The Royal Geographical Society prestigious medals and awards recognise excellence in geographical research work. Recipients include Sir Alexander Burnes, David Livingstone, Alfred Russel Wallace, Captain R Scott and Sir David Attenborough.
The Back Award is named after Arctic explorer Admiral Sir George Back. It was first given by the Royal Geographical Society in 1882 and is awarded for applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy.
Tanser is a medical geographer and infectious disease epidemiologist who has pioneered the use of geographical information systems in the field of HIV epidemiology.
For the past 20 years, he has worked in northern KZN. His research into the population-level impacts of the antiretroviral therapy (ART) roll-out has led to wide-reaching and rapid changes to government policy on how ART programmes in South Africa are designed and implemented.