Travel Experts from National Geographic

Imagine observing lions on the prowl in the Serengeti with a wildlife biologist, examining ancient ruins in Peru with an archaeologist, or shooting images in Paris alongside a celebrated National Geographic photographer. National Geographic’s travel experts; researchers, explorers, writers, and photographers have brought the world to our members for more than a hundred years. Now, our experts bring you to the planet’s most intriguing places to share their knowledge and their insights. From photography to history to marine biology, our National Geographic experts are passionate about their fields, and they enrich the expedition experience through fascinating presentations and informal discussions. Meet our featured experts below.

Meet our featured experts below

Our experts

David Doubilet & Jen Hayes

Photographer

Underwater photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes are married partners who work together as a team to produce National Geographic stories from equatorial coral reefs to beneath the polar ice. David estimates he has spent nearly half his life in the sea since taking his first underwater photograph at the age of 12.

Between them, Jennifer and David have photographed and explored the ocean depths in such places as New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Tasmania, French Polynesia, Scotland, Greenland, and Antarctica. David has photographed stingrays, sponges, and sleeping sharks in the Caribbean, as well as shipwrecks in the South Pacific, the Atlantic, and at Pearl Harbor. He has produced more than 70 stories for National Geographic magazine and several books and has received the Explorers Club’s prestigious Lowell Thomas Award and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography.

Our experts

Ami Vitale

Photographer, filmmaker, writer and explorer for National Geographic. Having travelled to over 100 countries, Ami focuses her work on the most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.

Having covered a range of issues including human-elephant conflict and poaching in East Africa she has been the recipient of many awards including Magazine Photographer of the Year from the National Press Photographer’s Association, the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism and is the 6-time recipient of World Press Photo recognition, including 1st Prize for her 2017 National Geographic magazine story about elephants and 1st Prize the year before for her National Geographic work with giant pandas.

Our experts

Nevada Wier

Photographer

Multi award-winning photographer, Nevada Wier specialises in documenting the remote corners and cultures of the world. Having visited many of the planet’s deserts, mountains, and urban jungles, and more than 100 countries across the globe, her work has appeared in National Geographic and National Geographic Traveller magazines, as well as Geo, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Smithsonian, and numerous other publications.

Wier is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and a member of the Women’s Geographic Society.

Our experts

Tim Jepson

Author

Writer, traveller, and broadcaster, Tim Jepson has been exploring since the age of 12.

After graduating from Oxford University, he lived and worked in Italy, writing for a variety of British newspapers and leading high-level expeditions in the country’s remotest corners. He has since written more than 20 books, including several titles for National Geographic, and numerous articles for publications worldwide. Tim worked as a travel editor for London’s Daily Telegraph and continues to travel extensively, with a passion for the farthest-flung destinations and the untrammelled cultures of Bhutan, Laos, Tibet, and Myanmar. He recently completed The British World: An Illustrated Atlas for National Geographic.

Our experts

Bob Ballard

Oceanographer & Marine Geologist

National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Bob Ballard is best known for his discoveries of contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world, most notably the sunken R.M.S. Titanic and President Kennedy’s PT-109.

Bob has conducted more than 150 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology and spends a great deal of his time involved in various educational outreach programs. He has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Medal and the Hubbard Medal, respectively—as well as the Lindbergh Award from the Lindbergh Foundation.

Our experts

Carroll Dunham

Anthropologist

Medical Anthropologist Carroll Dunham has a keen interest in environmental conservation issues regarding sacred spaces of South Asia and the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture.

She has produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic, PBS, the BBC, and others on subjects ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism, and geology and is the author of four books.

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Steve Boyes

Conservationist & Biologist

Steve Boyes is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, dedicated to preserving Africa’s wilderness and native species.

