The primary objective of this study was to assess the potential for biological, particularly botanical, research in the Ross Island/Dry Valleys region and to carry out preliminary studies in four fields, including the: a) distribution of terrestrial algae and lichens in relation to environmental conditions, b) distribution and formation of peat and organic sediments, c) ecology of freshwater ... macro-algae and d) the ice-cavity ecosystem. a) The study of the distribution of terrestrial algae and lichens mainly involved endolithic and sublithic algae and epilithic liches, but also bryophytes, bacteria, saprophytic fungi and collembolans. Temperature, light and relative humidity measurments were taken and the distribution of plants at high and low altitude, at low and high humidity levels, for north and south aspects and for a variety of different rock types was studied. Soil profiles were examined for algae and samples taken for microbiological investigation. A trip to the summit of Mt Erebus examined below the soil plant communities. b) Organic deposits were examined around lakes at Cape Evans, Barnes and Royds and at sites in the Taylor Valley. Exceptional snowfall made study difficult. c) Studies were limited to the less thoroughly investigated macro- and filamentous algae, and their lichenised forms, growing in melt-water flushes and on lake substrates. Experiments were run to estimate photosyntheitc and di-nitrogen fixation rates of Nostoc communities in a meltwater stream of the Canada Glacier. Laminated algal plates were examined in, and collected from, the shallows of Lake Vanda and an un-named water-body in the Taylor Valley. d) It was noted that algae rise in bubbles through permanent ice covering some Antarctic lakes, the cavities discharching their contents at the surface. A detailed study was carried out at Cape Barnes and elsewhere, on the temperature and light regime within these cavities. The taxomonomy of the species involved was investigated. A concurrent study of the associated fauna was also investigated.