Guide Bios

​Get to know our passionate Expedition team, each member a seasoned polar veteran representing the best of the best in their disciplines.

Get to know our passionate Expedition team, each member a seasoned polar veteran representing the best of the best in their disciplines. 

A&K's Antarctica expedition leader and team occupy a category all their own. Their expertise in the history and wildlife of the seventh continent is matched only by their commitment to the success of your voyage, which they oversee down to the last detail. We carefully select and hire our Antarctica tour guides for their knowledge and credentials as leaders in their fields, whether as research scientists, wildlife photographers or habitat conservationists. And with our guide-to-passenger ratio of 1:12, expect to leave Antarctica an expert yourself. 

" The entire Expedition Team has exceeded our expectations! Each are world-class in their enthusiasm and love for what they specialize in!" 

- Norbert F., A&K Guest

Suzana Machado D'Oliveira
 Expedition Leader
Suzana has travelled the globe from pole to pole since 1988, journeying to Antarctica some 200 times and exploring exotic locales from the Amazon to Indonesia. As comfortable hiking trails and white water kayaking as she is travelling in first-class comfort, she is equally versed on ships of every size and caliber. She has served as both an expedition leader and cruise director, and is A&K’s representative to the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). Suzana was born and raised in Brazil, where she studied history at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. She continues to take great interest in the cultures and people she encounters during her travels.  

Jannie Cloete
Cruise Director

A native of South Africa, Jannie has been working as cruise director and expedition leader for more than 28 years on ships ranging from a mega-liner with 2,500 passengers to a Russian, nuclear-powered icebreaker bound for the North Pole. This vocation has taken him around the globe and to all seven continents, from the Antarctic to the tropics and the most remote gems in between. With his amiable and approachable nothing-is-too-much attitude, Jannie has settled into full-time work on smaller vessels that visit lesser-known destinations, becoming a bit of a specialist in the off-the-beaten-path.  

Bob Burton
Lecturer on Antarctic History

After graduating from the University of Cambridge Bob joined the British Antarctic Survey for two years, overwintering at Signy Island in the South Orkneys. As a meteorological assistant, he studied the behavior of skuas, continued census programs on birds and seals and read fascinating accounts of early Antarctic expeditions. With a passion for South Georgia, Bob has served as Director of the Whaling Museum at Grytviken, and was awarded a Shackleton Scholarship to collect records of the early whaling industry and visits by explorers. Bob has written over 30 books and recently edited A Field Guide to the Wildlife of South Georgia. He was awarded the Polar Medal for research in Antarctica and the Arctic.


Dr. Jim McClintock
Lecturer on Climate Ecology
Jim is a marine biologist and field ecologist who leads Fighting Climate Change in Antarctica, an A&K Philanthropic Journey. He is an endowed professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and has decades of field work in the Antarctica Peninsula in association with UAB and the National Science Foundation. In 1999, a point on the Peninsula was named after Jim in recognition of his explorations. He was selected in 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Polar Research Board to serve on a group to report on the effects of climate change.

Dr. Patricia Silva
Lecturer on Ornithology

Patricia conducts research with Argentina’s University of Mar del Plata. She is the current editor of the IAATO Save the Albatross Campaign newsletter, focused on the conservation of albatross and petrel in fisheries of the Southern Ocean.

Richard Harker
Photo Enrichment Coach
Richard has been a professional photographer for 20 years and has a keen interest in underwater, wildlife and landscape photography. Capturing exotic locales from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Sea, his works have appeared in more than a dozen books and magazines and have accompanied more than one hundred articles. Equally comfortable using a state-of-the-art digital SLR and 19th-century large-format field cameras, Richard joins ‘Le Boreal’ as A&K’s resident photographic expert and lecturer.

Russ Manning  
Naturalist and Zodiac Driver

Russ was born and raised in Sussex on the south coast of England. He joined the British Royal Marine Commandos on his 17th birthday and served for 15 years, specializing in small boat, polar and mountain operations. The next call to the great outdoors came by way of the British Antarctic Survey in the austral summer of 1990/1991, which he spent guiding three Dutch botanists on the Antarctic Peninsula. This led to a twenty-eight month stint on Signy Island in the South Orkneys. His tasks included boatman, travel guide and Winter Base Commander. The beautiful South Orkneys proved such a draw that Russ returned for a further eighteen-month stint. Upon returning home he was awarded the Polar Medal. For the past 14 seasons, Russ has worked on expedition vessels as a Zodiac driver and naturalist. When not in Antarctica or the Arctic, he drives a Lifeguard Search and Rescue patrol boat operating out of Brighton Marina, England.

Rich Pagen
Naturalist and Zodiac Driver
Rich began his career in conservation biology as an educator. After receiving a master’s degree from the University of Missouri, he worked as a field supervisor on a study of birds in the Amazon. As a biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he has led tagging studies of sea turtle and shark. For the past six years, Rich has conducted shipboard surveys for seabirds.