Steve spent five years in the Okavango Delta doing fieldwork for his doctorate in zoology, he currently runs the Cape Parrot Project with support from National Geographic’s Conservation Trust. His work takes him all over Africa, studying wildlife rehabilitation and biodiversity, fighting the wild-caught bird trade, and planting thousands of trees in forest restoration projects. He furthermore recently completed a National Geographic-sponsored expedition across the Okavango Delta to promote broader protection for the watershed and its wildlife.

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Kristofer Helgen

Biologist

National Geographic Explorer and zoologist Kristifer Helgen specialises in research expeditions to remote areas on every continent in his search for undiscovered species. He is a professor of biological sciences at the University of Adelaide and during his expeditions has identified over 100 new mammal species and documented viable populations of animals previously thought to be in major decline or even extinct.

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George Stone

Editor & Author

George W. Stone has been a National Geographic Traveller writer and editor for over 18 years.

He has written and edited award-winning articles, developed print and digital feature platforms that have extended the magazine’s reach to new audiences, and advanced the magazine’s mission to empower readers to explore the world with insight and energy.

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Peter Gwin

Editor & Writer

Peter has been a writer and editor for National Geographic Magazine since 2013, having covered a range of topics from pirates in the Malacca Straits to the lost Timbuktu manuscripts, ship-breakers in Bangladesh, and traditional Chinese medicine.

He has received research grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Green Park Foundation in London for his work in Africa’s Sahara and Sahel regions. In 2012 he was awarded the Overseas Press Club’s 2012 Whitman Bassow Award for best Environmental Reporting for his work on the rhino poaching crisis and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to trace the history of ageing kung fu masters in China’s Song Mountains.

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Bill Saturno

Archaeologist & Educator

National Geographic Explorer William Saturno is an archaeologist specialising in early civilisation.

He has received numerous grants from the Society to support his ongoing excavations of ancient Maya murals in Guatemala. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the National Geographic magazine articles “The Sistine Chapel of the Early Maya” in December 2003 and “The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings” in January 2006. He has taught university courses that encompass major archaeological and historical sites all over the world.

Our experts

Richard Hansen

Anthropologist

Anthropologist Richard Hansen directs the National Geographic-funded Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. An adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, Richard was named the 2008 Environmentalist of the Year in Latin America by the Latin Trade Group, a major regional publisher. The president of Guatemala has also awarded him the country’s National Order of the Cultural Patrimony.

Richard is a founder of the Geographic’s Dialogue of Civilizations conference and appeared in the Society’s Dawn of the Maya documentary.

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Jeremy Sabloff

Archaeologist

Jeremy Sabloff is an archaeologist and member of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration. He is a former president and currently an external professor at the Sante Fe Institute.

Jeremy’s principal scholarly interests include ancient Maya civilization, pre-industrial urbanism, settlement pattern studies, archaeological theory and method, the history of archaeology, and the relevance of archaeology in the modern world. Jeremy is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous books, and has published more than 130 articles, book chapters, and reviews. Jeremy furthermore has a wealth of accolades to his name.

Our experts

Jack Daulton

Art Historian

Jack Daulton is a popular lecturer on the cultural history of non-Western civilizations. His work predominantly focuses on the art and architecture of Asia, Africa and the study of religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.

Jack is furthermore an attorney, focusing on international law relating to the preservation and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. In a widely reported 1995 federal case, Jack recovered a thousand-year-old sculpture that had been stolen from a temple in Southeast Asia.

Our experts

Jan Nijman

Geographer

Jan Nijman is a distinguished University Professor in geosciences and Director of the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. He has been a member of National Geographic’s Committee for Research & Exploration and as Chair of the Society’s Global Exploration Fund in Europe for over 15 years.

His expertise lies within urban and regional development and the history of world cities. Jan is a published author, with five books and hundreds of other publications and has received countless awards including the Nystrom Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Valerie Craig

Valerie Craig is Deputy to the Chief Scientist and Vice President of Operating Programs for National Geographic Society. She previously worked on ocean and freshwater issues for National Geographic’s Impact Initiatives and Explorer Programs and oversaw the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund.

