National Geographic Expert

Peter Houlihan

Tropical Ecologist, Filmmaker, and National Geographic Explorer Peter Houlihan specializes in coordinating and leading scientific expeditions into some of the planet's least accessible and most threatened tropical environments for conservation. Over the past 15 years, he has led more than 40 extensive research and media expeditions across four continents, operating in more than 20 countries. He is passionate about engaging and working with communities where he works and inspiring others to learn about our natural world. Represented by National Geographic Image Collection, Peter is a multilingual photographer, videographer, and producer fusing his conservation science with high-impact media to inform broad international audiences about our planet.

Peter has received multiple grants from the National Geographic Society to conduct research and lead scientific expeditions. He lives and works throughout the tropics of Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia, where he conducts long term conservation work with NGOs in Borneo, Madagascar, and the Amazon, is a frequent visiting scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and teaches a graduate level tropical ecology and conservation field course in the Congo Basin as an Adjunct Professor for Johns Hopkins University. In Tanzania, Peter has lived and worked in the northern parks, and with Masai communities, where his research has focused on community ecology of savanna ecosystems, as well as the coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Globally, Peter's research, conservation work, and science communication have helped lead to the establishment of new protected areas and the documentation of species new to science. On camera, Peter has appeared across National Geographic platforms, in an Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, and alongside Sir David Attenborough for the BBC. A recent film about his team’s latest scientific discoveries in the Florida Everglades, called ‘Chasing Ghosts,’ is an Official Selection of the National Geographic Short Film Showcase. Peter is also an Explorers Club Fellow, a gear tester for Patagonia, and an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers.