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Home for Christmas: Scientist based in sub-Antartic for 14 months if finally home for the festive season


Last Christmas, he spent the festive season with seals and penguins in the sub-Antarctic. But, this year, British scientist Jamie Coleman is finaly on his way home after spending 14 months at the base.

Mr Coleman is a higher predator biologist working with on the British Antarctic Survey. He said that Sir David Attenborough had inspired him in his choice of career and that he had become determined to head to the island of South Georgia in the Atlantic Ocean when he watched Frozen Planet.

The island which has been his home for more than a year is 860 miles south east of the Falkland Islands and it the natural habitat of millions of seals and seabirds.

Life changing

While Mr Coleman said that the year had been life changing, ticking many things off his bucket list, the 27 year old said he was looking forward to spending Christmas at home.

He said: “Although I will miss the seals and penguins, I am extremely excited to see my friends and family, drink a pint of draught beer and watch Match Of The Day for the first time in 14 months.”

Christmas time in Britain is summer for South Georgia. However, Mr Coleman said that he and his team still did their best to get into the Christmas spirit even though they were apart from their families, by drinking mulled wine and putting up festive decorations.

He said in order to get presents to the base, friends and family had to remember to send them a very long way in advance. There was also the possibility of Skype calls if the internet was working. The island is remote and inhospitable, and there is no permanent population. Inhabitants are the staff from the British Antarctic Survey as well as a British Government Officer and Deputy Postmaster.