In her role at the Society, Valerie has strategic and operational oversight for the series of flagship programs and projects that are helping to achieve the Society’s ambitious targets to deliver on the vision.

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Annie Griffiths

Photographer

Annie Griffiths was one of the first female photographers to work for National Geographic. She has photographed in nearly 150 counties and worked on countless magazine and book projects for National Geographic.

Annie is deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document aid programs that are empowering women and girls in the developing world. With four published books, Annie is also a speaker and often appears on global news programmes.

Spoken Languages: English (Native)

Our experts

Robert Kunzig

Editor

Robert Kunzig is a senior environment editor at National Geographic magazine, where he focuses on global environmental issues such as climate change.

As a science journalist for more than 30 years, his work has appeared throughout National Geographic Magazine and other global publications. Robert is furthermore the author of two books; Fixing Climate (with Wallace Broecker) and Mapping the Deep, a book about oceanography, which won the Aventis/Royal Society prize as science book of the year in 2001.

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David Scott Silverberg

Conservationist, Geologist & Geographer

Having worked on conservation projects across six continent, David Scott Silverberg is a National Geographic

Through exploration, research, and digital photo-video storytelling, David’s work is highly popular with National Geographic travellers. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Asia Society and furthermore was the executive science director at Earthwatch Institute.

David has worked in more than 100 countries, manages the Environmental Learning Institute, and teaches at several international universities.

Our experts

Stephen Alvarez

Photographer & Filmmaker

Stephen Alvarez is an award-winning National Geographic photographer and filmmaker who produces global stories about exploration, adventure, culture and archaeology.

His work has won awards in Pictures of the Year International and Communication Arts, and have been exhibited at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. For the past two years, he photographed the Seven Natural Wonders of the World with Microsoft Smartphones and is also a frequent consultant and commenter on how new photographic technology is changing the world. Stephen’s work has featured in over a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)

 

Our experts

Robert Hernandez

Editor, Biologist & Publisher

Rob Hernandez began as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and other media in more than 35 languages.

An ecologist by education, Robert has spent time doing field research and documenting through films and photography, many of the world’s most remote places. His work has appeared in global publications and he has travelled much of the world.

Spoken Languages: Spanish (native), French (conversational), Portuguese (basic)

Our experts

Tyrone Turner

Photographer

Tyrone Turner is a photojournalist based in Washington D.C.

His work features prominent issues such as the health and welfare of children and families, the threatened coastal areas of the United States and the legacy of slavery in the Americas. Tyrone has produced award-winning photographs for national and international publications such as Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and the Los Angeles Times and is a regular National Geographic Magazine contributor.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); Portuguese (Conversational); Spanish (Conversational/Basic)

Our experts

Jasper Doest

Photographer

Jasper Doset is a Dutch photographer, specialising in conservation issues, travel, and wildlife photography. Through his work, Jasper seeks to give a voice to environmental issues as well as those who can’t speak our language or are often misunderstood, emphasizing the beauty and fragility of our planet.

He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, his photographs have received multiple awards and appeared in numerous publications. Jasper’s photographs of Japanese macaques, popularly known as “snow monkeys,” received recognition in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and appeared in the October 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Spoken Languages: Dutch (Native); English (Fluent); French (Basic); German (Basic); Japanese (Basic)

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Victoria Herrmann

Explorer

Dr. Victoria Herrmann is a National Geographic Explorer and President and Managing Director of The Arctic Institute.

Victoria’s research focuses on human development, climate change and adaptation in the Arctic, working closely with coastal communities in the United States and U.S. territories. As a National Geographic Explorer, she led the America’s Eroding Edges project in 2016 and 2017 and her current project Rise Up to Rising Tides, is creating an online matchmaking platform that connects pro bono experts with climate-affected communities.

Our experts

Jason Edwards

Photographer

Jason Edwards has been at the forefront of natural history photography for over three decades, he is a vivid storyteller with a passion for wildlife and the environment.

