2021 Sir Charles Blois Explorer JODY BRAGGER – IN SEARCH OF GHOSTS
Jody is a conservation scientist, award-winning documentary producer, expedition leader and veteran. He is currently undertaking a postgraduate research degree in Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Oxford. His military service took him to Afghanistan, Palestine, and Somalia, where he founded the Mogadishu Marathon.
Jody’s expedition will work with local and indigenous peoples in West Papua to investigate evidence of the continued presence of the 'lost species', the Wondiwoi Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus Mayri). Its presence could change the fate of this vulnerable region forever.
2021 Elodie Sandford Explorer CHARLIE WALKER – LENA RIVER ARCTIC PEOPLES PROJECT
Charlie is a UK-based adventurer and writer. He specialises in long-distance, human-powered expeditions that strive to develop an intimate understanding of the world’s most remote communities. Over his ten-year career, this focus has taken him to the Tibetan plateau, Mongolian Steppe, Congolese jungle, Arctic tundra, and numerous deserts in between.
Charlie’s expedition is a 900-mile, self-supported winter trek along the frozen Lena River in Siberia. Skiing from Yakutsk to the Arctic coast at 72 degrees North, he will investigate the accelerating effects of climate change in northern Yakutia.
2021 Gough Explorer DAVID BIRRELL – RWANDAN RESUSCITATION PROJECT
David is a Scottish emergency medicine doctor and an advanced life support instructor with the UK resuscitation council. He has a special interest in expeditions and global health medicine and has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work around the world as a clinician and expedition medic.
David’s expedition is a collaboration between Rwandan and UK doctors, to set up the first-ever resuscitation registry of cardiac arrests in Rwanda. This data is essential in understanding the causes of cardiac arrest-specific to Rwanda, and the first step in improving training, the recognition of deteriorating patients, protocols and patient management, using evidence-based medicine.
2021 Judith Heath Explorer JUNIPER KISS – SWEET POTATO HUNT IN NEW GUINEA
Juniper is a first-year PhD student on the NERC-funded INSPIRE DTP at the University of Southampton, working on food security and soil health issues in Papua New Guinea. She is a marine biology-turned plant biologist and loves travelling around the world to learn and work with small farm holders.
Juniper’s expedition aims to document sweet potato landraces along Mt Wilhelm, one of the highest mountains in Oceania. Sweet potatoes are the staple crop in Papua New Guinea but not much is known about their genetic and morphological diversity or how remote tribes source them.
2021 Neville Shulman Explorer BEKI HENDERSON – TURNING THE TIDE
Beki has successfully carved out her specialism in adventure and expedition filmmaking and has worked in some of the most remote places in the world. From the jungles of Congo to the icy peaks of Kyrgyzstan, she is passionate about telling engaging stories that inspire and create wonder.
Beki’s all-female expedition will paddle the Tamil Nadu coastline to meet some of the 2,000 women on the frontline of climate change, and dig deeper into the link between gender inequality and our rising sea temperatures. Climate change threatens the entire human race, yet women are disproportionately vulnerable - but they can be the solution.
2021 SES Explorer BETHAN JOHN – DEFENSORAS
Bethan is a freelance journalist reporting on biodiversity conservation and social justice. She has specialised in the economic, political, and social issues driving environmental destruction across Latin America. Beyond just uncovering stories on these topics, her expedition projects focus on capacity building with local and indigenous communities to ensure on-the-ground impact.
Bethan’s expedition is an all-female collaboration between media-makers in the UK and indigenous leaders battling environmental destruction in the face of deep-rooted sexism and systematic discrimination. It will research, document, and amplify the experiences of pioneering women, using a participatory approach for a lasting legacy.