Macquarie Island lakes named after Australia's first female sub-Antarctic explorers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-08 13:34:52|Editor: Xiaoxia
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SYDNEY, March 8 (Xinhua) -- A series of lakes on sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island have been named after four pioneering female Australian scientists on International Women's Day.

Hope Macpherson, Susan Ingham, Isobel Bennett and Mary Gillham were the first women to travel south in the Australian Antarctic Program some 60 years ago, with the task of documenting unique flora and fauna on the icy World Heritage Listed Island.

Making the announcement on Friday, Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Division Dr. Gwen Fenton said, "the hard work and dedication of these researchers has paved the way for female scientists who have followed."

"Each of these scientists' work has had lasting impact, increasing and deepening our understanding of sub-Antarctic ecosystems," she added.

Highly praised for her research into tidal zone species on Macquarie Island, Dr. Bennett provided vital early information about the area's coastal ecosystems.

Macpherson's studies on invertebrates helped "lay the foundations for her later ground-breaking work on molluscs in southern Australia."

Dr. Gillham played a vital role in establishing the effects that seabirds had on the island's vegetation, while Ingham conducted some of the earliest studies on southern elephant seal colonies.

"Naming the lakes after these trail-blazing women will hopefully inspire other young women who might be interested in pursuing a career in science," Dr. Fenton said.

The lakes are situated on the northern side of Macquarie Island, approximately halfway between the Australian city of Hobart and Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.