The distribution of heavy metals (such as Cd, Pb and Hg) in different areas of the Antarctic marine coastal ecosystems along a latitudinal gradient, and at sites characterised by different degrees of human impact were investigated at two sites, including Cape Evans and Terra Nova Bay. At Cape Evans marine samples of benthic organisms including the bivalve mollusc Laternula elliptica, the seastar ... Odontaster validus, the sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri and the algae Phyllophora antarctic were collected, along with marine sediment samples. Samples of the fish Trematomus bernacchii were collected from a separate event and included in the analysis. The samples were immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen and transported to NZ for processing. The organisms were thawed and their body length and weight measured. A range of tissues were removed, weighed and lyophilized. A sub-sample of homogenized and freeze dried organisms was solubilized. Sediment samples were separated into two different granulometric fractions, dried, homogenized and solubilised. The solubilized samples had the metal fraction bound to the carbonates and organic labile materials extracted. Results from Cape Evans were compared with findings from a project on biogeochemical cycling of Cd, Pb and Hg in the area of Terra Nova Bay.