant and sustained contribution to Antarctic science, or other notable service relating to Antarctica.

Further information: 

Thomas Glacier

Thomas Glacier (Palmer Land on Antarctic Peninsula) is about 23 km long and 3 km wide, flowing north from the Wegener Range, between Fogg Highland and Heezen Glacier and  entering Violante Inlet (72°51’S, 61°09’W). 

Thomas Glacier is named for Professor David N. Thomas (b. 1962), sea ice ecologist, with six expeditions to the Southern Ocean. He held senior roles at Bangor University to 2020 and is now Professor of Arctic Ecosystems Research at the University of Helsinki as well as Honorary Professor at Bangor University. He conceived the idea for, and edited the three editions, of the hugely influential book, Sea Ice.