We want to thank the Aurora Expeditions staff and special guests listed below and the rest of the Russian crew of the Polar Pioneer for the wonderful memories we shared. We will cherish and share these experiences with others for years to come. Because of their high degree of professionalism, their passion for adventure and their hard work and dedication, our voyage to Antarctica was seamless and a great success (Bio's courtesy of Aurora).
Kieran Lawton (Expedition Leader/Naturalist/Climbing Guide) - Kieran has had a varied association with Antarctica over the last decade. A biologist by training, he has conducted research into the foraging ecology of a number of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic species. Between May and December of 1994 he camped in a small hut beside the Emperor rookery at Auster in East Antarctica, and had the breathtaking experience of spending the entire winter amongst these well-adapted and inspiring birds. He has also been lucky enough to spend several seasons on Macquarie Island investigating the ecology of elephant seals and fur seals and, in the 2000/2001 austral summer, as field training officer. Swapping hemispheres, Kieran then worked in the tundra/boreal forest ecosystems of Northern Siberia for a few years.
Kieran’s interest in Antarctica extends beyond a fascination with polar biology. An experienced climber and skier, he organized and led a yacht-based mountaineering expedition to an unclimbed peak on the Danco Coast of the Antarctic Peninsula in 1998. The expedition culminated in the first ascent of a dramatic spire called Pilcher Peak. Kieran has a thorough knowledge of Antarctic history from the heroic age of exploration to modern exploits. Part of the motivation for the 1998 expedition grew from his interest in historical Antarctic sled-hauling endeavors. He subsequently worked for the Australian Antarctic Program in field safety roles, and joined Aurora expeditions in 1999.
More recently Kieran has returned south and has been conducting research on albatrosses, undertaking census and foraging ecology work on the Chilean Islands of Diego Ramirez and Ildefonso, remote islands that lie in Drakes passage south of Cape Horn, and on Heard Island in the southern Indian Ocean. Kieran is an enthusiastic speaker with an excellent selection of photographs and is always looking forward to sharing his wealth of Antarctic knowledge.
Sue Werner (Assistant Expedition Leader) - Sue has worked as assistant expedition leader on Aurora's Antarctic and Arctic voyages and is also Aurora's head office operations manager. She has completed more than 33 voyages to the Antarctic and 17 to the Arctic.
Sue was born in Victoria and began her working life as a horse
manager and veterinary nurse. In 1990 she went trekking in
Nepal and from that time, her adventurous spirit took
control. On returning to Australia, Sue worked as Sales
Manager at Mountain Designs. In 1992 she climbed Kilimanjaro
and spent time exploring Kenya and Tanzania. Back in
Australia, she was employed as caterer and instructor for an
outdoor executive training company, and was base camp
manager and cook for the 1994 Australian Chongtar Expedition
(China/Pakistan). In 1995 she headed to the mountains of New
Zealand to climb and complete an intensive technical
mountaineering course. Sue loves the mountains and colder
climates and excels in winter activities. For the next few
years, Sue worked as an adventure travel consultant.
In early 1996 she assisted on Aurora's first Climbers and Photographers voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula and spent 1996-97 as a ship-based shop manager, cruising to Antarctica, the Amazon and the High Arctic. In 1997, Sue joined the Aurora Expeditions office. In 2000 Sue and her partner Henrik Lovendahl took a well-earned break which they spent climbing, diving, trekking and exploring some of the world's adventure hot-spots, in the Himalayas, European Alps and Thailand. Sue is also a keen photographer and holds a wilderness first aid certificate.
Henrik Lovendahl (Expedition Leader & Dive Master) - Henrik first worked with Aurora Expeditions as dive guide in 1998, when we introduced Aurora's optional scuba diving program to our Antarctic voyages. Henrik has since moved on to become an expedition leader and dive guide in both Polar Regions and he knows his way well around the icy regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. He has worked in the diving industry for many years as a diving instructor, and most recently as an educational consultant for PADI Asia Pacific.
Henrik's adventurous spirit and love of travel caused him to leave his native Denmark some ten years ago. Having traveled to the other side of the world through Europe and Asia, Henrik was so taken with Australia's wonderful lifestyle and opportunities for adventure, he decided to stay. Henrik is a keen photographer, both above and below the water. He holds a wilderness first aid certificate. Henrik intersperses his working life with protracted periods of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering. An accomplished climber and hiker, he is at home in the world's wild places.
Tashi Tenzing (Mountain Guide) - Tashi is the grandson of Tenzing Norgay who, with Sir Edmund Hillary, made the first ascent of Everest on 29th May 1953. Tashi was born and educated in Darjeeling, India and gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of New Delhi. But his first love has always been the outdoors, especially climbing and, since leaving University, Tashi has been almost solely employed in leading trekking and climbing trips in the Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Indian Himalaya, as well as some stints as a field training officer and mountain guide in Antarctica. He has trekked widely in Nepal (especially the Everest area of course!), in Kashmir and Ladakh and in the eastern Himalaya of Bhutan and Sikkim.
