A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
National Geographic Explorer Elizabeth Lonsdorf began researching primates as an undergraduate student at Duke University. Later, while completing a Ph.D. at the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota, she spent several months each year studying wild chimpanzees at Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park. She returns annually to Gombe to maintain a research program focused on chimpanzee health and infant development. In addition to serving on the faculty of Franklin & Marshall College, Elizabeth is the Vice President for Education and Outreach for the International Primatological Society.
Chloé Cipolletta is a biologist, primatologist, and conservationist. Since 2015, she has led the National Geographic East Africa Fund, which has a goal of increasing research and conservation opportunities across the region. Chloé has studied chimpanzee behavior in the Tai Forest of Cote d’Ivoire. She worked for nine years with the World Wildlife Fund in the Dzanga-Sangha Forest of the Central African Republic, developing the country’s western lowland gorilla tourism program. Chloé moved to Rwanda with her family in 2012 to work for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project.
Tara Stoinski serves as President and CEO and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Tara has studied gorillas for more than two decades and is the author of more than 90 scientific publications and books. Her work has been featured in numerous press outlets, including National Geographic Magazine, CNN, and NPR. She holds degrees from Tufts University, the University of Oxford and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and is an adjunct professor at Emory University and Georgia Tech. Tara also serves in a number of leadership positions within the conservation and primate communities, including as an executive committee member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s section on Great Apes.
National Geographic Explorer Jill Pruetz is a biological anthropologist who specializes in primatology. A professor at Iowa State University, Jill spent two years in East Africa researching patas and vervet monkeys as well as Grevy's zebras. She is one of the world's foremost chimpanzee experts and is currently conducting ground-breaking research on chimpanzee behavior—funded by National Geographic—in southeastern Senegal.