Mountain men’s legacy helps another six adventurers

2019's Rubens Wallace Grant applicants plan to pick up litter on the West Highland Way and study coral in the Red Sea - among other things

Anders   drbw grant 2019 lr detail

The 2019 Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grants will help another six successful applicants seek out life-changing experiences in wild places, in ways that will benefit them and the wild places they visit.

This year’s educational or scientific adventures will take place in some of the wildest places in the world including: the Red Sea; Mexico; Iceland and Scotland...

  • Wahaj Mahmood-Brown, a 33-year-old student of Marine Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge to lead his first independent study into coral reefs in the Red Sea.
  • Anders Jespersen (pictured above), 28, who moved to Scotland from his Danish homeland in 2006, is planning to walk the length of the West Highland Way collecting every single piece of rubbish as he goes. 
  • Blaine Ferguson, a 15-year-old student, is set to join a scientific research expedition to the jungle of the Calakmul Reserve in Mexico.
  • Twenty-seven year-old Emily Hague, a research assistant at the Sea Mammal Research Unit in St Andrews, is off to explore the waters around Orkney and Shetland by kayak to investigate the potential role of killer whales in the curious decline of Scotland’s harbour seals. 
  • Nat Spring, a 50-year-old former primary school teacher from North Berwick will embark on a 40-day cycling challenge around Scotland’s wild places this summer.
  • Vanessa Barry, a 28-year-old student in her first year studying Marine and Freshwater Biology at University of Glasgow, is set to join a scientific research expedition to Iceland where she will study vulnerable seabird colonies.

Rosie Simpson of the John Muir Trust, who administers the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant said: “We’ve been delighted with the number and quality of applications this year and we wish the six successful applicants all the best in their wild adventures.

“Des and Bill lived active, adventurous, outdoor lives and would be delighted to know that their inspirational lives are now helping scientific research that deepens our knowledge of the threats facing our planet.”

Read more about the six adventurers. For more information about the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant email: Rosie Simpson