Prof. Martin Bačkor of the Institute of Biology and Ecology of the Faculty of Science of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University is part of the 13 member expedition, organised by the Masaryk University in Brno and with the cooperation of the Faculty of Science UPJŠ in Košice. The final destination of the expedition is the polar research station of Johann Gregor Mendel, located on the island of James Ross, Antarctica. The station is administered as one of the Departments of the Masaryk University.
The researchers, coming from four universities and three countries (Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic; Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic; Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Slovak Republic; Erciyes Üniversitesi v Kayseri, Turkey) have journeyed to the Argentinian city of Rio Gallegos in Southern Patagonia at the end of last year, where they awaited their transfer, at an air force base, to the polar research station Marambio on the island Seymour. This station is situated only 70 kilometres from the polar research station of J. G. Mendel. The procurement of supplies for two months and of the necessary technical equipment required for their scientific research was being finalised before flying to their final destination. The scientist were harmonising their work and sample collection schedule within their respective work groups (plant physiology, microbiology, climate research, physical geography, glaciology, hydrology and geomorphology). The Argentinian air force conducted four supply missions to the Marambio station using HERCULES C-130 cargo planes. During these, they have transported to Antarctica two helicopters (Bell 212 Twin Huey a Mi-17 Hip), aviation fuel, cargo and supplies. Part of the expedition team already left for the station on board the Chilean naval ice breaker Almirante Óscar Viel. The rest of the team (consisting of the Turkish, Czech and Slovak scientists) shall make their way to the Antarctic on one of the supply flights. Part of the team also includes two technical personnel and one doctor.