Expedition Team Directory

Browse our directory of expedition team members who will join us on upcoming expeditions.

Expedition staff are subject to change.

Our Team

National Geographic Photography Expert icon National Geographic Photography Expert

Todd Gipstein

Todd Gipstein has been a photographer, writer, producer, and lecturer for more than 50 years. He has worked with National Geographic since 1987. He was the Society’s Director of Multi-Image and Executive Producer for Multimedia. His award-winning documentaries have dealt with a diverse range of topics, including photography, nature, the environment, history, exploration, travel, and the Geographic itself. His media work is known worldwide for its evocative storytelling. Todd’s assignments have taken him across North America, to Cuba, Europe, Asia, South America, New Zealand, the South Pacific, the Galapagos, Israel, Africa, the Arctic, and Antarctica. Todd’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic publications and in countless magazines and books. Todd’s work has been exhibited internationally. An enthusiastic traveler and teacher, he has lectured and presented his award-winning documentaries for the Geographic around the world. A graduate of Harvard, Todd has published four historical fiction novels. He and his wife, Marcia, spent a decade restoring and running tours to a lighthouse a mile out to sea from their home in Groton, Connecticut. Todd has also performed magic — a lifelong interest — around the world. His work can be found at his website: www.Gipstein.com

Naturalist icon Naturalist

John Pailthorpe

John spent the early years of his life in London, before an inspirational teacher took him to the highlands of Scotland on a school adventure trip. From then on the natural world has been his passion. After teacher training in Bangor, North Wales, John began a thirty-year career in outdoor education centres and schools, teaching and leading children and adults in such pursuits as mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking, and sailing throughout the U.K. and Europe. During this time John took time out to be part of six polar scientific expeditions, as a field assistant/guide. Two of these were with the British Antarctic Survey; the first a two-month field expedition to the Eklund Islands on the Antarctic Peninsula; the second, eight months as part of a king penguin and elephant seal study on South Georgia. He served as a boat skipper/field guide on a geological expedition to the northwest of Svalbard. More recently, he took part in three expeditions to the Greenland ice cap for the Scott Polar Research Institute of Cambridge, as part of the European Space Agency's “Cryosat” project. John is well aware that his career, and the wonderful experiences it has included, all began with one special teacher. With this in mind, he likes nothing more than to pass on his enthusiasm for nature and all things outdoors, with the intention of promoting an awareness and caring attitude towards the natural environment.

Cultural Specialist icon Cultural Specialist

David Brotherson

Growing up near Sydney, Australia, David’s interest in world history was rooted in a fascination with the classical civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean. Later, his research focus shifted to Southeast Asia for his dissertation when he joined the Greater Angkor Project, an international collaboration between the University of Sydney, the Cambodian government and l’Ecole Francais d’Extreme Orient. David is a long-term resident of Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he has worked at Angkor Wat for over a decade. His research interests include ceramics studies; the archaeology of urbanism, trade and cultural exchange; the history of art and architecture; and prehistoric societies. David has a PhD in archaeology with the University of Sydney. He has taught archaeology, anthropology and world history to diverse audiences in Cambodia, Singapore and Australia.

Naturalist icon Naturalist

Madalena Patacho

Madalena was born and raised in Portugal. Her childhood was spent in Belem, surrounded by Portuguese maritime history, always dreaming about exploring the oceans. Her love for nature has led her to study biology and later to take a Master’s in management of natural resources, specialized in ecotourism. She has lived on Príncipe Island, off the west coast of Africa, working with local communities on a responsible tourism project. She is inspired by the principles of ecotourism and is always looking for the best ways to contribute and leave a positive footprint everywhere. To travel around the world is her biggest passion, connecting with different cultures, exploring the wilderness and having a taste of local genuine experiences. Following this passion has allowed her to extensively explore Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Arctic. Her knowledge and enthusiastic storyteller talks have taken her to several universities, lecturing about ecotourism, sustainable tourism and nature conservation. When she is not exploring the world, she dedicates her time to Ocean literacy and environmental education working as a marine educator with a variety of audiences raising awareness on ocean conservation.

