World Extreme Medicine News

Following our first reveal, we think you’ve waited long enough to hear about the next batch of impressive #WEM21 speakers.

Like last time, we’re going all out with eight speaker reveals (one is never enough!). They’re a diverse, inspiring, high-profile bunch of boundary-breakers. We’re covering a lot of specialist ground (and space) with this mix…

JD Polk

Chief Health & Medical Officer


We’re honoured to welcome back JD Polk to the WEM conference this year!

NASA’s Chief Health and Medical Officer and Health and Medical Technical Authority in Washington DC, JD Polk is a distinguished medic and overseer of 25 space missions. Working his way through the ranks from the Rescue Forces (‘Air Docs’) to the top ranks at NASA, his long career has earned him many awards and commendations – from NASA to the White House and the FBI.

JD Polk is also a multi-disciplinary practitioner in extreme medicine, with expertise spanning emergency medicine, disaster medicine, critical care, medical management and space medicine. This makes him widely published, including as a co-author of the textbook on Space Physiology and Medicine.

We’re incredibly fortunate to host JD Polk again this year at #WEM21 – someone you do not want to miss.

Megan Evans

Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Doctor

DDRC Healthcare

WEM alumni, junior doctor and divemaster – we’re looking forward to Megan sharing her love of underwater adventure.

A dive and hyperbaric medicine doctor at DDRC in Plymouth (UK), Megan is an experienced remote and expedition medic. She’s worked with medical care charity Floating Doctors in Panama and Blue Ventures in Madagascar and hopes to travel next to Indonesia as a dive medic. She later plans to add anaesthetics to her ever-growing expertise.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Looking After Divers in Remote Locations

Rudi Taylor

Colour Sergeant in the Royal Marines Commandos

Royal Navy

Combat under any conditions is tough – so what about fighting in sub-zero temperatures?

Royal Marines Commando, Colour Sergeant Rudi Taylor tells all…

For the last ten years, he has served in the elite Royal Marines Mountain Leader branch, during which time frostbite and hypothermia has pushed his body and mind to the limits of endurance.

A passionate CMI Level 5 coach, Rudi is also accomplished at using his elite training and experience to pass on his extensive knowledge. Leveraging his time spent up mountains and deep in the Arctic, he and his team designed and delivered the Army’s Cold Weather Training for Operations in the Baltics to over 2,000 allied soldiers.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session 1: Combat Below Zero

Hannah Schneiders

Clinical Teaching Fellow

Great Western Hospital

A WEM MSc student and PGY5 doctor working in Severn as a Clinical Teaching Fellow, Hannah is an experienced expedition medic.

A great believer that “medicine is a passport, not a destination”, Hannah has travelled far and wide to jungles, mountains and deserts, supporting ultra-athletes at sports events in some of the world’s most extreme environments.

Also an accomplished diver, her sights are next set on adding dive medicine to her expedition medicine skillset, alongside developing her knowledge in anaesthetics and intensive care.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: It Happens – D and V on Expeditions

George Kourounis

Explorer, Storm Chaser & TV Presenter

Explorer, storm chaser & TV presenter, George is another of our speakers who needs no introduction.

Over 20 years documenting natural disasters and the most extreme forces of nature, George has become a household name with TV series like Angry Planet and Storm Hunters. No stranger to tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, avalanches, and the effects of climate change, he’s travelled the world and has an intimate understanding of our planet’s extremes.

A Guinness World Record holder and a member of numerous prestigious explorer, geographical and environmental societies, he’s also spoken at the UN, TEDx (5 times) and the Global Exploration Summit.

We’re fortunate and excited that George is joining us for #WEM21 – with his backlog of work and knowledge, it’s guaranteed to be epic.

Find out more about George at

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Exploring Earth’s Extremes (and Living to Tell the Tale)

Amelia Liddell

Sea Turtle Veterinarian

The Olive Ridley Project

A big believer that “medicine is your passport to the world”, Amelia (Minnie) is a licensed vet in the UK, the Maldives and North America. She’s also a member of the Royal College of Veterinarian Surgeons.

One of the few vets worldwide working exclusively with endangered sea turtles, Amelia is determined to help reduce the many thousands of deaths caused by industrial fishing every year.

Amelia’s career is as unique as the reptiles she cares for – an exciting opportunity to see her present at #WEM21!

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session 1: Extreme Sea Turtle Veterinary Medicine; Saving Ancients in Remote Locations

Hugh Montgomery

Professor of Intensive Care Medicine

University College London (UCL)

Accredited as a specialist in general internal medicine, cardiology and intensive care medicine, Hugh Montgomery is a real force in the medical world.

As Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at UCL, he’s also director of the Centre for Human Health and Performance. Since qualifying in 1987, he has amassed an impressive career track record…

Publisher of the description of the first gene for human performance, he’s also written over 500 papers – 3 featuring in Nature. For over 20 years, he’s worked in the field of climate change and human health, co-authoring the first Lancet Commission report on the subject and co-chairing the next.

These days, he presides as co-chair over 35 institutions across 27 countries as co-chair for the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change. He is the GLA London Leader for Sustainability and is the founder of the climate change school education venture, Project Genie.

Of course, you want to hear more…

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Our Survival Depends Upon Our Environment

Burjor Langdana

Expedition Dentist

World Extreme Medicine & AdventureMedic

WEM faculty, resident expedition dentist for AdventureMedic and staple of the World Extreme Medicine Conference for many years, Burjor is a foremost expert in expedition, wilderness and remote dentistry.

His far-reaching experience has taken him from running dental camps in India, to Oman, working as a VSO in Malawi and with Mobile Surgical Services in New Zealand – even spending four seasons in the Antarctic and consulting for the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit.

He’s a contributing author and editor for the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’s dental chapter and writer of countless specialist articles. He’s also lectured around the world.

Burjor’s real power now lies in teaching what he terms as ‘the dark art of Expedition Dentistry’ – and you’ll get the chance to sign up for one of these intensive hands-on workshops when you join us for #WEM21 in Edinburgh!

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Dentistry Workshop (Edinburgh only)


Book your place in-person or online to #WEM21 and join one of the most energetic and unique networks in the universe. It’s a gathering of dedicated extreme medics and inspiring thought-leaders like all those we’ve announced here – plus many, many more yet to come!

Read more on #WEM21:

#WEM21 Speaker Announcement including keynote speaker Dr Jane Goodall
#WEM21 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)