Expedition Team

Our team is essential to the quality of your experience


The quality of our veteran staff is the reason the Lindblad name is known and respected for exceptional expeditions. Add to that the fact that National Geographic Orion’s expedition team also includes a complement of veteran naturalists well-versed in the flora, fauna and human history of the South Pacific. You can travel with confidence with our French Polynesia travel guides, assured of the richest, most in-depth experience of this fascinating region possible.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

Or
  • Alex Searle

    Naturalist
    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.

    Read More
  • Chris Cook

    Naturalist
    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.

    Read More
  • Chris Rainier

    National Geographic Photographer
    Chris Rainier is a National Geographic Society Fellow and documentary photographer who is highly respected for his documentation of endangered cultures and languages. In 2002 he was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorers Club for his efforts on cultural preservation, and he was recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of London, specializing in Cultural Studies.

    Read More
  • David Cothran

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    David has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in over 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea.

    Read More
  • James Napoli

    Video Chronicler
    Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

    Read More
  • Jen Martin

    Expedition Leader
    Jen was born and raised in the beautiful, but land-locked, state of Colorado. As a child, she spent almost every summer camping, hiking, or backpacking in the mountains, which awakened her passion for the natural world. Her love of travel originated at an early age, by parents who introduced their children to the value of exploration.  Jen started her naturalist career as a motor coach driver and nature/history guide in Alaska. She immediately fell in love with the amazing beauty and wildness of the place.  After a few years, she transitioned to small ships as a naturalist and expedition leader.

    Read More
  • 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. 

    Read More
  • Lucho Verdesoto

    Naturalist
    Born and raised in the tropical country of Ecuador, Lucho is a passionate naturalist that has been working for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1998. With a marine biology background, he started as a naturalist in the Galápagos Islands in 1994. Since then, he has filled numerous roles with Lindblad-National Geographic, such as naturalist, undersea specialist and expedition leader in the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica and Panama, and Baja California.

    Read More
  • Melo Veron

    Divemaster
    Born in France and a dive instructor since 1999, Mélo has traveled the planet for many years and spent more than 7,500 hours underwater. She has explored the seas and lakes of France and Europe, the Maldives, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Egypt, the Caribbean, South America, and East Africa, but for the last six years she has called Polynesia home. From the moment she arrived she fell in love with the spectacular fish-filled waters and sublime colors that only the South Pacific can provide. Along with her divemaster husband Vincent Truchet, Mélo will manage and guide our guest dive program aboard NG Orion.

    Read More
  • Mike Greenfelder

    Undersea Specialist
    Mike learned early on that the best way to escape Ohio was to become a marine biologist.  During college at Wittenberg University he attended a semester at Duke University's Marine Lab — that time only confirmed his love for all things oceanic and maritime.  After graduation, Mike promptly moved to Catalina Island in California where he taught marine biology to school kids.  Since 1999, Mike has been working and traveling chasing his three loves: marine critters, photography, and birds.

    Read More

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.