Our Team in the Field
Tour leaders are an integral part of the Worldwide Quest and Quest Nature Tours experience. They bring a particular expertise in some - and sometimes many - elements of the destination you are visiting and the theme we are exploring. They work with our expert local guides and naturalists to help you see and experience more and to create a context for the observations you will make. Our leaders take care of logistical concerns in order to maximize your experience. Last but not least, they ensure your safety and comfort. We carefully select our leaders and match them to tours based on their experience, their interests, and their compatibility with the destination and tour theme. Meet our exceptional group of leaders below and see where they're heading next.
As a former faculty member in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, Alan Watson taught nature interpretation, environmental stewardship and a conservation field course. With over 25 years of experience leading nature tours, Alan has guided groups in southern Ontario, Canada's Maritime Provinces, Trinidad and Tobago, the Lesser Antilles, Costa Rica, Brazil, Tanzania, and the Galapagos. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Amina Mohamed has always been passionate about photography, travel, and philanthropy. In 2018 Amina returned to photography full-time, combining her two greatest passions - photography and philanthropy. While on a photo tour with clients in Uganda, she saw the direct impact their dollars make through her Amina's Cameras For Girls Charity. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Andrea Cranmer and Donna Cranmer
Andrea Cranmer and Donna Cranmer are indigenous cultural leaders of the 'Namgis First Nation. Together the sisters are a powerhouse, teaching all aspects of Kwakwaka'wakw culture: history, language, ceremony, song, and dance. They are the co-founders of the Tsasa ̓ ła Cultural Group who have been sharing the rich Kwakwaka̱ 'wakw culture for 28 years. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Angela Dacey has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years with her company Heaven & Earth Inc. Her mission is to “Inspire and Uplift the Spirit” in all her endeavours both personally and professionally. She has been interviewed around the world in all forms of media for her knowledge and insight. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Chef Angus An is one of Vancouver’s most influential chef-restaurateurs, with six restaurants and eateries comprising his restaurant family: Fat Mao Noodles, Freebird Chicken Shack, Longtail Kitchen, Maenam, Popina Canteen, and Sen Pad Thai. A flavour-driven chef, Angus’s cuisine is rooted in technique; his combined fine-arts and French culinary training allow him to see cooking as a balance of art and science, resulting in recipes built on tradition, innovation and presentation. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Anita Dey Nuttall
Anita Dey Nuttall is a Polar Science and Policy Engagement Officer and is on the faculty of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. Anita is a past chair and current member of the Canadian Committee for Antarctic Research. She teaches resource management and environmental policy and has interests in science policy issues, the history and contemporary nature of national Antarctic programs, geopolitics, and sovereignty in the circumpolar regions. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Ann Haynes-Sutton is a conservation ecologist who has spent her working life in Jamaica. She is the senior author of “A photographic guide to the birds of Jamaica” published by Princeton University in 2009, and has been leading bird and natural history tours in Jamaica and other islands for many years. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Ann Kirkland founded Classical Pursuits in 1999 and directed the company until 2021. She has been leading trips for Classical Pursuits and Worldwide Quest for more than 20 years. Ann loves walking, reading and good conversation. She is curious about the unique gifts of each culture, including the stresses and the synergy that can occur when they bump up against one another. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Anne Gorsuch is an historian of the Soviet Union, and former Department Head, in the UBC History Department. A frequent traveller to Russia, she has published on the history of youth in revolutionary Russia, international tourism in the Khrushchev era, and Cuban-Soviet relations in the 1960s. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Bonnie Chartier was born and raised in Churchill, Manitoba. She has been involved in Churchill’s tourism industry since its inception and was instrumental in introducing the world to Churchill’s Polar Bears, Belugas, birds, and natural history. Bonnie’s familiarity with the Churchill region is boundless and guests quickly appreciate her tremendous wealth of knowledge! More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Boris Wise is a passionate naturalist, wilderness guide, and excellent photographer. He began his career guiding in Southeast Alaska, where he worked for 10 years before sailing on his first expedition cruise ship in 2010. Boris is a seasoned polar expedition explorer having sailed throughout Arctic Canada, along the coasts of Greenland, Antarctica and throughout Svalbard many times, among other places. He spends much of his professional and personal time exploring with his wife Eva Westerholm. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Caroline Schultz is the Executive Director at Ontario Nature. Caroline has directed Ontario Nature’s programs and operations since 2005. Caroline previously served as conservation director for the Canadian Nature Federation for 10 years, leading the organization’s national advocacy, science and stewardship programs. