Born of a Scottish father and English mother, Emma enjoyed an international upbringing because of her father’s job as a foreign correspondent. Although her family eventually settled in Rome, Emma's schooling was conducted in French, having started her studies in Brussels, Belgium and finishing at the Lycée Français de Rome in 1988.
While at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Emma combined her fascination with biology with her love of the seas, receiving a degree in applied marine biology. She is a keen diver, and while at school worked part-time as a diver in an aquarium. Two months after graduation, having seen the job advertised at her university, Emma moved to Ecuador and began her fascinating job as a naturalist and dive guide in the Galápagos archipelago.
Emma has worked as a naturalist and expedition leader with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic in Galápagos since 1997. She has also worked as expedition leader, undersea specialist, and dive master for in regions as diverse as the Columbia River, Central America, Europe, and the South Pacific.
She has been granted permanent residency in the archipelago, building a home in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island with her two little girls, Amelia and Rebecca, and her partner Juan Carlos–also a Lindblad-National Geographic naturalist. Raising two daughters, Emma spends less time on board the ships now, but works as Lindblad-National Geographic’s Galápagos field staff manager and is pursuing a master’s degree in biodiversity conservation and management by distance learning, through the University of London.