Jason has been recognised globally for his contributions to science, the environment, and the arts. Among other accolades, he is a two-time winner of the Eureka Prize for Science Photography, three-time winner of Communication Arts Photography Annual, two-time winner of the ProMax Golden Muse, and winner of the Australian Geographic Society’s Pursuit of Excellence Award. He is furthermore the face of National Geographic Channel’s Pure Photography and has worked on the many National Geographic publications.

Spoken Languages: English -Australian (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)

Our experts

Kennedy Warne

Author & photographer

Kennedy Warne is an author & photographer, who co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988. After stepping down as editor in 2004 to pursue his own writing and photography, he has worked continuously for the brand, writing 11 stories for National Geographic since 2000.
His interests predominantly lie within natural history subjects and he specialises in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh, from the rainforests of Fiordland to the coral reefs of Arabia.

Spoken Languages: French (basic)

Our experts

Jay Dickman

Photographer

Jay Dickman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and National Geographic photographer who has worked across the globe, documenting some of the world’s most historic moments including the Olympics, national political conventions, the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and the war in El Salvador to name a few.
He has undertaken more than 25 National Geographic Society assignments and for over a decade has been joining National Geographic Expedition. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Basic or lower)

Our experts

David Harrison

Anthropologist & linguist

David Harrison has been a National Geographic Fellow and co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, documenting endangered languages and cultures around the world. As an anthropologist & linguist, he has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Peru, India, and Australia.
His research has been the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous global publications. He is furthermore both a professor of linguistics and associate provost for academic programs at Swarthmore College.

Spoken Languages: French (basic), Spanish (basic), Russian (fluent), Polish (fluent), plus a number of small and endangered languages

Our experts

Dan Westergren

Former Director of Photography National Geographic Travel

Former Director of Photography National Geographic Travel
As the long-time photo editor for National Geographic Traveller magazine, Dan Westergren was responsible for the magazine’s photographic vision, which has earned the publication numerous awards for photography.
From the summits of Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro and the North Pole, Dan has photographed some of the world’s most incredible places for Traveller magazine. Dan is an experienced teacher, having led workshops and served as photography expert for National Geographic Expeditions around the world—from Yellowstone, Baja, and the Galápagos Islands to Alaska, Antarctica, the high Arctic.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); French (Basic)

Our experts

Annie Fitzsimmons

Editor-at-Large, National Geographic Traveller

Annie Fitzsimmons has built a career at the intersection of travel and media, most recently joining the editorial team at Virtuoso as digital editor. She has reported for years as National Geographic’s “Urban Insider,” focusing on cities, culture, and lifestyle, and was a founding member of National Geographic Traveller’s Editorial Council.
Her work has captivated global audiences, inspiring others to explore the world for themselves and she has been published in numerous publications including USA Today, Yahoo! Travel, Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNN, Virtuoso Life, Luxury Travel Advisor, Robb Report and American Express media.

Spoken Languages: English only

Our experts

Ken Garrett

Photogrpaher

In a career spanning over 40 years, Ken Garrett has photographed more than 60 feature stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveller magazines and has been involved with multiple National Geographic books and museum exhibits.
Building a career in magazine journalism, Ken worked for a variety of publications, including Time, Fortune, Forbes, Smithsonian, Audubon, Natural History, Science 80, German GEO, Air and Space. With an academic background in anthropology and investigative inquiry, Ken’s work gradually focused on his passion for the Origin of Civilization, documenting ancient cultures, archaeological sites, and dramatic landscapes worldwide.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); Spanish (Conversational); French (Basic)

Our experts

Fabio Amador

Archaeologist

Fabio is an archaeologist, photographer and explorer, specialising in aerial, terrestrial and underwater photographic technologies, visual documentation and photogrammetry, and 3D digital modelling.
He directed the National Geographic Society-Waitt grants program focusing on exploratory research, cutting-edge technologies, and proof-of-concept projects. He has joined many expeditions as a visualization specialist, photographer and videographer, with an aim to capture the process of conducting field research. He is furthermore the host of a National Geographic TV series titled Mysteries of the Underworld and is executive director, founder and president of Fundacion Olas, a foundation dedicated to building capacity for underwater research, protection and conservation in Latin America.

