Meet The TeamThe Men and Women behind the expeditions
- Alegra AllyFounder and Expedition Leader
Alegra Ally is ethnographer and award-winning explorer and photographer, best known for her in-depth work focusing on indigenous women. Her ability to produce photographs with profound emotional resonance and sensitivity earned her the Scott Pearlman Field Award for her expedition: ‘Women at the End of the Land’ in 2016 and dozens of other international awards both from the photography and exploration communities.
Ally first travelled solo to Papua New Guinea in 1997 at the age of 17, where she spent months living remote tribes. She crossed the Sepik River by canoe twice, trekked the Kokoda Trail, and became initiated into one of the Sepik tribes as well as into the Kosua tribe. Her first book describing her travels in Papua, “Touching Genesis”, was published in 2001.
Ally’s photography is featured in several publications. The New York Times, Huffington Post, The Walt Disney Company, Maptia, Ocean Geographic, Sidetracked and more.
She serves as a member in the Flag and Honours Committee of The Explorers Club.
Recently she was invited to serve as an advisor to the BBC Natural History Unit for a "Human Planet" series. As an internationally recognised speaker Ally was invited to present the Wild Born Project in several midwifery organisations, including midwifery departments at various hospitals, photography schools and the Explorers Club Headquarters.
Ally is currently writing her theses as pert for her Masters Of Research degree with focus on Anthropology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
She lives in Sydney with her husband Erez Beatus and is expecting her first child.
Together, they operate Freediving Holidays, leading expeditions to Hawaii, Mexico and Tonga
WOMEN AT THE END OF THE LAND: THE BOOK
A close collaboration with writer Kim Frank, this photography book will share a rich and detailed glimpse into Lena’s birth journey, as well as explore Alegra’s experiences documenting the Nenets’ daily lives at a time of great change in their history, when rapid climate change and industrial development pose a significant threat to their unique way of life.
The expedition to Siberia raised more then 30,000 dollars with Kickstarter, and ranked as one of Kickstarter most favourite photographic projects. The expedition was also awarded with the prestige Flag by the Explorers Club.
- Genevieve SlonimGenevieve SlonimGenevieve is a mother of 3, a Therapist with an M.A. in Psychology, and a certified Doula and Childbirth Educator . She is drawn to Narrative Therapy and its influence on epigenetics, DNA, ancestral wisdom and the power of storytelling to change neural pathways and release collective and individual trauma. She is the founder of BIRTH OF A MAMA, a platform exploring the Rite of Passage of becoming a mother in the modern age, without the historic support of ones tribe, village or community of wise women elders.
- Kristi KateInternKristi KateIntern
Kristi has a strong commitment to working with individuals and non-profit organisations within conflict zones and vanishing cultures. She has considerable experience travelling internationally and working alongside locals and multi-national individuals. Kristi is a passionate traveller and creative soul. Her background spans from working in the tech and creative industries to trekking through the tropical jungle and mist-covered mountains of Pohnpei, Micronesia. Kristi is truly an explorer at heart, who is driven by a deep desire to connect cross-culturally and use her skills to serve others. Kristi moved from the UK to the Middle East and currently works as a professional labour support person (Doula) and Birth Photographer, empowering women throughout their birth journey, while creating a photographic collection of their personal experiences. She can be found wondering her local fresh food market or introducing her friends to the latest home-brewing coffee gadget. Those closest to Kristi describe her as - creative, authentic and (com)passionate. Kristi is truly honoured and excited to be a part of the Wild Born Project.
- Jacquelene AmoquandohJacquelene Amoquandoh
Jacquelene can best be described as curious. Her curiosity has led her from working back stage in the tents of Paris Fashion Week, to a solo camping trip in the great Serengeti. As a writer and storyteller she has always thought, there just has to be more! More to learn, more to see, more to do, eat, learn, more to question and more stories to tell.
For almost 2 years she lived and worked in Ghana with a wonderful child’s rights organization where she worked in writing and communications. It is a goal of hers to use her skills as a writer to tell stories that she believes are of great importance and the back bone to that is her passion for human rights. She got a lot of wonderful things out of this experience, one of them being her fabulous Ghanaian husband who she now lives with in the states with their new baby girl.