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Carolyn Whitaker is a seasoned tour leader with Women’s Travel Network. She uses her corporate leadership and organizational skills to ensure that each tour experience is worry free. Her sense of humour and passion for travel will make your tour fun and eventful. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Catherine Jardine is a staff ornithologist and data analyst with Birds Canada, based at the organization’s National Data Centre in Delta, B.C. She has conducted field projects in remote locations around the world and is the Bander-in-Charge at the Iona Island Bird Observatory. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Chris Earley is the University of Guelph Arboretum’s Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator and a self-proclaimed 'nature geek'. He teaches workshops at the Arboretum, and participates in research around the world. Chris has led many previous Quest trips around the world. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Chris Friedrichs is Professor Emeritus of History at UBC, where he taught European and world history for 45 years. Chris is an expert on German urban history and has travelled extensively in Germany and lectured at various German universities. He has also published two books on the history of pre-modern cities in Europe and received a UBC Killam Teaching Prize in 1997. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Chris Harley is a professor in the Zoology Department and in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at UBC. He studies the forces that create ecological patterns in space and time in coastal ecosystems. Chris is particularly interested in how species interact with one another and respond to temperature, ocean acidification, and other challenges in their environment. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Cole Burton is an Associate Professor and the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Terrestrial Mammal Conservation in the Department of Forest Resources Management at UBC. He is a conservation biologist and wildlife ecologist with broad interests in using science to inform biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife coexistence. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Forty-five years of travelling (and almost as many countries) as a single, couple, mother, daughter, friend and employee, from back packer and independent traveller, to expat and being part of a tour group, has imbued Cynthia Hoy with a keen desire to instill a curiosity of the world and a love of travel and adventure in others. She loves meeting new people, learning about different cultures and making new friendships. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Dan Riskin, PhD, is a television personality, scientist, and author. He is best known in Canada as the co-host of Discovery's flagship science program, Daily Planet, and elsewhere as the host of Animal Planet's hugely successful show about parasites, Monsters Inside Me. He is passionate about wildlife, especially the underappreciated creatures that he thinks deserve a closer look. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Daniel is retired from a successful career which included roles of Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director, with Hilton International and the Starwood Group of Hotels. His business travels took him to many locations throughout the USA , Canada and Internationally. Working in hospitality allowed Daniel to follow his passions of ethnic cooking, international cultures and ancient history. Daniel is always willing to share his years of culinary knowledge and expertise, to enhance the Tour experience. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
David Lindo, also known as "The Urban Birder" is a broadcaster, writer, naturalist, photographer, public speaker, and tour leader. Through TV appearances, writing, talks, and travel, he inspires people to re-look at their urban environments and believes wildlife in urban areas is so easy to engage with; All we have to do is open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds and soon we will be linked into the nature around us. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Historian David Mendel is a renowned speaker and expert guide who has given tours for many visiting dignitaries, including heads of state and royalty. The author of best-selling guidebooks, he was honoured as Tourism Personality of the Year, in 2014, and awarded the Medal of the Quebec Historical Society, in 2015. He is a longtime resident of Quebec City and loves sharing his knowledge and passion for his home. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Deb Kozlowski is the founder and owner of Deb K Fitness, which helps men and women over the age of 60 reach (and surpass) their health and wellness goals. Making a difference in people’s lives is very important to Deb. She does it in her practice and now will have the ability to maintain it as a trip leader for WTN. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Debbie Ross, founder of Womens Travel Network has been providing travel services to her customers for over 30 years. Her travel around the globe has been extensive. Be it relaxing holidays, trekking or sports related, she has first hand knowledge of many varied travel experiences. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
One of Canada’s best-known theatre practitioners, Derek Boyes has been an actor and director in more than 150 productions from coast to coast in North America. He has been an ensemble member of The Soulpepper Theatre Company since 2004 and a resident artist there since 2008. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Doug McRae has made his life-long passion for birds and nature into a career that includes guiding world-wide, research, and biological consulting. He also teaches in the Fish and Wildlife program at Fleming College and is deeply involved in conservation through his work with the Northumberland Land Trust in Ontario. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Dr. Martyn Obbard