Tashi also graduated as an instructor from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. This Institute was established by his grandfather, Tenzing Norgay, to offer professional climbing instruction to young Himalayan climbers. It has established a great tradition and a successful history of expeditions to the mighty Himalayan peaks.
In 1993 Tashi led the 40th Anniversary Everest Expedition to mark the 40th anniversary of the first successful expedition by his grandfather, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. His team was successful, getting two members to the summit on May 10th. Some four years later, on May 23rd 1997, Tashi reached the summit of Everest himself. With this dream fulfilled, Tashi's road was clear to embark on new adventures.
In 1998/99 Tashi first worked for the Australian Antarctic Division, at Mawson Station in East Antarctica. The past three years has seen Tashi again in the Antarctic, guiding alpine ascents on climbing trips for Aurora Expeditions, including a crossing of South Georgia. He also worked on a filming a project in 2002/3, spending a month in Scott Base and two months in the Antarctica Peninsula.
In August 2001 Tashi and his wife Judy published their first book - Tenzing and the Sherpas of Everest - which pays tribute to the immense contribution the Sherpas, including his grandfather Tenzing, have made to Himalayan exploration and mountaineering. The book is published worldwide.
On May 16th, 2002 Tashi made his second ascent of Everest with the Swiss Rolex 50th Anniversary team - to commemorate the gallant attempts made in both spring and autumn 1952 by Tenzing Norgay and his dear friend, Raymond Lambert. Tashi reached the summit with Apa Sherpa who has climbed Everest 12 times and Yves Lambert, son of the Swiss climbing legend. The dream of a father and grandfather are now fulfilled.
- Motivational Speaker: Tashi Tenzing - Additional bio information and a picture gallery of his summiting expedition to Everest. (pdf version)
Norgay & The Sherpas Of Everest - This award-wining book,
written by Tashi Tenzing has received international
praise and presents one of the great stories of mountaineering.
It's the first summiting of Everest from the Sherpa point of
view: how it affected Tanzing and how it affected Sherpa life.
Featuring a captivating blend of text and historical and
personal photos from private family collections. Readers are
provided a rare glimpse of a sheltered world few have
experienced, and even fewer have seen - 296pp/photos.
Dr. Roger Kirkwood (Naturalist) - Roger is a research scientist currently working at the Phillip Island Nature Park, Victoria. His research projects include fur seal management issues, fox monitoring and eradication and small mammal surveying. Since 1984 Roger's research work has seen him employed in a variety of fascinating positions, including marine mammalogist, mammal ecologist, penguin ecologist and krill physiologist. He has worked primarily in Australia and Antarctica, for Commonwealth and State Governments and private industry. He has also undertaken contract consultancy work for various Australian and Argentine agencies.
Roger has participated in six Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions; four of these involved living in remote field areas and two trips were extended marine research voyages. His Antarctic activities included establishing a remote field camp at Heard Island for a six month period and living for six months in a field camp in the northern Vestfold Hills on the Antarctic continent. His eclectic career has taken him to sea on a range of vessels, including numerous small boat excursions around Bass Strait to visit fur seal colonies. A well qualified and very experienced scuba diver, Roger is looking forward to returning to the Antarctic Peninsula and sharing his wealth of knowledge with us.
Powell (2003 Expedition: Sea Kayaking Guide)
- Bob is currently pursuing a PhD in forestry and
environmental studies at USA's prestigious Yale University, and is
thoroughly experienced in all aspects of sea kayaking. He has
managed and led ten-day sea kayak trips in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji
where he supervised all aspects of the operation, including
relationship management with indigenous villagers. While working as
an adventure travel director he coordinated a whitewater and sea
kayaking program and led trips to Fiji, Costa Rica, France, Chile,
Turkey, Greece, Alaska, Mexico, Ecuador, and the Caribbean. He has
instructed canoeing, kayaking, rafting and river rescue programs and
has led rafting expeditions on the Franklin River, Tasmania; and on
the Murray, Nymboida and Gwydir Rivers on mainland Australia. He has
also led adventure travel trips to China and Nepal and on New
Zealand's Rakaia, Huranui, Rangitata and Landsborough rivers as well
as managing logistics and equipment for the operation.
Bob, a past member of the US Canoe and Kayak team, has participated in numerous canoeing and sea kayaking expeditions, including a 75-day sea kayak expedition to the fjords of Southern Chile and a 52-day self contained sea kayak expedition to circumnavigate South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica.
Other Notable Members:
- David Lloyd (2003 Expedition: Assistant Dive Master)
- Olaf Malver (2003 Expedition: Master Sea Kayaking Guide)
- Jo Lloyd (2003 Expedition: Aurora Staff)
- Dr. Clive Strauss (2003 Expedition: Ships doctor)
- Tina George (2003 Expedition: Chef / 2005 Expedition: Purser)
- Bill James (2003 Expedition: Chef)
Please email all questions or comments with this site to Technical Support.