Dr Leslie Dickie 

Lesley became Chief Executive Officer of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in 2016, launching their new nine-year strategy, ‘Rewilding our World’ in 2017. She began her career as records and zoo keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, followed by Zoo Conservation programme Manager at the Zoological Society of London and then Executive Director of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria based in Amsterdam and also recently chaired the Asian Species Action Partnership, a consortium of organisations focusing on the most critically endangered species of Asia. Lesley will be accompanied by her husband, Professor David Field, who is Zoological Director at the Zoological Society of London and Whipsnade, where he is responsible for the animal collections, captive breeding, vets and education.

Peter Lauritzen

Historian, author and lecturer, Peter Lauritzen, has lived in Italy since leaving Princeton University with a Fulbright Grant for study in Florence in 1962.  A resident of Venice for many years, he has written Venice: A Thousand Years of Culture & Civilization, Palaces of Venice, Villas of the Veneto and Venice Preserved as well as the official UNESCO report.  He has lectured in Europe and the USA and led tours specialising in Flemish and Dutch art, Imperial Russia, the Iberian peninsula the Holy Roman Empire and classical antiquity.

Dr Huw Lewis Jones 

Huw is a historian of exploration with a PhD from the University of Cambridge and travels each year to the Arctic and Antarctica, working as a polar guide. Huw was Curator at the Scott Polar Research Institute and the National Maritime Museum in London and is an award-winning author, who writes and lectures widely about adventure and the visual arts. His books include Ocean Portraits, The Lifeboat, Mountain Heroes - which won Adventure Book of the Year at the World ITB Awards in Germany - and The Conquest of Everest, winner of the History Award at the Banff Festival. 

Over the last decade, Huw has guided expeditions on both sides of Antarctica and in the Arctic, from the Ross Sea and the Southern Ocean, to Siberia and Greenland and many times to the North Pole. His research interests are equally wide-ranging, from Admiral Nelson and Captain Cook, through whaling and Heroic Age expeditions, to pioneering photography and even Inuit Art. Back in Britain, Huw regularly appears on television and radio as a historian and cultural commentator, in the BBC documentaries Wilderness Explored, Of Ice and Men, Antarctica’s Forgotten Hero, Battle for the Himalayas, and most recently the PBS Nova special Franklin’s Lost Ships. 

When not deep in the archives, Huw guides real expeditions to difficult places. He has plans next year to ride a yak across Tibet and swim the Strait of Magellan, though he knows he ought to spend more time at home. Huw is married to Kari, the daughter of explorer Sir Wally Herbert, and she shares his love for remote islands and the polar world.

Douglas Skeggs

Douglas Skeggs read Fine Art at Magdalene College, Cambridge and since 1980 has been a lecturer on the history and techniques of painting.  He has made several art documentaries and written and advised on many more.  An accomplished painter in his own right, three one-man exhibitions of his paintings have been held.  His biography of Monet, River of Light: Monet’s Impressions of the Seine, sold 65,000 copies, and he has also written several novels.  Over the years he has accompanied numerous tours across Europe.

Sir Roy Strong

Writer, historian, diarist and gardener, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, 1967-73 and of the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1974-87, Sir Roy is a prolific author on a wide range of subjects from British history to the history of eating, from garden design to British art.  His interest in India was aroused when he directed the V & A which has the largest Indian collection outside the subcontinent and through his wife’s family, the Trevelyans who served under the Raj.