Expedition Leader icon Expedition Leader

Doug Gould

Travel and adventure were an integral part of Doug’s upbringing in a small town on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Growing up on the Great South Bay, his family claims Doug learned to sail before he learned to walk. Whether it was camping, sailing, birding, traveling across country or spending most of fifth grade living in Europe, Doug’s formative years left him with a love of wildlife, the outdoors, and a desire to keep moving.  After receiving a B.A. in dramatic arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Doug mixed a short career in the film and TV industry with two summers working for the Catalina Island Harbor Patrol, which led to his owning the third largest private marine rescue company in California. Doug sat on the Board of Directors of the Vessel Assist Association of America for three years and has lectured extensively to the marine assistance industry about safety and risk management.  In 2003, he volunteered to work for Oceanites as a member of their Antarctic Site Inventory wildlife census team (aka: a penguin counter). This opportunity included numerous trips to the Antarctic Peninsula over the span of three seasons. The Antarctic Site Inventory focused on gathering data about the impact of tourism on Antarctic wildlife, and helped to develop some of the Antarctic Treaty recommendations that govern tourism today. Since 2011, Doug has worked full time as a naturalist, photographer and expedition leader, working primarily in the polar regions. In 2015 he joined Lindblad Expeditions, and continues to share his enthusiasm for travel and adventure as an expedition leader and certified photo instructor. 

Naturalist icon Naturalist

José Pérez

José Pérez was born in Panama City and grew up in the province of Coclé in the small town of El Valle de Anton, a picturesque village located in the caldera of the world's second largest volcano. From a young age he felt a deep affinity for nature, joining his grandfather and father for long walks to their farm where they would identify plants, insects, and animals. José obtained his Bachelor of Accounting, but his interest in traveling and love for nature led him to launch a career in tourism. He currently has 12 years of experience as a tour guide, including five years as a birding guide. Besides being an expert birdwatcher he has an extensive knowledge of natural history. José leads expeditions in different protected areas throughout Panama, as well as Panama City and along the Panama Canal.

Expedition Leader icon Expedition Leader

John Mitchell

Raised in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado, John has always been a “child of nature,” where the natural world around him was life’s classroom.  After graduating from Colorado State University with degrees in Speech Communication and Biology, John joined Lindblad Expeditions.  Over the years with Lindblad he tried to learn every aspect of vessel operations while spending his “free time” learning all that he could from the naturalists on board.  His time off the boats was spent traveling throughout North, South, and Central America learning more about the areas.  John left “for a spell” to pursue a post-graduate degree in marine ecology in Hawaii, fell in love with island life and now calls Maui home. Most recently working as a Coastal Management Specialist for NOAA Pacific Region, he has also been the Program Director for an educational non-profit whose mission was to excite youth about science and all things natural.  John has also served as a naturalist, junior high and high school marine science field teacher.  He also worked on the Marine Turtle Research Project, and spent five years as the Fish and Habitat Monitoring Coordinator for the State of Hawaii.  John is passionate about the need to re-connect our youth to the environment in order to sustain meaningful education.

National Geographic Photography Expert icon National Geographic Photography Expert

Macduff Everton

Photographer Macduff Everton has shot multiple stories for National Geographic Traveler , and covered diverse regions on projects from Patagonia to Japan to the Scottish Highlands. His other editorial clients include  Life ,  LA Times Magazine ,  NY Times Magazine ,  Outside , and  Smithsonian . Macduff’s photography focuses on sense of place, whether portraits of individuals or portraits of a landscape. His books include  Patagonia La Última Esperanza  (University of Texas Press),  The Western Horizon  (Abrams),  The Modern Maya Incidents of Travel and Friendship in Yucatán  (University of Texas Press) and  Los Mayas Contemporáneos Incidencias de Viaje y Amistad in Yucatán  (Universidad Intercultural Maya de Quintana Roo), the latter two he wrote and photographed over a period of decades. His work is in the collections of many public and private institutions, such as the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the British Museum in London, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Macduff has also taught workshops nationally as well as in Mexico and Tuscany.

