Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


For over 40 years, the quality and breadth of our staff has set us apart as a leader in high-caliber expeditions. Our alliance with National Geographic broadens our pool of experts exponentially. Each historian and naturalist is deeply knowledgeable about these geographies. You’re free to join any naturalist you wish for various activities. Our excellent staff-to-guest ratio ensures a variety of perspectives and personalities to enjoy

The team composition 
Whether it’s on the deck, on walks through coastal towns and historical sites, or in enlightening lectures on board, your team of an expedition leader, a mix of historians, naturalistsarchaeologists, a National Geographic photographer, and a certified photo instructor will illuminate all you see. Our wellness specialist is on call for treatments. 


Meet the expedition team for this departure

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  • David Barnes

    Historian
    David studied history at the University of York in England and theology at the University of Wales. Research in the field of religious history (at Cardiff) followed on naturally. He has spent most of his professional life teaching history, most recently in adult education departments within the University of Wales where he has taught a wide variety of courses pertinent to the wider Atlantic world. In 1988, he made his first lecture-tour of the U.S. for the English Speaking Union. He has published extensively on Welsh history and topography–his most recent book being the Companion Guide to Wales (2005)–and is a frequent contributor of articles and reviews to Welsh cultural and literary journals. In the1990s, David was active in the field of international education, traveling worldwide and spending a year in the U.S. (in Atlanta and New York City). He speaks English and French in addition to his native Welsh.

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  • David Cothran

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    David has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in over 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea.

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  • Doug Gualtieri

    Naturalist
    Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For over seven years he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park.

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  • Jay Dickman

    Photographer
    Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jay Dickman's career has spanned a multitude of experiences. As a photojournalist for more than 40 years, Jay has covered topics as diverse as the Salvadoran civil war, Olympics and Super Bowls, national political conventions, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for National Geographic, he lived in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack submarine. Jay has been joining National Geographic Expeditions for over a decade and has traveled to all seven continents. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.

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  • Jen Martin

    Expedition Leader
    Jen was born and raised in the beautiful, but land-locked, state of Colorado. As a child, she spent almost every summer camping, hiking, or backpacking in the mountains, which awakened her passion for the natural world. Her love of travel originated at an early age, by parents who introduced their children to the value of exploration.  Jen started her naturalist career as a motor coach driver and nature/history guide in Alaska. She immediately fell in love with the amazing beauty and wildness of the place.  After a few years, she transitioned to small ships as a naturalist and expedition leader.

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  • Jim Kelley

    Naturalist
    A native of California, Jim has been going to sea for most of his life. Jim grew up by the ocean in Southern California, did his undergraduate work in geology at Pomona College, and received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Wyoming. In 1966 he joined the faculty of the Department of Oceanography at the University of Washington, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Department of Biomathematics. In 1970-71 he was Fulbright Professor at the University of Athens and Senior Research Scientist at the Democritos Greek Atomic Energy Commission.

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  • Koen Kleijn

    Cultural Specialist
    Koen Kleijn is an art historian, working as a journalist, documentary film director and writer.  He is the author (or co-author) of several books on history and culture in the Netherlands, among which Nederlandse Bouwkunst (Architecture in the Netherlands), Out of Amsterdam. A Brief History of the Metropolitan Area (2010), Amsterdamse Grachtentuinen (Gardens of Amsterdam) (2005), De Amsterdamse Haven 1275-2005 (Harbour of Amsterdam) (2005), and De Grachten van Amsterdam / The Canals of Amsterdam, (2013), describe 400 years of cultural history of the  UNESCO World Heritage area. 

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  • Kristy Leissle

    Cultural Specialist
    Kristy was born in Brooklyn, and left New York when she was 18 to get to know the world. Her travels took her first to Europe, and then to everywhere else: she has since lived, worked, and researched on all seven continents. Kristy holds degrees from Oxford University, University of Washington, and Boston College. Having earned her PhD by studying the cocoa-chocolate trade, she is known in the industry as “Dr. Chocolate.”

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  • Sheri Bluestein

    Cultural Specialist
    Sheri has lived, worked, volunteered, and traveled on all seven continents including several years in Portland, Oregon and 3.5 years in Amsterdam, where she became fluent in Dutch and became a citizen. She currently resides in the French Pyrenees, living in a restored cow barn with her Dutch husband, whom she met while riding an elephant in Thailand.

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