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Antarctica’s name alone conjures imagery of the harshest environment on Earth, but it is more than its monochromatic color scheme of snow and ice. Meet the many species of penguins that waddle and swim through the freezing water, along with an abundance of other life, on a journey south with quantitative ecologist Heather Lynch.


National Geographic Explorer Dr. Heather Lynch is a quantitative ecologist, dedicated to understanding the population dynamics of Antarctic wildlife, with a particular focus on Antarctic penguins. She has more than a decade of field experience on the continent. She is an Associate Professor at Stony Brook University with a joint appointment in the Department of Ecology & Evolution and the Institute for Advanced Computational Science. Lynch serves as the principal investigator for a large, multi-institution National Science Foundation award. She received an NSF CAREER Award for her work on the spatial dynamics of Antarctic penguins and was elected an early career fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Lynch has an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University, an M.A. in Physics from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University.