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Our Endorsed Expeditions & Projects



Ella in the Arctic 

Ella Hibbert
1 May to 31 October 2025

A world-first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, to raise awareness about the effects of global warming in the Arctic North. Ella Hibbert, alone aboard her 38ft steel sailing yacht, Yeva, will document the voyage to highlight the changing climate in our world's most fragile region.

The expedition will take place during the Arctic summer months, with departure and arrival to and from Haslar Marina, in Portsmouth, England. The expedition will hopefully introduce and educate a wide audience to the dangers the Arctic Ocean and its inhabitants are facing.
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Wings of Survival

Dr Timm Döbert and Leanna Carriere
1 June 2024 to 31 May 2025

‘Wings of Survival’ marks the first expedition under the banner of the Flyway Heroes initiative. In June 2024, Timm and his expedition partner Leanna Carriere will begin their cycling and pack rafting expedition from Alaska to Patagonia: 30,000km across 15 countries and 12 biomes, along the Pacific Americas migratory bird flyway. Their goal is to help broad audiences with diverse interests rediscover their emotional connection to nature.

Only by connecting our human with the avian experience will people fully comprehend the extraordinary journeys and conditions of migratory birds and why we should all care about keeping animal migrations alive. They will harness the power of storytelling, engaging both on-the-ground and virtual audiences through community events, educational activities, traditional and social media, and a professional documentary.

Timm and Leanna would be delighted if SES members, fellow explorers, cyclists, bird enthusiasts, and anyone else inspired by their adventure reached out to explore ways of teaming up, such as cycling with them for a stretch of their journey.
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The Hidden World of Amazonian Stingless Bees

Rosa Vásquez Espinoza
1 September 2023 to 1 September 2025

Stingless bees are vital to the Amazon Rainforest's ecology, culture, and medicine, yet their conservation status remains unknown due to limited research on their abundance and biodiversity. This lack of awareness poses a threat to their survival, impacting the Amazon's biodiversity and indigenous knowledge.

Rosa is a Peruvian chemical biologist with extensive experience in the Amazon. She leads a diverse team of indigenous leaders, scientists, conservationists, and artists, aiming for an interdisciplinary approach to exploration. Their mission is to protect these bees by mapping their distribution, gathering ethnoecological insights, analysing the chemistry of their medicinal honey, and enhancing conservation through education, community engagement, and collaborations with local authorities.

Rosa invites any expert who may have a strong interest in contributing to the world of Amazonian Stingless Bees and protecting the Amazon to get in touch.
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Valkyrie Expedition 

Scott Pallett
3 March to 14 April 2024

The Valkyrie Expedition undertook scientific research in remote northeast Greenland on a human-powered, polar ski expedition. The team carried out proof-of-concept research on efforts to help address the current major global public health issue of antimicrobial resistance. The scientific element of the expedition included analysis of an array of novel scientific tests adapted for use in resource-limited and extreme climate conditions from simple qualitative assays to whole genome sequencing of organisms in remote arctic conditions, whilst on the move.


Constraining Deglaciation in Southernmost Patagonia

Carla Huynh
13 November to 4 December 2023

Carla is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Carla and her team carried out an expedition that involved sailing south of the Santa Ines and Cordillera Darwin Ice fields in southernmost Patagonia to collect rock samples for cosmogenic isotope dating. Their research will help to understand glacier behaviour and the drivers of Late Glacial and Holocene climate on these remote islands.
Carla Huynh Expedition Report
Effects of Lead Ammunition Hunting on Namibian Cheetahs

Dr Catherine Hauw
4 June to 4 September 2023

Lead (Pb) from hunting ammunition is a serious health risk for humans, wildlife, and ecosystems, and is a global One Health issue. Many recent publications have questioned evidence that animals and humans are suffering from lead intoxication, and putting a light on predator lead blood levels is therefore important.

During this project, Catherine, wildlife veterinarian and biologist, investigated the impact of lead ammunition hunting on wild cheetahs and leopards by analysing their blood samples at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.

