An Australian researcher has been awarded for years of freezing toil in Antarctic studies.

Monash University’s Professor Steven Chown will be given the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research’s (SCAR) 2014 Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research.

Professor Chown, from the Monash School of Biological Sciences, will receive the medal as recognition of the profound impact his research has created.

In the past 20 years, his work has given a major insight into the effects of climate change and biological invasions on Antarctic species and ecosystems.

He even discovered previously unknown patterns in the diversity of life in the region.

Professor Chown has taken much of this research into the policy environment, helping to ensure better conservation of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, through changes to regulation of the region.

“I am deeply honoured by the recognition from my peers this award brings,” Professor Chown said.

“It reflects not only my achievements, but those of a suite of students and collaborators, and the people that make research possible both at home and in the remote regions of the Antarctic and its surrounding islands.”

SCAR is an inter-disciplinary international science body which initiates, develops and coordinates research in the Antarctic region.

It has published findings on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system, while also providing scientific advice about Antarctica to the Antarctic Treaty System, responsible for governing the region.

The award will be handed over at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Auckland in August.