Spoken Languages: Spanish (native), French (conversational), Portuguese (conversational)

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Gianluca Colla

Photographer & Videographer

Gianluca Colla is a photographer & videographer, dedicated to capturing our ever-changing world. From Antarctica to Iceland and the Arctic, and from Africa’s deserts to the Amazon and the Alps, Gianluca has covered a wide range of topics including the secrets of the longest-living centenarians in the world, a lost Da Vinci painting, and hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts.
His work has appeared in numerous publications, such as National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, he is furthermore an international speaker and teacher.

Spoken Languages: Italian (Native); English (Fluent); French (Fluent); Spanish (Conversational); German (Basic)

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David Brindley

Managing Editor, National Geographic Magazine

David Brindley oversees the editorial calendar and production of the flagship monthly publication, which has a worldwide distribution of six million print copies and the largest digital subscription base of any magazine in North America.
David has travelled extensively around the world and is fluent in Spanish, which he learned while backpacking throughout Central and South America for a year and teaching English in Bogotá, Colombia.

Spoken Languages: Spanish (fluent), French (basic), Italian (basic)

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Matthieu Paley

Photographer

Matthieu Paley is a seasoned National Geographic photographer, who has travelled all over the world, documenting regions that are misrepresented or misunderstood. He is especially committed to issues relating to diminishing cultures and the environment as well as self-sufficient communities, be it in the mountain or in the island world.
Matthieu is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2017 World Press and a Photographer of the Year International Award. He has published several monographs of his work, and his fine art images have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.

Spoken Languages: French (Native); English (Fluent); German (Conversational); Spanish (Conversational); Hindi/Urdu (Conversational); Turkish (Basic); Persian (Basic)

Our experts

Andrew Evans

Contibuting editor, National Geographic Traveller

Andrew Evans is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveller, an explorer, author and one of National Geographic’s veteran Digital Nomads. His time crisscrossing the globe is often shared with his tens of thousands of followers, his goal of Digital Nomad is to share in Realtime with a global audience his experiences of each place—from the sublime to the bizarre.
Evans is the author of four books including a traveller’s guide to Iceland and has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, and The Observer, as well as The Economist and National Geographic’s award-winning travel blog, Intelligent Travel.

Spoken Languages: French (fluent), Russian (fluent), Spanish (conversational), Arabic (basic), Icelandic (basic), Swahili (basic)

Our experts

Susan Seubert

Photographer

Award-winning travel and editorial photographer, Susan Seubert has photographed more than 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveller. Throughout her time travelling and photographing the world, Susan has amounted a considerable number of awards and accolades including the Alfred Eisenstadt Award and was recently recognised by the North American Travel Journalists Association for excellence in photography.
Susan’s in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); French (Conversational)

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M Jackson

M Jackson is a geographer, adventurer, environmental educator and National Geographic Society Explorer. M earned a doctorate from the University of Oregon in geography and glaciology, where she examined how climate change transformed people and ice communities in Iceland.

She is the reciprocate of many grants and awards and holds a Masters of Science degree from the University of Montana, where she focused on climate change and Alaskan glaciers and has worked for over a decade in the Arctic.

Spoken Languages: Icelandic (basic)

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Michael Melford

Photographer

Michael is an award-winning photographer who has produced more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveller magazine, over the course of the past 30 years.
Travelling to all seven continents, Michael has visited from Antarctica to Alaska and from New Zealand to the Seychelles, with his assignments focus on conservation, preservation, and celebrating the beauty of the wilderness and national parks around the world.
Michael’s work has garnered prestigious honours, including the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Photography and recognition from World Press Photo, and he believes in inspiring people to care about our planet.

Spoken Languages: English (Native); German (Basic)