This will be the first-ever study on lead toxicity in carnivores in Namibia. 
Catherine Hauw Expedition Report
Project Amu Darya

James Chapman, Annie Liddell, and Oscar Turner
14 August to 1 October 2023

The Aral Sea was the fourth-largest lake in the world. Today, the Aral Sea has shrunk to one-tenth of its original size. In the last century, no other river on earth has undergone such change.

Despite being arguably one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in history, no history of this change has been recorded. Until now. Project Amu Darya spent August and September 2023 recording oral histories along the Amu Darya River. They filmed these interviews with the aim of telling the story of the Aral Sea crisis through the lens of the Amu Darya, and the voices of its people.

The Amu Darya Film will be released in 2024.
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Enigma: Examining the Physical Conditions of a High Elevation Himalayan Glacial Lake

Alex Scoffield
6 May to 27 May 2023

Glaciers in the Himalaya contribute freshwater to millions of individuals. Future scenarios of these water resources are uncertain given a lack of empirical data to drive projections of glacier evolution. 

Alex's expedition instrumented a high-elevation glacial lake in Nepal (Thulagi lake, 4,055 m asl) with temperature and suspended sediment sensors to collect the empirical data required to incorporate glacier-lake interaction into future projections of glacier change. The team of researchers will return six months later, providing the longest record of contemporary glacial lake physical conditions in the Himalaya.
Amazon: Summit to Sea

John Bathgate
1 May to 17 October 2023

The team’s aim was to report on land uses in a target area, concentrating on the reasons for deforestation (agriculture/mining/timber). Whilst passing through the changing environments they conducted ecology surveys and took water samples to understand biodiversity and pollution levels in areas that have or have not been affected by industry. They hope to prove, through scientific research, that rising pollution levels and habitat decline due to industrial processes are linked to the biodiversity decline in wildlife. 
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Mongolian Khan Khentii Expedition

John Blashford-Snell

East of Ulaanbaatar, the Hentii mountain range rises out of a vast protected area covering 1.2 million hectares covering the transition zone between the taiga and mountain forest-steppe. Over 1,000 plant species and 50 mammals, including endangered moose, musk deer, brown bear, wolf, lynx, badger, fox, wolverine, marmot, weasel, sable, roe deer and maral can be found here.

The expedition carried out community aid projects, giving dental and medical help to the local people and performing archaeological, biological and zoological tasks with Mongolian scientists. The scientific studies were organised with the support of the National University by Professor Terbish, who has accompanied our expeditions since 1992
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Irish Scoresby Sound Expedition

Peter Owens
1 July to 31 August 2022

In July 2022, the sailing yacht ‘Danú of Galway’ departed from Galway for East Greenland, with the aim of exploring Scoresby Sound, the biggest fjord system in the world. The team comprised a small group of independent adventurers with a desire to sail to and climb in this remote landscape. On the way, they monitored seawater for microplastics as part of a scientific collaboration with the Trinity College Dublin’s Centre for the Environment. This data will be used in improving global knowledge of microplastics in Arctic waters. Furthermore, the team carried out a cetacean reporting studies and performed accurate surveys of all anchorages visited.
Bolivia Quest

John Blashford-Snell
22 October to 13 November 2022

The Bolivian Amazonas area is one of the least known areas of this challenging country. In the past 20 years, John Blashford-Snell has carried out a number of expeditions to the remote parts of this area and has been able to help a number of under-resourced communities 

John mounted an expedition to repair and refurbish the school, bring in reading glasses for those in need and books for the school and install a water storage tank. At the same time, John carried out a reconnaissance of some interesting little-known archaeological sites and studied the wildlife in the region with a view to launching a larger scale expedition for the benefit of the area in the future. Of particular interest were the reports of a large, aggressive aquatic creature, possibly a type of caimen (alligator) that the expedition investigated.
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Crossing the Kanukas Expedition

Lucy Shepherd
September to November 2021

After a successful South to North traverse in 2020, it became obvious to Lucy that this area within the Guyana Shield and the Amazon, needed to remain protected.

