SES Zenith Explorer - EDWARD COOPER led the Haig-Thomas Expedition to the Arctic in early 2015. Re-tracing the 1942 expedition by David Haig-Thomas, Ed and colleague Alec Greenwell (great nephew of David H-T) carried out a comparative study of sustainable hunting practices in the Qaanaaq region, contributing to a University of Copenhagen ongoing ecological research project, before setting out on an unsupported 240m trek to Haig-Thomas Island. The expedition was widely covered by The Telegraph.
Rivers Foundation Explorer Award for Health & Humanities - ALEJANDRA BUSSALLEU CAVERO led a small team to the Shawi tribe of North Eastern Peru, to establish two communal medicinal plant gardens. Wary of western medicines, and where both the knowledge about and existence of plants used in traditional medicines is decreasing, the aim of the expedition was to identify the plants used, document their medicinal properties, and establish gardens providing an ongoing and readily available fresh source of plants for future generations.
Cadogan Tate Explorer - MATTHEW JASINSKI led an expedition to the Mesomamerican Reef off Belize. Having spent some time in Belize, establishing a marine research centre, Matthew’s passion for reef conservation led to another visit to the region in 2014, this time to measure bio-diversity by mapping the species diversity across specific areas. The data provides the Marine Protected Area management to better account of the ecological roles played by coral reef species, thus the environmental social and economic benefit of marine resources.
Cadogan Tate Explorer - OLIVIA TAYLOR led the 2014 Cambridge Zanskar Expedition to Ladakh in the Indian Himalayas. The aim of the expedition was to study migration as a response to climate change (specifically acute water shortage) in a small village, living and working with the community to gain unique understanding of their way of life. The team then trekked out of the region via the rarely frequented Tsarab valley route.
Rowan Bentall Charitable Trust Explorer Award - JAMIE FORSYTH. In response to increasingly changing climate and rainfall patterns in Nepal, where short lived, intense rainy seasons have become the norm, Jamie worked with a small team based at Kathmandu University to set up measures of surface run-off in 3 different land-use areas. The results will be analysed over two monsoon seasons, and then used to run river flow models to predict water resource and flood risks.
SES Explorer - RYAN BURKE has led a 2-year study to establish the impact that the Gelada Monkey makes in the Ethiopian Highlands, whether they are a keystone species in the ecosystem, the results will be crucial for and updated conservation assessment of the species and provide ecological information for development of conservation and restoration strategies in this increasingly degraded region.