•Winner, Grand Prize and Adventure Travel category at the Banff Mountain Film Festival Book Awards Book Competition for Ice Diaries: an Antarctic Memoir, 2016.
•Nominated for a Canadian National Magazine Award for 'Ice Diaries: A Climate Change Memoir,' (extract from book in progress) 2013.
•Awarded a Canada Council Grant for the Arts, 2013.
•Finalist, Prism International prize for creative non-fiction, for 'The Skeleton Coast', Vancouver, Canada, 2013.
•Nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize, USA for 'Ice Diaries', published 2012.
•Winner, Prism International prize for creative non-fiction, for 'Ice Diaries: A Climate Change Memoir', Vancouver, Canada, 2012.
•Shortlisted for the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers scheme, 2012.
•Winner, Walkopedia travel writing award, 2011.
•Shortlisted, Metcalfe-Rooke award for an unpublished novel manuscript, for Fire on the Mountain, 2011.
•Awarded British Antarctic Survey/Arts Council England International Fellowship to Antarctica, 2005.
•Nominated, Governor-General’s Award for Fiction, Canada, 2003.
•Awarded Canada Council Award for the Arts, 2002.
•Awarded London Arts Board Award for the Arts, 1997.
•Shortlisted, Journey Prize for short fiction (Canada), 1997.
•Winner, Prism International short story competition, 1997.
Festivals, International Visits, Residencies
Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival (1996, 2001, 2003); Asheville Mountain Festival, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Borders New York City – US publication reading tour (1999); Edinburgh Book Festival (2003); visiting writer, Universities of Trieste, Siena and La Sapienza, Rome (2005); British Council Semana de Editores, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005); British Antarctic Survey/ACE Fellowship, Antarctica (2005-2006); Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, Calgary-Banff Wordfest, Vancouver International Writer’s Festival (2006); Writer-in-residence, Galleri Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic (2007); Speaker, International Polar Year symposium, Italian Antarctic Institute, Siena, Italy (2007); Writer-in-Residence, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, aboard the research vessel Polarstern, Antarctica (2008); Shackleton Scholarship Fund Fellow to the Falkland Islands (2008); Birkbeck Arts Week keynote speaker, London (2009); Writer-in-residence, NERC expedition to Greenland on the RRS James Clark Ross, (August-September 2009); International Festival of Authors, Toronto, Canada (2009); Mellon Foundation Visiting Scholar, University of Cape Town, South Africa (2010); Contributor, Landscapes of Exploration, the 2012 centenary of Robert Falcon Scott’s final expedition to the Antarctic, Peninsula Arts Gallery, University of Plymouth, February/March 2012; speaker, Vale of Glamorgan International Festival of Music (on the Antarctic), May 2012; Mellon Foundation Scholar, University of the Western Cape and Rhodes University, South Africa, (2013); British Council invited writer and teacher, Write Forward Project, Singapore, (2013); speaker, Harrogate International Festival of Literature (2013), speaker, Urban Encounters Symposium, Tate Britain (2015); speaker, Norfolk Festival of Nature, (2016).
Affiliations: Fellow, RSA (FRSA), Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (FRGS); Member, Field Guide Association of South Africa; Member, National Union of Journalists, Society of Authors.