This expedition crossed the entire mountain range; from East to West. The team will travelled on foot, beginning at the Essequibo River and finishing on the border of Brazil.

Lucy joined up with indigenous brothers from multiple Amerindian tribes. The team travelled through the thick and dense jungle as they climbed mountain after mountain. This bold and daring expedition was documented by film (self-shot) and will be a fascinating window into the traditional skills that the bushmen used as the team moved through the arduous terrain. 

The ultimate intention of this expedition was to not only to empower the onlooker to break their barriers and find joy in the natural world, but also to educate and inspire.
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Simpson Desert Survey

Andrew Harper

Andrew organised a series of 13 surveys - Songlines & Shared Journeys - Knowledge Mapping the Simpson Desert. These surveys took place to document the flora & fauna, indigenous occupation, and invasive species across the southern, central and eastern Simpson Desert (Australia).

The principal scientific aims were to conduct fauna and flora surveys using systematic and standardised census methodology across the more remote and isolated parts of the Simpson Desert using traditionally outfitted pack camels. The project used modern survey techniques, historical benchmarking and traditional knowledge to explore extensively. Of primary interest were those areas acting as dry-period refugia, especially those linked to cultural significance (e.g. waterholes, native wells or mikiri). Historically, these areas are known to provide important habitat for native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, which are able to maintain populations during otherwise unfavourable conditions.
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South African Conservation Expedition

Danielle Jackson and Jake Dove
24 August to 8 September 2019

Danielle and Jake, having worked as a wildlife veterinarian and ecologist respectively on a number of private game reserves in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for over half a decade, have seen how empowering local communities is the key to conserving the natural heritage of South Africa as much as carrying-out high-profile conservation efforts. They are keen to continue empowering people near and far in order to raise the profile of Eastern Cape conservation while simultaneously helping to preserve endangered species.

The aim of the South African Conservation Expedition was to take a group of Glasgow-based University students, set to be the next leaders in their respective professions, to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. By exposing them to the incredible wildlife, as well as the real-life challenges faced by the conservationists in situ, Danielle and Jake inspired them to take-up the mantle of conservation whilst having a tangible and lasting effect on the local communities the Expedition Team  worked with.
Madagascar Medical Expeditions (Madex)

Stephen Spencer

Stephen is a doctor based in Bristol and he has a passion for finding diseases in remote populations. He is founder and director of Madagascar Medical Expeditions (MadEx), which is an award-winning medical aid and research project in the remote rainforest regions of Madagascar. 

 In 2014, whilst preparing for his finals, Stephen set-up two expeditions: assessing and treating sea cucumber fishermen in Mexico, and Madex. In 2016 he won SES's Rivers Foundation Explorer Award for Health & Humanities and the University of Manchester Social Responsibility Awards and on top of this, he won the Turner-Warwick lecturer award by the Royal College of Physicians for his work in Madagascar.

Madex is an organisation that works in the remote rainforest of Madagascar to tackle neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis (more commonly known as bilharzia). The aim was to control schistosomiasis infection in populations living in Marolambo.
Stephen Spencer Expedition Report
Bardia Quest

John Blashford-Snell

In March 2019 John Blashford-Snell took an expedition to study the unusual wild elephants, Royal Bengal Tiger and the India Rhinoceros in the Bardia reserve. A team of up to 20 also gave aid to the local community. Local guides and naturalists accompaied the team.
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South African Giraffe Research Expedition

Angus Wingfield
4 August to 18 August 2018

This expedition was the first SES Endorsed Expedition run by SES Member and Expedition Specialist Angus Wingfield.

This scientific expedition focused on gathering information on the movement patterns, habitat use and foraging behaviour of the South African Giraffe in the remote Tugela River Valley in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 

Participants operated out of a rustic tented base camp and followed and observed herds of Giraffe on foot, collecting relevant data and samples in the field and collating their findings in their field laboratory. Information gathered from the expedition was used to aid in the conservation of Giraffe in the immediate area.
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