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.
Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 30 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler since joining the magazine as a contributor in 2004. Her subjects range from Canada to the Caribbean and Texas to Thailand. Her work has been recognized by the department of journalism at Columbia University with an Alfred Eisenstadt Award and most recently by the North American Travel Journalists Association for excellence in photography. In addition to being widely published and exhibited, she also lectures regularly about her work at such institutions as Harvard University and the Portland Art Museum. Based in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii, Susan travels throughout the world shooting a variety of subjects and specializes in capturing a sense of place through her wide-ranging imagery. Susan's in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling. Born and raised in Indiana, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and she hasn't set down her camera since. When not on assignment, she divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Maui.
Hailing from Cobh in the south of Ireland, Conor Ryan grew up on the shores of Cork Harbour, where his fascination with the sea led him to study zoology at University College Cork. He continued his studies in marine biology in Galway, where he studied baleen whales for his doctoral thesis. His research also brought him to Cape Verde in search of the breeding grounds of humpback whales. With more than 30 published scientific papers, Conor is a renowned expert in baleen whales and small cetaceans. He left his academic path behind to work for non-government organizations, where he applies scientific knowledge to the conservation and management of marine mammals. He is a scientific advisor for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and a research associate on the vessel Song of the Whale. When not aboard National Geographic-Lindblad vessels, Conor regularly conducts field-based whale research from the tropics to the Arctic. He enjoys island life in the Hebrides in western Scotland, where he lives on the remote Isle of Mull. Throughout 2018, he is serving as a Year of the Bird Ambassador.
A National Geographic staff photographer since 1990, Mark Thiessen has published numerous feature stories and covers for National Geographic magazine and other Society publications on subjects ranging from Peruvian mummies to Egyptian archaeologists to Russian smokejumpers. He recently documented film director and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron's dive to the ocean's deepest location at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Mark's photographs for the July 2008 National Geographic cover story “Under Fire: Why the West Is Burning” earned first-place recognition by Pictures of the Year International. Mark also directs the National Geographic photo studio, and was featured in Out There, a series aired on the National Geographic Channel.
Photographer Karen Kasmauski has produced 25 stories for National Geographic magazine on topics ranging from earthquakes in Japan and oil exploration in Alaska to human migration and aging and genetics. A senior fellow with the League of Conservation Photographers, she finds the personal stories behind the headlines, blending a warm human sensitivity with a photographer’s eye for detail to distill global issues into resonant images. Karen's book Impact: From the Front Lines of Global Health, published by National Geographic, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her book Nurse: A World of Care tells stories of dedicated medical professionals—“frontline soldiers” in the war against suffering and disease—from the frozen rivers of Alaska to the slums of Nairobi. The book earned awards from Communication Arts, Pictures of the Year, and the American Academy of Nursing. Karen's photographic work has appeared in numerous publications including Smithsonian and the New York Times. She also received an inaugural Getty Images Grant for Good to develop compelling new imagery for the non-profits she supports. Karen first traveled to Iceland in the late 1990s while working on a genetic science story for National Geographic. She fell in love with the rugged landscape and always looks forward to circumnavigating the country and sharing the destination with travelers.
Originally from Italy, Gianluca Colla has traveled and photographed around the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic Circle, from Africa’s deserts to the Amazon and to the Alps. He has covered a diverse range of topics including the secrets of the longest-living centenarians in the world, a lost Da Vinci painting, and hidden mummies in Sicilian crypts. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Currently based in Switzerland, he has traveled and photographed extensively around Europe.
National Geographic photographer Jeff Mauritzen's assignments and adventures have immersed him in vivid landscapes on all seven continents and in more than 60 countries around the world. Whether capturing 360-degree panoramas of wildlife along an African savanna or photographing sharks in the Pacific depths, Jeff’s work expresses an unwavering passion, respect, curiosity, and awe for the natural world. His photography has appeared in over a dozen National Geographic books, several National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine articles, and on the @natgeotravel Instagram account, where he’s a regular contributor. Jeff has also shot for the National Geographic Traveler guidebook series. In addition to assignment work, Jeff enjoys traveling with National Geographic Expeditions teaching photography around the world on natural history-focused trips. His images are represented by Nat Geo Creative.
Jennifer Adler is conservation photographer, educator, and National Geographic Explorer. She is a cave diver and has extensive photography experience in extreme underwater environments. She is originally trained as a marine biologist and worked as a biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey after graduating from Brown. She now uses her background in science to inform her imagery and tell visual stories that communicate science and conservation. Her story documenting an underwater dye trace study was featured on National Geographic's website and her PhD dissertation, called Visual Ecology, was funded in part by the National Geographic Society. Her research investigates how we can use photography as a tool in environmental education and communication and how it can help connect kids to their most vital resource: freshwater. Her work teaching kids about freshwater and creating the first 360-degree virtual tour in Florida’s underwater caves was featured in National Geographic magazine. Jenny is passionate about teaching, and besides her students in Florida, she has taught conservation photography in Cuba through the University of Florida School of Journalism and in Belize for National Geographic Student Expeditions. She has traveled widely for photography assignments—from Mexico and the Caribbean to Alaska and Iceland—and is a frequent speaker, including a 2015 TEDx talk. Her imagery is represented by National Geographic Creative.