Martyn Obbard is an emeritus research scientist and the former resident bear biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and adjunct professor at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario). His field work focused on Polar Bears and Black Bears, and he has published many papers detailing the demographics, genetics, and movements of these species. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Dylan White grew up in the city but fell in love with wild places and the creatures that inhabit them long before he could walk. It is this lifelong passion for experiencing, conserving and learning about nature has motivated his work. He is a professional ecologist with 10 years of experience on more than 175 diverse projects, and moonlights as a wilderness and wildlife guide. A new Quest Nature Tours leader, Dylan is well-travelled with excursions spanning from Southern Africa to South America and the Arctic regions. He is also a devout musician! More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Eva Molin Westerholm
A veteran Svalbard explorer and animal-loving outdoor enthusiast, Eva Molin Westerholm considers herself very lucky having explored many countries of the world in the last 15 years. The polar regions are of particular interest to her, and she cannot wait to share whatever can be found out there – whether it be a whale, bird, or the flora – nothing is too small to inspire investigation. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Faye Wightman, BSN'81 (Nursing)'s life work has focused on the not for profit sector as a leader and change agent focusing on philanthropy, management and governance. An exciting career heading up the largest community foundations and one of the top children’s hospital foundations allowed her make an impact on thousands of lives. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Fred Lee is Director of Alumni Engagement at alumni UBC, and a regular contributor to The CBC, The Province, and Vancouver Magazine. A tireless volunteer, Fred had held numerous roles chairing various organizations. His efforts have been cited in many arenas, including the National Post’s Worthy 30 list. Fred is mad about modernism and regularly attends Modernism Week. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
The Coordinator for the Maryland Breeding Bird Atlas, Gabriel Foley grew up on a small farm in southeastern Ontario, where his curiosity cultivated an appreciation and wonder for nature. After receiving a diploma in fish and wildlife conservation from Sault College, he headed west to Saskatchewan to pursue undergraduate studies in Biology. Subsequently he completed graduate studies on the Common Nighthawk. He is an obsessive birder and outdoorsman and is passionate about sharing his love of nature with others. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Galen Halverson is a professor of geology at McGill University. He reads the history of our planet from ancient rocks in order to understand how the Earth system has behaved over billions of years. His current research focuses on tectonics, climate change and the evolution of ocean chemistry in deep time and the conditions under which complex life originated. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
UBC alumnus Gary Lewis is the owner of Phoenix Perennials, a cutting edge retail nursery in Vancouver, and an expert on perennials and horticulture. He is one of Canada’s most knowledgeable plant experts with a deep and special interest in rare and unusual herbaceous perennials. He recently published The Complete Book of Ground Covers. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Gary Schoepfel has been a leader with Classical Pursuits from the start. He's former VP of the Great Books Foundation and is a faculty member at Harrison Middleton University faculty. A worshiper of the Bard, lover of beers, bibliophile, fair in the kitchen, and kayaking enthusiast, Gary thinks that all that myths tell us is already buried deep in our bones. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Gavan Watson is a third-generation naturalist and a second-generation Quest tour leader. While completing his PhD at York University, he developed and taught a popular experiential natural history course. Now at the University of Guelph, he works to enhance the quality of teaching and learning on-campus. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Past-President of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Glenn Barrett has a degree in Wildlife Biology and has worked in outdoor education programming for educational institutions and as a Wildlife Technician for Environment Canada since 1994. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Graham Sorenson developed his interest in and love for the natural world through his undergraduate studies, years as a field biologist, and Master's degree at the University of Windsor, Ontario. His passion for birds took off during undergrad when he was a field research assistant on Kent Island, just south of Grand Manan. After years working as a bird biologist throughout Canada, Graham recently returned to New Brunswick as the Aerial Insectivore Conservation Coordinator with Birds Canada. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Greg Hare has lived in the Yukon for more than four decades, spending 30 years working as a field archaeologist with the Government of Yukon. He has worked throughout the territory and has published numerous articles on the human and natural history of Yukon. Greg is one of the pioneering researchers in the Yukon Ice Patch Project and one of the founders of the emerging field of Glacial Archaeology. He is an enthusiastic ambassador for the Yukon has led a variety a professional and conference tours of southern and central Yukon. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Greg Sharam is a wildlife biologist, spending his summers in the Canadian Arctic, working on large mammals: grizzly bears, muskox and caribou. He completed graduate work at UBC with a PhD (Zoology) in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, and an MSc (Botany) in the Yukon Territory. His interests include wildlife biology and conservation. