Expedition Team

Our superb team is key to the quality of your experience


Our unparalleled team of Antarctica travel guides assure you an engaging, in-depth experience, and our generous staff-to-guest ratio of 1:10 means more choice in activities, and more diverse personalities and interests you can gravitate to. An expedition leader, eight naturalists/historians, a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, undersea specialist, video chronicler and a wellness specialist all contribute to your experience of the wonders.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Ashley Knight

    Undersea Specialist
    Ashley was raised in the high desert of Sedona, Arizona and escaped to the sea as soon as she was old enough. She developed a love for the oceans when she began scuba diving as a teenager and this has led to a career intertwined with the sea. Her simultaneous career as marine scientist and undersea specialist have given her opportunities to explore the kelp forests of California's Channel Islands, the coral reefs of the Florida Keys, and the rocky reefs of the west coast spanning from Monterey Bay to the Oregon Coast to British Columbia, the fjords of southeast Alaska, and the ultimate cold water of Antarctica.

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  • Doug Gould

    Expedition Leader
    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. 

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  • Ella Potts

    Naturalist
    Growing up, Ella spent much of her time swimming and kayaking in the cold waters off the rugged coast of West Wales. It was there that she first found her love of the ocean. From those early beginnings she went on to study Biology at undergraduate degree and Environmental Biology, Conservation and Resource Management to Masters degree level, at Swansea University. During her studies, Ella took an ecosystem approach towards assessing the health of our marine systems, with her specialism being in our oceans apex predators, the cetaceans. Following her studies, Ella decided to put her scientific background to good use and move into marine conservation.

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  • Johanna Werminghausen

    Assistant Expedition Leader
    Johanna grew up landlocked in a small town in Southern Germany. She realized at an early age that she wanted to see more of the world than the foot of the Swabian Alps and every year, she would beg her parents to spend the summers near the sea. 

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  • Karen Velas

    Naturalist
    Karen Velas cares deeply about protecting the environment and its wildlife.  Over the last 15 years, she has been involved with numerous conservation projects, including working as the Lead Project Coordinator on the California Condor Project with The National Audubon Society, managing projects in the flooded rice fields of California’s Central Valley with The Nature Conservancy and surveying the distant cliffs of Iceland to aid in puffin recovery with the South Iceland Research Centre.

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  • Marylou Blakeslee

    Naturalist
    For the past 20 years, Marylou Blakeslee has traveled the world sharing her love of wild places. She lectures on a number of topics from the bears and wolves of the Arctic, to the leopard seals and whales of the Antarctic, as well as the turtles and fishes of the Great Barrier Reef.

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  • Max Lowe

    National Geographic Photographer
    Photographer and filmmaker Max Lowe was born into traveling shoes. Son of famous alpinist Conrad Anker and writer and artist Jennifer Lowe-Anker, Max was exposed from a young age to the magic in traveling to and observing some of the world’s most remote cultures and environments. Taking up storytelling as his creed, he received a National Geographic Young Explorers grant in 2012, and since then, has shot on and produced for National Geographic Adventure and National Geographic magazines, as well as National Geographic Travel. Max has appeared on The BBC as well as in the internationally released National Parks Adventure IMAX film, and in publications including Science Magazine, Men’s Journal, and Outside Magazine. He has also produced still and film content for brands such as The North Face, Red Bull, Yeti Coolers, and Eddie Bauer.

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  • Maya Santangelo

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    Maya was born and raised in Southern California, where her curiosity for the natural world was encouraged from an early age. Relocating to Sydney, Australia with her family at 11 years old, she learned to scuba dive, eventually becoming a PADI Instructor. Her fascination for the underwater world undoubtedly fueled her interest to study marine biology at James Cook University. Working as a professional guide in some of the world’s top dive destinations, including Palau and Mexico’s Guadalupe Island and Revillagigedo Archipelago, Maya realized a passion for sharing her love for the ocean with others, and the value of citizen science in the dive industry.

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  • Rich Kirchner

    Naturalist
    Rich Kirchner has worked as a naturalist in Antarctica, Alaska, the Bering Sea, Baja and the High Arctic, including Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and Iceland. His 25 years as a professional wildlife photographer has granted him international publication credits included in magazines such as Geo Germany, Geo France, Natural History, Audubon, National Wildlife and Ranger Rick, as well as more than a hundred books.

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  • Steve Ewing

    Video Chronicler
    Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Steve fell in love with the beauty of the natural world at an early age. In addition to nature, his other main passion was telling stories though the medium of television and radio. Steve studied broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon. There, he learned how to shoot, edit, and report compelling stories using digital video.

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