Speakers Bureau

Greg Marshall Biologist, Inventor, Filmmaker

Photo: Penguin

Photograph by Greg Marshall

Photo: Greg Marshall
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Greg Marshall is a biologist, inventor, and filmmaker who has dedicated his career to exploring and documenting the behavioral ecology of animals in remote or otherwise inaccessible environments.

In 1986, on a research dive in Belize, Greg encountered a shark and was inspired by a remora clinging to its side. Imagining the unique perspective the suckerfish has while hitchhiking with a host, Greg conceived of an animal-borne imaging system to mimic the remora, enabling study of host species behavior. He began developing a research tool to record images, sound, and data from the animal perspective. Today this system is called “Crittercam” and Greg and his team have employed these instruments in studies of whales, sharks, seals, turtles, penguins, and other marine and terrestrial species. Crittercam enables direct observation of animal behavior over temporal and spatial scales that is unprecedented.

Funded by the National Geographic Society, philanthropic foundations, and federal grants, Greg has created a collaborative research program engaging scientists worldwide. To date, he and his Remote Imaging Department have worked with dozens of science teams in studies of more than 50 species.

The unique images Crittercam captures provide an intimate connection to the challenges animals face in the wild. Greg shares these images and the novel stories they convey through National Geographic films intended to inspire caring and conservation. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner for cinematography and sound (National Geographic Specials Great White Sharks and Sea Monsters: Search for the Giant Squid). He earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in marine science from SUNY Stony Brook.

Presentation Topics

Innovation Sparks Success
Marshall got the idea for Crittercam while swimming behind a shark, noticing the tiny remora hitchhiking along. He figured if he could design a camera small and light enough to be barely perceptible to the animal, he could shift the point of view from researcher to subject, taking us light years ahead in our capacity to understand animal behavior. Since 1986, Crittercam has been successfully used on countless marine species and recently made the leap to land animals.

Crittercam: A Wild Point of View
Peek inside the Remote Imaging Lab and the resulting award-winning films at National Geographic to see how Marshall and his team of fellow scientists use innovation, creativity, engineering, and wild and woolly expeditions as they lead the field of animal-borne imaging.

Audience Testimonial

“Greg captivated every patron in attendance. Children and adults alike were inspired by where Greg’s curiosity has taken him and the limitless possibilities ahead.”

Learn More About Greg:

Washington Post Magazine Profile
Qatar Airways Oryx Magazine Profile

Photo: Penguin

Listen to Radio Interview With Greg Marshall

Boyd Matson Interviews Greg for NG Weekend Radio Show

  • Picture of Greg Marshall with a tortoise

    What do wild animals do when we’re not around? Find out with National Geographic’s Crittercam. Safely worn by wildlife, Crittercams capture video, sound, and other information, giving us rare views of the private lives of animals.

  • Photo: Seals
    Greg Marshall Profiled on CNN

    Greg Marshall explains how Crittercam may be used to observe the actual behavior of animals without the presence of humans, and demonstrates a few techniques for deploying the devices

  • Picture of a cat
    Kitty Cams Project

    National Geographic’s Crittercam team collaborates with the University of Georgia to investigate the activities of urban free-roaming cats in Athens, Georgia.

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National Geographic Speakers

