This month the Environment and Shackleton Societies welcomed Steve Backshall, who discussed his latest expedition to ten of the most isolated places in the world with a virtual audience.

Steve is an eminent naturalist and presenter who has previously travelled from Mount Upuigma in Venezuela, to the Negrez desert in Israel and the unseen rivers of Suriname.

He reminisced about his childhood, when he had feared that humanity had passed the age of the exploration, that every mountain had been summitted and every desert mapped. However, Steve explained that the age of exploration is as alive as ever, evidenced in his ‘Expedition’ series on the BBC which has discovered desert canyons and cave passages never previously seen by humans. In one instance, he traversed a sea cavern filled with Mayan artefacts buried hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

Steve also described how climate change is destroying many of the earth’s most unique places. In Greenland, for example, the ice floes have broken up enough to allow somebody to kayak through large swathes of the Arctic circle when, in reality, it should be an impenetrable slab of ice.

I would like to personally thank Steve Backshall for his captivating talk.