Hazel and Luke Robertson are from Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where they went to school together. They got married in 2016 on Luke's family farm and are currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
They are both proud to be the 'Explorers in Residence' for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and are passionate about the outdoors and making a difference to climate change.
In 2016, with an artificial pacemaker and less than two years after undergoing brain surgery, Luke became the youngest Brit, the first Scot and one of less than 20 people in history to ski 730 miles solo and unsupported to the South pole. He currently works for the United Nations.
Luke has also completed successful expeditions to Norway and Greenland and competes in long distance endurance events. These include the Ben Nevis Triathlon, the Ten Peaks Ultra, the 250 mile eight day inaugural Cape Wrath Ultra and the 'hardest footrace in the world' - the Marathon des Sables.
He is an ambassador for Marie Curie, the Polar Academy and the Greener Scotland Campaign. As well as TEDx speaker, he has delivered presentations to a variety of audiences and has been a guest contributor to the BBC website.
Luke's background is in history, french and finance and he has 7 years of business experience, including most recently working for UN Environment, unlocking private investment into sustainable land use projects to reduce deforestation. Luke is now working in Scotland on driving forward the low carbon energy transition to enable the UK to meet its targets on climate change.
Hazel spent four formative years of her life growing up in Alaska and Canada which further deepened her love of the outdoors. She has led an expedition in Canada, climbed Kilimanjaro unsupported via the treacherous Western Breach and loves anything that takes her outdoors, including back-country skiing, mountain biking and long distance multi-day ultra marathons.
In 2016 she ran a 140 mile Ice Ultra on snowshoes in Arctic Sweden and the very first 250 mile Cape Wrath Ultra through the beautiful and remote west coast of Scotland. In 2017 she completed the 156 mile Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert.
Hazel has a background in geophysics, with 8 years of experience in the low carbon energy industry. She is currently focused on developing strategic projects to help the UK meet its climate change targets.
Royal Scottish Geographical Society
Explorers in Residence
The role of Explorer in Residence (EiR) was introduced in 2014, by Chief Executive Mike Robinson, in order to recognise some of the best young explorers and the role that exploration still plays in inspiring people about the world around them. The aim of the EiR role is to excite people about the world’s physical and cultural variety, to awaken people’s personal potential and better inform them about global issues.
Talking about the role of RSGS in exploration Mike Robinson said:
“RSGS has an incredibly rich history of association with many of the most influential names in exploration of the last 150 years. We were founded by David Livingstone’s daughter, Agnes, Ernest Shackleton worked for the society and William Speirs Bruce, who was a council member, led the first Scottish Antarctic expedition in 1902. In addition we have hosted most of the leading lights in exploration of the last 130 years including Hillary, Amundsen, Scott, Stark, Mallory, Shipton, Kingsley, Bird, Nansen, Armstrong, Heyerdahl and many many others. However this is not an historical role, we continue to play host to most of the leading contemporary explorers and adventurers.
“I am delighted to welcome Luke and Hazel Robertson on board as our latest Explorers in Residence. They have a wonderful energy and an infectious enthusiasm and are great role models for future generations interested in the world around them. I look forward to helping Luke and Hazel accomplish much more and wish them the best of luck as we follow them, albeit remotely, on their Alaskan adventure.”
RSGS-supported Due North: Alaska expedition to highlight effects of climate change on the people and environment
Delivered nine talks as part of the RSGS "Inspiring People" series (https://rsgs.org/inspiring-people-talks-dates-speakers-and-talk-descriptions/). Our talk "Due North: Alaska - an expedition across a changing landscape" reached over 1200 people across Central Scotland.
Backcountry skiing Haute Route Blog - read it here
2018 Geography Day talk - "Women in Polar Regions"
"Ask an explorer" Q&A with schools
Hazel and Luke are both Ambassadors for Marie Curie and have raised over £89,000 for the charity through previous challenges through www.justgiving.com/hazelandluke
They have met many of the nurses and volunteers who make such a difference to the lives of terminally ill patients and their families. Hazel and Luke are honoured to continue to raise funds for this amazing charity.
Please contact Hazel and Luke directly if you wish to make a corporate donation and they will put you in touch with Marie Curie directly.
Or check out their JustGiving page here.