She believes the Wild Born Project will inform and empower women around the world and is so excited to be assisting with the writing and storytelling aspect of this project.
- Inger VandykePhotography advisorInger VandykePhotography advisor
Professional Photojournalist and Expedition Leader Inger Vandyke has worked on some of the most isolated and remote parts of the world’s polar regions including Wrangel Island in Russia, the Canadian Arctic and on Heard and McDonald Islands in Antarctica. Her work has been published widely by Ocean Geographic, Australian Geographic and the Royal Geographical society. Through her expeditions in the Arctic, Antarctica and Tibet, she has learned the hard way how to deal with photographic challenges in the field including rapid battery discharge, camera gear malfunction, the physical constraints on photographers working in temperatures below -20C and surviving for extended periods without power in sub-zero temperatures. She joins the Nenet Expedition with great enthusiasm and hopes to bring logistical and photographic expertise to the team of advisors appointed to the project.
- Ph.D Jessica LansfieldField CoordinatorPh.D Jessica LansfieldField Coordinator
Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Jessica’s life and learning have been highly influenced by the north, the beauty of nature, and the exploration of the earth’s wide range of cultures, climates and conditions. In 2015, Jessica graduated with a doctorate from the University of Victoria’s innovative and research intensive Social Dimensions of Health program. Her transdisciplinary research filled gaps in the literature concerning the interconnections between social engagement, the social determinants of health, and the ecosystems perspective. During her studies, she also found that the arts play a role in democratizing engagement and exhibit the potential to mobilize social action and change. Now, Jessica is the Executive Director of The Jellyfish Project, an educational and environmental initiative that uses the power of music and live performances to connect youth to climate change realities and to encourage their active citizenship and environmental stewardship. Over the last two years, Jessica has also held the position of student representative for the Canadian Chapter of The Explorers Club, organizing events to support collaboration and connections between members and the community. In the field, her experiences range from searching for apex and meso-level predators in Clayoquot Sound with the Mesopredator Project, to humanitarian work with senior citizens in Jamaica with the former Canadian International Development Agency, to prospecting for fossils in the badlands of Alberta with Dr. Philip Currie, Dr. Eva Koppelhus and Clive Coy of the University of Alberta’s Dinosaur Lab and The Explorers Club, to captaining a raft down the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers with members of the Alpine Club of Canada – Vancouver Island Section. Jessica is honoured and humbled to be a part of the Wild Born Project.
- Ph.D Jana KubickovaField Nutrition advisor and PsychologicalmentorPh.D Jana KubickovaField Nutrition advisor and Psychologicalmentor
Jana is a qualified Psychologist, Rayid Therapist and Naturopathic and Nutritional Counsellor who’s trying to help people find their own and unique holistic journey to health and happiness based on self-healing powers of body and soul. Jana studied Clinical Psychology, Naturopathy as well as the Science of Religion with a focus on tribal cultures. She’s been specifically interested in cultural meaning of ancestors, transgenerational heritage and the power of collective identity. In 2010 she’s published the first book on Transgenerational healing of trauma in the Czech and Slovak Psychology: „Transgenerational transmission of the family trauma and the sources of its healing“. In 2010 she moved from Europe to Australia to study Naturopathy and work in the field of Holistic Medicine. Jana and her husband are also passionate travellers. They share their love for the oceans and freediving as well as for mountain hiking and visited some of the most remote places in the US, Europe, Australia, Pacific and Asia.
- Prof Greg DowneyAcademic AdvisorProf Greg DowneyAcademic Advisor
Associate Professor in Anthropology, Macquarie University
Greg is a teacher, writer, and anthropologist who has conducted field research in Brazil, the United States and the Pacific. He has advocated extensively for neuroanthropology — the integration of brain and cultural research to understand how humans induce variation in their own nervous system.
As a teacher, Greg has helped to build Macquarie University’s strength in a range of areas, especially the teaching of human diversity, evolution, psychological variation, and human rights. In 2013, he was chosen for the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, recognition for his teaching in the Department of Anthropology and his innovative online education (through Open2Study).