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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.
Magen O’Farrell is an American archaeologist who has lived and worked in France for the past 30 years. She first arrived in the Dordogne region to participate in the excavation of a Paleolithic cave site knowing very little about prehistory and nothing about Lascaux Cave, which she had the immense privilege of visiting on her first day. The experience changed her life and inspired her to study archaeology. She earned a B.A. and the Faculty Memorial Award at New York University, and continued at the University of Pennsylvania with a National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship. She finished with a degree from the Université de Bordeaux I in France. She is now affiliated with the PACEA research laboratory in France, and runs her own company, Archeocom, devoted to education, communication and public outreach in archaeology. Her research interests include the origins of modern human behavior, stone and bone tool technology, prehistoric art, and the enigmatic relationships between these aspects of prehistoric life. Magen has participated in numerous excavations and research programs in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Australia and the United States. She has authored or co-authored many scientific publications, and collaborates in the creation of exhibitions and educational programs for children and adults.
James (Jamie) Shreeve is Executive Editor for Science at National Geographic magazine. Before joining the Geographic staff in 2006, he was a freelance science writer and author specializing in human evolution and biology. His books include The Genome War; The Neandertal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins, named by Doris Lessing as “Book of the Year” in 1996; Lucy's Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor (with Donald Johanson), and Nature: The Other Earthlings, the companion volume to the public television series.
Jamie received his B.A. in English from Brown University in 1973. A 1979 graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he contributed fiction to various literary magazines before turning to science writing. From 1983 to 1985, he was Public Information Director at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and founding director of the MBL Science Writing Fellowship Program. He has been awarded fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. He lives in Bellport, New York, and Washington, D.C.
Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer has worked at the Natural History Museum London since 1973, where he now leads research in Human Origins. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and a National Geographic grantee. Chris's early research was on the relationship of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe. Through his work on the "Recent African Origin" model for modern human origins, he now collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in attempting to reconstruct the evolution of modern humans globally. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and is currently leading the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project in its third phase (AHOB3). He has published more than 250 scientific papers, and his recent books include Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain, The Complete World of Human Evolution (with Peter Andrews), and Lone Survivors.
National Geographic grantee Ana Pinto is a Spanish archaeologist working in the field of human evolution. She earned her masters and doctoral degrees in the Human Origins group at London's Natural History Museum, then worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Donald Johanson at Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins. Her fields of interest include fossilization processes, ancient environments, early human diets, and the origins of modern human behavior as expressed in Europe over the last 40,000 years. Ana has conducted much of her research in caves and rock shelters requiring vertical rope techniques in Spain, Tanzania, and Kenya. She has also participated in excavation and field research projects in England, South Africa, and Armenia. In 2001 Ana discovered the Sopeña rockshelter, which contains a long archaeological stratigraphy bearing evidence to the last millenia of Neanderthal life and the immediate substitution by Cro-magnon. Ana was part of the Atapuerca team during the years of major discoveries at this World Heritage-listed archaeological site, and received the prestigous Prince of Asturias Prize in 1997 awarded to the Atapuerca Team. She was the 2005 Humanities Awardee of the Wings World Quest Foundation and named Spanish Distinguished Researcher in 2006 by the Spanish Government.