Pseudomonads are gram negative bacteria which are unique in their ability to degrade aromatic compounds such as xylene, napthalene and camphor and have recently been shown to degrade toxic resin acids derived from plant material. This study tried to isolate Antarctic pseudomonads which can degrade resin acids and characterise the bacteria and the enzymes involved in resin acid degradation. Soil ... samples were taken from inside fumaroles on Mt Erebus, along Tramway Ridge, near the Lower Erebus Hut and from the surrounding area of Scott Base. Samples were enriched and incubated for isolation. At least two fluorescent pseudomonads and numerous fungi were isolated and purified and investigated for their ability to degrade resin acid and potentially to characterise the key enzymes of the resin acid degradation pathway. If the degradation of resin acids was observed in isolates from Antarctica the source could be speculated as either from mosses and lichens or resin acids from the ancient forests once found in Antarctica. The source of resins should be identified and the relatedness of Antarctic pseudomonids with both Southern and Northern hemisphere organisms could be determined.