Physical samples of soil, rocks, wood, foodstuffs, air and artifacts were collected from six Heroic era sites in the Ross Sea Region over the period of January 1999 to January 2008. These sites included the three historic huts at Hut Point, Cape Evans and Cape Royds on Ross Island (from 1998-2008), the historic hut at Cape Adare (2002-2003), the rock hut at Cape Crozier (2000-2001) and the Granite ... house at Cape Geology, Granite Harbour (2002-2003). Fungi were isolated from these samples using a variety of techniques (including spore traps), media and temperatures. The results from these studies were used to determine fungal biodiversity, the effect of the introduction of a nutrient source in a pristine environment on native fungal species, the impact of humans, and introduction of foreign fungi into a harsh environment. The fungi isolated from these locations have been studied to determine adaption/survival strategies. All cultures are held in culture collections at The Universities of Waikato and Minnesota. Huts and artifacts were digitally videotaped to compare the rate of deterioration from year to year. January 1990 samples: Hut Point >100 samples, Cape Evans >200 samples, Cape Royds >200 samples; December 1999 samples Hut Point >50 samples, Cape Evans >130 samples, Cape Royds >90 samples
Physical samples were collected in January 2012 from three Heroic era sites in Ross Sea Region, these included the two historic huts at Hut Point, and Cape Royds on Ross Island, and on Observation Hill, Memorial Cross. Additionally, physical samples (air, wood splinters, swabs of hut and wood) were taken in the interior and exterior of the USAP Hut and latrine at Cape Crozier. These continue the work from K021 over the period of January 1999 to January 2011. Microbes (fungi, bacteria, potentially bacteriophages) were isolated from these samples using a variety of techniques, media and temperatures.
In 2010-2011 high resolution 3D images and scanning of the Heroic era sites commenced. The scanning of hut interiors and historical artifacts and wooden surfaces subject to physical ablation and fungal spore growth. These images provide a basis for the accurate determination of deterioration processes and provide an invaluable resource for future conservation and restoration processes. Further scanning and images were added in 2011-2012 increasing the data base.