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Gregory Mackie is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of English Language and Literatures specializing in Victorian and Modernist literature, drama, and book history. His book Beautiful Untrue Things: Forging Oscar Wilde’s Extraordinary Afterlife (2019) examines a lost archive of Wilde forgeries that flooded the rare book market in the 1920s. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Heather Pelletier, BA’04, is the founder and lead facilitator of Nature's Boardroom. Heather's storytelling style uses the natural world as a lens to help people navigate their way in the modern world. Sustainability, well-being, and connection are woven into her innovative approach, but the true value of her work lies in helping people get in touch with their purpose to see a clearer path toward meaningful change. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Heather White, BA’03 is a highly sought-after speaker, trainer, writer, and executive life coach. She has worked with hundreds of executives and entrepreneurs, providing practical and applicable support and guidance as they pursue their goals both personally and professionally. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Born and raised in Portugal, Horacio Santos has led walking trips to various destinations. Horacio’s love for the outdoors and enthusiasm for immersive travel is present in his style of guiding. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
UBC alumnus Howard Soon is the longest serving winemaker in Canada, creating 37 consecutive vintages and winning countless awards for his winemaking. As the head winemaker at Sandhill from 1997 to 2017, his collaborative relationships with growers and non-interventionist approach have consistently led to award-winning, single vineyard wines. In 2019, Howard was named a member of the Order of Canada (C.M.) for his influence on the wine industry. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Ian Shanahan has guided throughout Canada and internationally from the Tropics to the Arctic. Over 13 seasons as an interpretive naturalist in Ontario’s Presqu’ile and Algonquin Parks, his initial passion for birds spread to all life forms. Now, Ian captures his nature explorations through field sketching, photography, and writing. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Janice Mason Steeves
Janice Mason Steeves is represented by galleries in Canada and the U.S., with work in public, corporate, and private collections in Canada and internationally. As well as an active one-on-one Art Mentoring program, Janice teaches painting workshops in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. She has also been awarded artist residencies in Spain, Ireland, Sweden, and Iceland. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Jaya Basera is a heritage consultant with an extensive research background with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. An enthusiastic communicator, Jaya brings a real passion to her tours, connecting the arts to the people engaged in preserving traditions. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
A past president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists and retired school principal, Jean Iron is active writing for nature publications and participating in Wildlife Surveys for the Ministry of Natural Resources. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Jeff de Jong
Jeff de Jong is a horticulturalist, garden writer, and photographer based in Victoria, BC. He is the host of Gardening 101, a weekly radio show on CFAX 1070. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Jessica Linton is a consulting biologist who specializes in butterflies. Based in Ontario, her work has a heavy focus on species-at-risk including butterflies, the wildlife group about which Jessica is most passionate. She has over 10 years of experience conducting butterfly surveys, behavioral monitoring, and migration studies. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Josh Vandermeulen is a professional Field Biologist and is an active and well-known member of Ontario’s naturalist community. He regularly travels the province in pursuit of his two core interests, field herpetology and ornithology. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Judy Rogers is a former Chair of the UBC Alumni Association (2011 – 2014). She is a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Service in BC and was recently awarded the Order of Canada for her outstanding contributions to municipal government and the community. Judy is based in Vancouver and is an active lover of the outdoors. Judy is a veteran of many walks, including as host of the alumni UBC Travel Club’s “Peru’s Sacred Valley” walk in 2018. Judy will be accompanied by our UK-based walking guide. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Julia Zarankin is an award-winning writer and lecturer who regularly teaches courses to lifelong learners about Russian and European culture and literature. She regularly shares her passion for cultural history with Toronto audiences at Hot Docs Curious Minds, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Julian Dierkes is a prolific commentator on contemporary Mongolia through the media but also on the Mongolia Focus blog that he publishes. A Canadian ambassador once reported that Julian’s blog posts are read at the Mongolian cabinet table. He came to UBC in 2002, first as an assistant professor and now as an associate professor and the Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Jusep Sim is the Founder and Chief Epicurean Officer (CEO) of Chopsticks+Forks, Toronto’s top rated food tour. A world traveller and passionate food adventurer, he's travelled to over 55 countries eating his way through each one.
