Expedition Team

No more experienced polar team exists in travel


Our experienced expedition leader and a team of eight naturalists are your conduit to an extraordinary Arctic experience. And our exclusive National Geographic photographer and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor on board, ours exclusively, are there to help you capture the incredible wildlife photo ops. The undersea specialist will reveal the deep, while our wellness specialist helps you benefit from the tonic of wildness. And our video chronicler will record the entire voyage creating a permanent record for you. Count on the Global Perspectives guest speaker to share the voyage and relevant insights with you.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • Ailsa Mainman

    Historian
    English by birth, Ailsa grew up in Canada before returning to England to study archaeology. Most of her career has been spent researching and publishing aspects of the world-famous Viking discoveries made in York, although she has worked on excavations in many different countries and time periods.

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  • Andrew Peacock

    Expedition Leader
    Andrew was born in Adelaide, South Australia and (mis)spent his youth surfing and kayaking in the ocean, as is the case for many Aussies! After graduating from medical school there, Andrew spent a year working as a surgical resident in Santa Barbara, California where he was introduced to rock climbing. Taking up this new activity with a passion, he began to explore the mountainous regions of the world and volunteered his medical skills in Nepal and India where he has since led numerous treks. After documenting his experiences there on slide film, Andrew began contributing photos to what was then the Lonely Planet image library, and thus began a ‘sideline career’ using the creative side of his brain.

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  • Carlos Navarro

    Naturalist
    Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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  • Christine West

    Undersea Specialist
    Christine was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration. Her passion for marine biology has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in temperate and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving in extraordinary habitats such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated bays and lagoons filled with ice and glacial silt and in deep blue water with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales.

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  • Dana Johnston

    Naturalist
    Dana Johnston is an earth scientist specializing in experimental studies of magmatic and volcanic processes. He earned his doctorate at the University of Minnesota and then joined the faculty of the University of Oregon where he rose through the ranks to dean of the natural sciences division before retiring in 2014. Along the way he co-edited Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research and co-authored nearly 100 scientific publications, many describing laboratory simulations of magma genesis at the very high pressures and temperatures of our planet’s interior.

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  • Dennis Cornejo

    Naturalist
    Dennis began scuba diving during the mid-1970s as part of a research project. At the time he was a research associate at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, studying the population of winter hibernating sea turtles.  What began as a scientific study soon became a conservation project that expanded to three species of sea turtles along the entire Pacific coast of Mexico.  This project received major funding from the World Wildlife Fund and was eventually taken over directly by that agency with Kim Clifton and Dennis Cornejo as co-principal investigators.

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  • Eric Kruszewski

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    An editorial photographer and videographer based in Washington, D.C., Eric Kruszewski's multimedia work focuses on reportage and travel. His work is represented by National Geographic Creative, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic's Image Collection.

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  • James Coyer

    Naturalist/Expedition Diver
    It was Malle and Cousteau’s The Silent World, viewed in a dusty meeting hall on a wintry day in central Wisconsin that forged Jim’s dream and commitment to become a marine biologist. Never mind that he was only 8 at the time and that it would be another 13 years before he finally felt the spray of an ocean on his face.

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  • Jamie Coleman

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Jamie is from England. He grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, yet somehow decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and volunteering in various roles on nature reserves and in aquariums. It was no surprise that in 2007, he left home to study marine biology at the University of Newcastle.

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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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