Undersea Specialist icon Undersea Specialist

Chris Cook

A self confessed “animal nerd,” Chris falls under many titles: marine biologist, marine interpreter, dive master, science communicator, and naturalist. Chris was lucky enough to grow up on the East Coast of Australia, where there are no shortage of different coastal environments to explore. While growing up, his friends would be surfing while he would be under the waves, snorkel and mask on looking for fish and all the weird and wonderful creatures he couldn’t get enough of. This love of the ocean lead to him completing a Bachelor of Science in 2005. His passion for the ocean and connecting people with its inhabitants landed him in various roles in different zoos and aquariums, but it was the "wild" that was always Chris’s true calling. After working as a whale watching tour guide off the West Coast of Canada and moving back to Australia to work on the Great Barrier Reef, Chris never looked back. Since 2009 Chris’s specialty has been giving presentations on and taking people out to tropical environments, in particular to different parts of the Great Barrier Reef region. In recent years Chris has spent more time living on tropical islands or on ships cruising up and down the reef than on land. Chris’s passion for photography, nature’s creatures, and scuba diving has taken him from diving in the snow in Canada one week to diving in Mexico the next. He has followed his passion to develop his photography and interpretative skills through out Southeast Asia, all along the East Coast of Australia and to the magical Kimberley region off the west coast. The only passions of Chris’s not mentioned are reptiles, birds, insects, dogs, the entire macro world, and of course talking about all of the above over good coffee!

Naturalist icon Naturalist

Martin Cohen

Martin grew up in Melbourne Australia playing cricket and Australian Rules football. While growing up, to his parents’ dismay, Martin brought home and kept a menagerie of wildlife including frogs, lizards, turtles and even poisonous snakes! After successfully completing a PhD. in tropical biology, Martin has spent much of the last 25 years using various mediums to impart his knowledge and passion about the natural world to people from all walks of life. During this time, he has also conducted numerous wildlife surveys and biodiversity monitoring programs throughout Australia, South-east Asia and the Amazon rainforest, worked with community conservation groups and guided eco-tours all over Australia. Martin has also authored several books (with over 40,000 sold), researched, directed and presented wildlife information on television and radio and written countless popular wildlife articles and interpretive signs. Martin still goes into the field as often as possible, however, much of his time nowadays is spent working as a naturalist for Lindblad – National Geographic to regions all over the world.

National Geographic Photography Expert icon National Geographic Photography Expert

Mike Libecki

National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Mike Libecki, has an obsession with exploring and the world's most remote and untouched corners of the planet to climb world class first ascents/adventures, support science, conservation and humanitarian projects, and bring these powerful, emotional stories back with hopes to inspire us all to take care of our Mother Earth. Libecki has completed more than 90 major expeditions, from Afghanistan to Antarctica, to Greenland and Guyana, to Siberia and Socotra Island, Yemen and everywhere in between - taking him to over 100 countries. Libecki is a producer, director, videographer, photographer, humanitarian (has his own 501c3 nonprofit), conservationist and leads cutting-edge science teams. He is also a math and tech nerd at heart and uses the latest technologies (specializing in Virtual Reality, 3D, Artificial Intelligence etc.,) on his expeditions to succeed on and share these stories of the magic, power and beauty of our planet. "The time is now. Why ration passion? Dream big and climb those dreams! Embrace the joyage!" - Mike Libecki

Expedition Leader icon Expedition Leader

Alex Searle

Born in Chile and raised in Argentina, Alex spent his childhood living in different parts of these countries and getting to know the local cultures. Alex studied Journalism at the University of Chile and did post graduate studies at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. Working as a Chilean TV producer for years, Alex worked in the news department doing research, and produced a successful late night show as well as a wildlife show that did stories all over America. Since he was a kid his life’s dream was to visit Easter Island, or Rapa Nui in the local language. He visited during his university years, together with his wife, Terangi, who was born on this unique Pacific island. Alex has worked for years with Lindblad Expeditions in Easter Island, and also works as a guide all along Chile. An avid diver and photographer, he has contributed his photos to books about Easter Island. His love for the cultural past and present of Rapa Nui, Polynesia, and other areas of South America, as well as his passion for wildlife and nature, make him a passionate guide. He is excited to share his understanding and knowledge with fellow travelers.  

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