Chopsticks+Forks was recently recognized by TripAdvisor as having a Top 25 Food Experience in the World!More >
Justin Newell, art historian and artist, has lectured extensively on Western painting, sculpture, and architecture (from 1300 to 1963) at UBC and various Vancouver colleges, as well as leading art history tours to Venice, Florence, Rome, Paris, London, and other art centres of the world, weaving his knowledge of history, art, political events, and famous sights into his presentations. Justin recently taught the course "Venetian Painting: from the Renaissance to the Rococo Period" for UBC Extended Learning. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Justin Peter is a Principal of Worldwide Quest and Director of its Quest Nature Tours branch. Prior to joining the company, Justin was the senior naturalist at Ontario’s world-renowned Algonquin Park, where he coordinated the park’s interpretive program and acted as lead howler for the celebrated Public Wolf Howl events. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Born and raised in Calgary, Kari Richardson adorns many hats. She is a mother of 3 amazing young adults, is a professional artist and past owner of 3 incredibly successful bakeries to currently working as the Director of Partnerships for an Alberta-based children’s charity. Her attention to detail and calm, positive, free spirit will make you feel welcome and excited to join her on the next adventure. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Katsu Sakuma had already established himself in the paddling business before moving to Canada with his family in 1999. It was therefore a natural move to begin his career in Canada as a canoe guide in Algonquin Park. With an active interest in natural history and wild spaces, he expanded his activities to Vancouver Island as well as the Yukon River. Since 2007, Katsu has worked as a Seasonal Park Naturalist in Algonquin Park during each fall colour season. He is passionate about connecting Canadians and visitors to our country’s vast wild spaces! More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
A consummate environmental educator and well-travelled, lifelong naturalist, Kyle Horner can proudly say he’s been birdwatching since before he could walk! Over the years, he has also worked as a field technician for a variety of research projects including boreal songbirds in Newfoundland, rattlesnakes in British Columbia and neotropical migrant birds in Arizona. He is currently the Education Coordinator for Wild Ontario at the University of Guelph, a program that he helped build. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
L. John Harris
L. John Harris is a food writer, filmmaker, cartoonist and cookbook publisher. He played a founding role in the food revolution that started in Berkeley, California, in the late ’60s and spread across North America. Harris is the author of The Book of Garlic, Foodoodles and Café French, among others. From his earliest visits to Paris in 1963, he has been drawn to the “third space” of the café as a place to work, daydream, observe and seek inspiration. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Larry Beasley, CM is an internationally known urban planner. Formerly Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver, he is largely credited with the transformation of its downtown core along New Urbanism lines, known as Vancouverism or "The Vancouver Model". His two books, “Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs” (Island Press) and “Vancouverism” (UBC Press) are excellent references in anticipation of the tour. Larry's partner, Sandy Logan is the Principal Associate of Beasley & Associates and will also be joining us on tour. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Laurie Flasko has a deep passion for travelling with an open bucket list for new adventures. Experiencing new cultures, finding hidden gems, and those special moments that create lasting memories are high on her list. Laurie is a customer service trainer at work and speaks internationally on the Kindness Advantage. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Laurielle is one of the principals of Worldwide Quest, managing director, designer of new programs and planner of Signature Moments. She works principally with our Cultural Explorations portfolio and with customized travel programs for cultural institutions and affinity groups. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Lee Groat is a Professor in UBC’s Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences department. Since 2012 Prof. Groat has led an annual 17-day course in Iceland for senior undergraduates covering the geology, climate, flora, fauna, and human settlement of Iceland, and factors that are impacting them today. Lee is a keen student of the Iceland sagas and is learning Iceland. Past travellers have enjoyed stories of his adventures in geology in Canada and abroad. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Lewie Gonsalves, our peripatetic president, has over 40 years’ experience researching and organizing trips throughout the world. As well as designing and leading our President’s Tours, Lewie is also chief designer of our Private Journey collection of tailored tours. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Lisa Pasold is a Canadian writer who divides her time between Paris and New Orleans. She is currently the host of Discovery’s travel show, “Paris Next Stop.” She has published a novel and three books of poetry. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Lori Dalton is an enthusiastic tour leader, personal life coach and gifted speaker. She uses her excellent people skills to ensure that everyone is enjoying, learning and growing while on tour with her. Her joie de vivre makes every journey with her fun-filled and stress free. