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 grantee Ana Pinto is a Spanish archaeologist working in the field of human evolution. She earned her masters and doctoral degrees at London's Natural History Museum, then worked as a post-doctoral fellow 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 in Spain, Tanzania, and Kenya. She has also participated in excavations 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 a Atapuerca team that made major discoveries at this World Heritage-listed archaeological site, and received the prestigous Prince of Asturias Prize in 1997 for her work with the team. She was the 2005 Humanities Awardee of the Wings World Quest Foundation and named Spanish Distinguished Researcher in 2006 by the Spanish Government.
Magen O'Farrell is an American archaeologist who has lived and worked in France for the past 30 years. When she first arrived in the Dordogne region to participate in the excavation of a Paleolithic cave site, she knew very little about prehistory or the famous 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 humans, prehistoric art and technology , and the complex relationships between these aspects of prehistoric life. Magen has participated in numerous excavations and research programs in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Australia and the USA. She has authored many scientific publications and collaborates in the realization of exhibits and educational programs for children and adults.
Since 1973, paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer has worked at the Natural History Museum in London, where he currently 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 collaborates with archaeologists, dating specialists, and geneticists in an attempt to reconstruct the global evolution of modern humans. He has excavated at sites in Britain and abroad, and is currently leading the third phrase of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (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, and Lone Survivors.