polar explorer expedition antarctic

Robert Small

Expedition Leader / Burns Survivor

Rob Small is a burns survivor, adventurer, speaker and business owner with a passion for the great outdoors. He has always had a desire to explore the world and has been lucky enough to have lived in many remote island paradises. These locations include the Maldives, The Cook Islands, a small island off coast of Belize, Thailand and Zanzibar to name but a few. He is currently preparing to be the first (non-military) burns survivor ever to walk to the South Pole, The From Fire to Ice Expedition plans to finish Shackleton’s unfinished journey while carrying out medical research on ice, this will be the first time this has been done.

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Andre Vercueil

Expedition Research Lead

Andre is a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Kings College Hospital with a special interest in cold weather and altitude physiology. He was part of the 2007 and 2013 Xtreme-Everest expeditions which were collaborations between Duke University USA, University of Southampton and University College London that exploited the oxygen-thin air at high altitudes to provide critical insights into how intensive care patients might be helped in the future. Andre will be using his experience gained there as well that available at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health to further the understanding of how the human body reacts to extremes of stress, and in Rob’s particular case, how it reacts after having suffered a major burn injury.

Polar medical research expedition

Greg Williams

Expedition Doctor

Whilst in charge of the Burns Centre in London, Greg was one of the surgeons who looked after Rob when he was first admitted to hospital and helped him to survive his terrible injury. After Greg left the NHS, Rob approached him and asked if he would accompany him and help him to achieve his life-long dream of following in Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps to try and walk to the South Pole. As Rob will be more prone to hypothermia than the average person because his burn scars are not able to thermo-regulate as efficiently as his non-burned skin, he will need constant supervision.

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Polar medical research expedition

Seb Coulthard

Expedition Photo/Videographer

Over the last 14 years Seb has worked at the sharp end of naval aviation with previous postings spanning half the globe. The Royal Navy has exposed him to some of the most inhospitable regions of the world including the Southern Ocean, the safe quadrant of a few developing hurricanes in the Caribbean, and mined areas surrounding the Shatt al-Arab waterway in Southern Iraq. Seb’s past expeditions include mountaineering in East Africa, exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon, trekking the Atacama Desert and photography in the sub-Antarctic regions . Seb was appointed as expedition engineer during the 2013 recreation of Shackleton’s epic lifeboat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia – one of the most remarkable feats of survival ever recorded.

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