Professor Dame Jane Francis is the Director of the British Antarctic Survey.

She is no stranger to surviving in extreme conditions, because for much of her career her research has taken her to the Polar Regions. Travelling with her fossil hammer, her principal interests are in palaeoclimatology and palaeobotany. She specialises in the study of fossil plants, and how they shape our understanding of climates in the distant past, when Antarctica was much warmer.

In 2002 she received the Polar Medal, for her outstanding contribution to British polar research, and in 2013 she became the first woman to head the British Antarctic Survey.

Presenter: Kirsty Young
Producer: Sarah Taylor.