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Lynette Hartley has worked in the conservation field in New Zealand for over 20 years. She is passionately invested in protecting New Zealand’s threatened native ecosystems, and is active in habitat restoration activities. Lynette is also an accomplished nature artist. She will look forward to hosting you on our tour! More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Lynn Kanuka is an Olympic medalist and WalkRun coach. She is best known for her Bronze medal performance at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. For over 25 years Lynn has inspired people of all ages and ability levels through physical fitness to take steps toward better health, achieve personal goals, and be active and happy. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Manoj Abraham heads up the logistics team in our Delhi office. Whether designing tours with a painstaking attention to detail or leading our travellers across Asia, Manny draws on his exceptional network of contacts to create intimate and enriching experiences. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Manuel Grosselet has been a field ornithologist and bird guide for more than two decades, with a particular interest in Mexico. In addition to having completed numerous field studies on birds internationally, he has produced three bird field guides covering Mexico’s bird life. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Marc Webber is a marine mammal specialist with an undergraduate and graduate degree from San Francisco State University. He has worked as a biologist and refuge manager for non-profit organizations and the US government for his entire career in places all over the United States. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Marisa Mae has trained clients 1:1 and in small groups for over 12 years from her base in Vancouver, British Columbia. She creates and leads programs, workshops, and workouts for UBC Faculty of Medicine Department of Paediatrics and BC Children’s Hospital staff. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Mark Cwik is education manager and a longtime seminar leader for Classical Pursuits. Mark currently lives in London, England, where he leads seminars with the London Literary Salon. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Melanie Blake is the executive director of Classical Pursuits and organizer of the annual Toronto Pursuits cultural salon. She studied English and French at Fordham University and the Université de Montpellier, and has an MA in literature and linguistics from the University of Nottingham. She loves languages, cocktails, and the unexpected. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Melissa Ross is an experienced and passionate traveler always seeking the big adventures in life. Born and raised in Toronto now calling Vancouver Island her home, Melissa lives to discover the world. With a flair for languages and a drive to be fully immersed in other cultures Melissa has spent time living abroad in Italy, Spain and Morocco. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Michael Gervers is a medieval historian who has taught at the University of Toronto for the past 40 years. He has travelled and researched extensively throughout Ethiopia and is particularly familiar with the sites along the historic route to the north. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Mike Kent is an excellent all-round naturalist and educator based in southwestern Ontario. He has worked as a Park Naturalist at Ontario’s Killbear Provincial Park and the famous Algonquin Provincial Park, and as a Tour Manager at the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens in Costa Rica’s highland cloud forests. He has a keen and abiding interest in all life forms with a particular fondness for insects, fungi and other under-appreciated groups. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Mike Willie is a proud member of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis people, from the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Kwak´wala-speaking people, made up of 18 tribes whose territory reaches from what is now northern Vancouver Island southeast to the middle of the island, and to smaller islands and inlets such as Johnstone Strait. He is active in exercising traditional laws that protect these lands and waters for future generations. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
UBC Opera Ensemble Director Nancy Hermiston’s operatic career has taken her throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. The consummate opera expert, Nancy is as knowledgeable as she is congenial. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Nanette Snel is a seasoned and passionate traveller. Born in Venezuela, raised in Holland with ties to Portugal, Brazil and South Africa, travel is in her blood. Nanette will make sure your tour is memorable and that every need is taken care of – with a smile. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Nathan is a naturalist-in-training with Worldwide Quest. In recent years, he has been pursuing studies in Zoology at UBC’s Okanagan campus and working during his summers as a Seasonal Park Naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park. An avid and budding explorer, Nathan’s travels have taken him to the India’s Western Ghats for a school research project, and he previously worked as an intern at the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens in the Costa Rican highlands. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Nella Cotrupi is an Italian-born literary critic, scholar, educator, and lawyer with a life-long passion for the literary and visual arts. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to her subjects and focuses on the intersection between art, biography, society, and the evolution of ideas.Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Nico Visser is our favourite Namibian leader. Hailing from the country’s southeast, he is well versed in all the country’s vast wild spaces and he has an exceptional ability to spot wildlife. Quest travellers particularly appreciate his affable and caring manner. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