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Sam Abell
   Photographer Photo of Sam Abell
Lynsey Addario
   Photojournalist Photo of Lynsey Addario
Casey Anderson
   Naturalist, TV Host Photo of Casey Anderson
Peter Athans
   Mountaineer, Filmmaker Photo of Peter Athans
Robert Ballard
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Robert Ballard
Brady Barr
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Melina Bellows
   Publisher, Editor Photo of Melina Bellows
Lee Berger
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Lee Berger
Joel K. Bourne Jr.
   Contributing Writer Photo of Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Steve Boyes
   Conservation Biologist Photo of Steve Boyes
Kobie Boykins
   NASA Engineer Photo of Kobie Boykins
John Bredar
   Senior Executive Producer, National Geographic Specials Photo of John Bredar
Kenny Broad
   Cave Diver, Environmental Anthropologist Photo of Kenny Broad
Dan Buettner
   Author, Explorer Photo of Dan Buettner
Bryan Christy
   Investigative Reporter, Fellow Photo of Bryan Christy
Barry Clifford
   Underwater Explorer Photo of Barry Clifford
Jodi Cobb
   Photographer Photo of Jodi Cobb
Michael Davie
   Filmmaker Photo of Michael Davie
Wade Davis
   Cultural Anthropologist, Author Photo of Wade Davis
Dennis Dimick
   Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine Photo of Dennis Dimick
David Doubilet
   Underwater Photographer Photo of David Doubilet
Sylvia Earle
   Marine Biologist Photo of Sylvia Earle
Andrew Evans
   Travel Journalist and TV Host Photo of Andrew Evans
John Francis
   Planetwalker, Conservationist Photo of John Francis
Annie Griffiths
   Photographer Photo of Annie Griffiths
David Guttenfelder
   Photojournalist Photo of David Guttenfelder
Charlie Hamilton James
   Photographer, Filmmaker, TV Presenter Photo of Charlie Hamilton James
Kevin Hand
   Planetary Scientist and Astrobiologist Photo of Kevin Hand
Zahi Hawass
   Archaeologist Photo of Zahi Hawass
Fred Hiebert
   Archaeologist Photo of Fred Hiebert
Peter Hillary
   Mountaineer, Author Photo of Peter Hillary
Nizar Ibrahim
   Paleontologist Photo of Nizar Ibrahim
Donald Johanson
   Paleoanthropologist Photo of Donald Johanson
Beverly & Dereck Joubert
   Photographers, Filmmakers, Naturalists Photo of Beverly & Dereck Joubert
Mattias Klum
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Conservationist Photo of Mattias Klum
Robert Kunzig
   Senior Environment Editor, National Geographic Photo of Robert Kunzig
Tim Laman
   Field Biologist, Wildlife Photojournalist Photo of Tim Laman
Frans Lanting
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Writer Photo of Frans Lanting
Mike Libecki
   Climber & Explorer Photo of Mike Libecki
Albert Yu-Min Lin
   Research Scientist and Engineer Photo of Albert Yu-Min Lin
Greg Marshall
   Biologist, Inventor, Filmmaker Photo of Greg Marshall
Boyd Matson
   Journalist, Adventurer Photo of Boyd Matson
Mireya Mayor
   Primatologist Photo of Mireya Mayor
Pete McBride
   Photographer, Filmmaker, Freshwater Advocate Photo of Pete McBride
Steve McCurry
   Photographer Photo of Steve McCurry
Mark Moffett
   Ecologist, Photographer Photo of Mark Moffett
Nalini Nadkarni
   Forest Ecologist Photo of Nalini Nadkarni
Michael "Nick" Nichols
   Photographer, Conservationist Photo of Michael "Nick" Nichols
Paul Nicklen
   Photographer, Biologist Photo of Paul Nicklen
Garrett Oliver
   Brewmaster, Author Photo of Garrett Oliver
Hilaree O'Neill
   Mountaineer Photo of Hilaree O'Neill
Børge Ousland
   Polar Explorer Photo of Børge Ousland
Matthieu Paley
   Photographer Photo of Matthieu Paley
Carsten Peter
   Photographer, Filmmaker Photo of Carsten Peter
Bob Poole
   National Geographic Cameraman Photo of Bob Poole
Sandra Postel
   Freshwater Conservationist, Freshwater Fellow Photo of Sandra Postel
Chad Pregracke
   Environmentalist Photo of Chad Pregracke
   Photojournalist and Humanitarian Photo of  Reza
Cory Richards
   Photographer, Climber, 2012 Adventurer of the Year Photo of Cory Richards
Jim Richardson
   Photographer Photo of Jim Richardson
Enric Sala
   Marine Ecologist Photo of Enric Sala
Joel Sartore
   Photographer, National Geographic Fellow Photo of Joel Sartore
William Saturno
   Archaeologist Photo of William Saturno
Paul Sereno
   Paleontologist Photo of Paul Sereno
Brian Skerry
   Underwater Photographer Photo of Brian Skerry
Bryan Smith
   Adventure Filmmaker Photo of Bryan Smith
John Stanmeyer
   Photographer Photo of John Stanmeyer
Zoltan Takacs
   Herpetologist / Toxinologist Photo of Zoltan Takacs
Anand Varma
   Natural History Photographer Photo of Anand Varma
Ed Viesturs
   Mountaineer Photo of Ed Viesturs
Ami Vitale
   Photojournalist Photo of Ami Vitale
Spencer Wells
   Population Geneticist Photo of Spencer Wells
Steve Winter
   Photographer Photo of Steve Winter

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