It is perhaps counterintuitive that volcanoes should preserve surprisingly fine details of their eruptive setting. This ability is particularly characteristic of glaciovolcanoes, i.e. volcanoes that erupt under ice. Several critical parameters of past ice masses can be derived routinely from studying glaciovolcanic outcrops, yet using glaciovolcanic studies to resolve important palaeoenvironmental problems is still in its infancy. Such studies can yield the widest range of parameters compared with any other proxy method. Moreover, many of those parameters are deduced quantitatively, something no other methodology can achieve. Glaciovolcanic studies are thus the most powerful holistic method for studying past ice masses, but they have only been widely applied in Antarctica. This talk will briefly introduce glaciovolcanism as an environmental proxy. The talk will then focus on presenting the results of recent glaciovolcanic studies in Antarctica in order to illustrate the power of such investigations. Finally, it now seems that Antarctica’s volcanoes are also important in biologically: are they a critical ‘missing link’ that enabled Life to persist and thrive through multiple glacial cycles?