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.
Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson is best known as the man who discovered “Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old partial skeleton and hominin ancestor to Homo sapiens. An accomplished scientist, scholar, and National Geographic grantee, Donald has helped piece together the puzzle of human evolution. He is the founder of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and the author of the book Lucy’s Legacy: The Quest for Human Origins. His work has been featured many times in National Geographic magazine and television documentaries.
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.
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.
John Echave is a photojournalist and a 20-year National Geographic veteran. As senior editor for photography and research grants, he produced and edited 217 stories and 37 covers for National Geographic magazine. Among the many stories on human evolution he produced are "Lucy's Child," "Chauvet Cave," "Meet Kenya Man," "Dawn of Humans," and "Peopling of the Americas." As the magazine's representative to the Committee for Research and Exploration, John worked closely with the Society's grantees, including paleontologists such as Meave and Louise Leakey, Donald Johanson, Ana Christina Pinto-Llona, and others in an effort to publish their findings. John's grandparents were Basques and he has spent a considerable amount of time in France and the Basque country of Spain.
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. 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.