A resident of Rankin Inlet, Page Burt has lived and worked for many years in the Arctic. She is the longtime staff naturalist at the famous Bathurst Inlet Lodge. A botanist by training, she has conducted floral surveys in many areas of the Arctic. She has keen insights on life in the Arctic and has been a popular resource staff aboard our Canada's Northwest Passage expedition More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Pamela Duynstee has been exploring the remote reaches of B.C. since 2016 as a guide and professional in sustainable tourism. With an MSc in Tourism and International Development, she is dedicated to supporting responsible tourism development in small and rural communities on northern Vancouver Island and across BC. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Patricia A. Shaw is the Founding Chair (1996-2014) of the First Nations Languages Program at University of British Columbia, and Professor of Anthropological Linguistics with particular interests in sound systems; the interface of phonology with phonetics and morphology; literacy and oral traditions; language contact and change. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Patrick Moldowan is a devoted lifelong interpretive naturalist with a special interest in herpetology and biogeography. Currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, he also devotes considerable time to long-term studies of amphibians and turtles at Algonquin Park’s Wildlife Research Station. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Named Top Chef Canada in 2019, Paul Moran is a chef and forager who has solidified his place as a culinary leader in the country. The idea that learning never ends has powered Paul Moran’s motivation to continue to share both wild food and the knowledge on how to incorporate it into a healthy, joyous lifestyle. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Paula Swart is a museum curator and expert on Asian culture and history. Paula has degrees in Sinology, Asian art history, Chinese history, and archaeology and has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures. Paula is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and has recently been teaching courses on UNESCO World Heritage sites at the UBC Summer Institute and the University of Victoria. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Hailing from Mumbai, Payal Mehta was raised a city girl but has always loved the outdoors, and has branched out much beyond her formal training in geology to become well-versed in India’s wonderful wildlife and varied habitats. She is our choice naturalist guide in India and our Quest travellers always delight at her skill in interpreting India’s nature and cultures too. She knows India’s Ladakh region well with previous experience on Snow Leopard expeditions. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Pete Read travels the world on the lookout for amazing landscapes of the most remote kind. A well-known naturalist, Pete brings a special focus on wildlife and wild places to our tours. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Peter Prontzos MA'86, Instructor Emeritus in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies at Langara College in Vancouver has taught Political Science for over 25 years. His articles have appeared in print and online and he has worked in both radio and television. Peter’s personal ties to Greece make his tours a very special experience. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Philippe Tortell is a Professor of Oceanography at UBC, and Head of the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. He has conducted oceanographic research expeditions around the world from the Arctic to the Antarctic, measuring marine biological productivity and the oceanic concentration of dissolved ‘climate-active’ gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. His work focuses on the development of ship-board automated sensors, field experiments and the use of satellite-based remote sensing observations. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Rick was the Host and Producer of SOUND ADVICE, the weekly guide to classical music and recordings, heard across Canada on CBC. He’s often a juror in the classical music categories for the Juno Awards. Rick holds a B. Mus. from McGill University and a M. Mus. from the University of Toronto. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Rita Plaskett is a passionate and fun filled leader who has been in the travel and meeting industry for over 25 years and a veteran tour director taking people to fabulous locations, ensuring that each and every participant has that unique, exceptional” experience. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Rowena Lamy was born in Guyana, South America. At age 20, she migrated to pursue Undergraduate studies and has since made Canada her home. She is an experienced, enthusiastic international traveller for both business and pleasure. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Ruthi Segal was born in South Africa, has lived in Toronto for over 45 years and has travelled extensively all her life. A consummate people person, her positive attitude, sense of humour and infectious spirit of adventure ensures your trip experience will be exceptional. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Sara Magister is the author of ground-breaking research on Caravaggio and recently (2018) published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome introducing a new interpretation of the works based on philological data. Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in medieval and modern art history and Classical Antiquities. She will present three seminars on Caravaggio and join us for in depth visits. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Sarah Bancroft is a Canadian media personality currently based in Vancouver with a home in Palm Springs. She co-founded the trendsetting web-native magazine VitaminDaily in 2004 which was acquired by Glacier Media in 2013. Before that, Bancroft was a senior editor at Vancouver magazine, and at FASHION magazine. She holds a Master's degree in Political Science, speaks English and French, and is fluent in all matters sartorial. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Sarah Richardson returns to the Ganges for a second time as the study leader for this voyage. Sara is a historian of the arts and religions of South Asia with a specialization in Buddhist visual and material practice. Sarah holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (2016), and is currently teaching courses as a Lecturer in the History of Religions for the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Sarah and Murray Bancroft
UBC graduates Sarah Bancroft and Murray Bancroft are the owners of Birch Block Vineyard in Kaleden, South Okanagan. They have an extensive network of winery contacts in France and lived in Paris for a year. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Scott Shafer is a recent college graduate and regular attendee of Toronto Pursuits based in the Bay Area, where he’s pursuing a career in museum studies. Trained in Greek and Roman history at Carleton College, he loves to share his passion for classical antiquity and always seeks to find common ground between past and present. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Born and raised on the island of Newfoundland, Sean Cadigan is a professor of history at Memorial University and author of award-winning books including Newfoundland and Labrador: A History (2009). Sean combines an encyclopedic knowledge of the province’s traditions and culture with a congenial storytelling style. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Sean Forester is a San Francisco–based artist and lecturer. He lived in Italy for ten years and trained as a classical painter at the Florence Academy of Art. Sean is Director of Art History, Humanities, and Composition at the Golden Gate Atelier.UPCOMING TOURS >
Sherry Kirkvold brings a deep love of nature along with her more than 30 years of experience as a naturalist, geographer and expedition leader. She has worked in the national, provincial and regional park systems as well as museums in British Columbia. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Sherry and Bill Glanville
Sherry Glanville is a member of the Winnipeg Art Gallery Volunteer Associates. As a painter, Sherry’s travel interests focus on art and its place in the lives of people from other cultures. Bill Glanville has travelled extensively professionally and personally for over 40 years. As a team, Bill and Sherry have coordinated and hosted 14 travel tours for WAG. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Susan Jones is a certified Life Coach with an insatiable love of learning and a passion for adventure and travel. Believing that “we are the total of all of our life’s experiences”, she is devoted to capturing some awesome and colorful ones through travel. Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with emphasis on attention to detail, effective communication and leadership skills. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Vikram Vij is an Indian-born Canadian chef, cookbook author, and television personality. He is a passionate supporter of the sustainable food industry and has championed many causes including the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood Program and the UBC Farm. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
Vin Nardizzi is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of English Language and Literatures specializing in English Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare and Environmental Humanities. His first book, Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees (2013) brings into view the forest and the trees of English Renaissance drama. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
For more than 30 years Wayne Walder has practiced meditation from a number of spiritual traditions. He has chanted Dzikr with Sufi Pir's (saints), sung spiritual songs with Hindu priests, and sat in meditation with Buddhist monks. Wayne is a practicing Unitarian Universalist minister in Toronto. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Wendy Holm (M.Sc., UBC, ’74; M.M.C.C.U., Saint Mary’s University, 2014) is an award-winning Canadian Agrologist, columnist, author and speaker. More >Contact us to be the first to know when this leader is travelling next!
Dr. Wendy O'Brien is a celebrated philosopher, teacher and interviewer. With over 30 years experience teaching in post-secondary education, she's given talks and led seminars on creativity, beauty and wonder at Humber College, Oxford University, Harvard, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Women's Art Association, Classical Pursuits and The International Festival of Authors. More >UPCOMING TOURS >
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