Dr. Mireya Mayor
Dr. Mireya Mayor, a Fulbright Scholar, NSF Fellow and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, is not your typical scientist. For more than a decade Mayor has been a wildlife correspondent, reporting on wildlife and habitat loss while advocating for solutions to the alarming trends. Mayor has been hailed as a “female Indiana Jones,” in the media and is an inspiration to young women interested in science and exploration. She is also the star on Travel Channel’s hit series “Expedition Bigfoot”. Mayor has recently joined Florida International University as Director of Exploration and Science Communications Initiative.
A two-time Emmy Award-nominated field correspondent for the National Geographic Channel, Mayor has reported to audiences worldwide on pertinent wildlife and habitat issues. Closest to her heart is her study of a newfound species of Microcebus, or mouse lemur, which she discovered on a 2000 National Geographic funded field expedition in Madagascar. Her work with this rare primate inspired the prime minister of Madagascar to establish a national park to help protect the new species, conserving the 10 percent that remains of the African island nation’s once vast forest.
The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Mayor grew up in Miami and earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and English at the University of Miami. She then Mayor earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University while conducting research on the effects of forest fragmentation and isolation on two types of lemurs found only in northern Madagascar.
When not deep in the jungle or on assignment, Mayor, a National Geographic Explorer, speaks to audiences across the country and internationally about the importance of conservation for a vigorous and healthy planet. Her lectures are informative, educational and inspirational highlighting the merge of her scientific and journalism career, which spans more than 15 years with some of the most critically endangered animals on the planet, in places often virtually unexplored.
Mayor was featured on Explorer, Ultimate Explorer and starred in Mystery Gorilla and Wild Nights on the Nat GeoWILD network. In addition, she also starred in the eight-part series Expedition Africa: Stanley & Livingstone (History Channel) as one of four explorers to retrace the nearly 1,000-mile trip of Henry Stanley and David Livingstone.
Mireya has made numerous appearances on the “Today” show, MSNBC, CNN, and Despierta America and has been profiled in People, Marie Claire, Latina, National Geographic Adventure, Vanidades and Elle magazines and is an OMag Insider. She is also the author of Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey From NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer.
"Mireya understands the importance of spreading her conservation message, and frequently speaks at colleges and universities, inspiring young people, especially women, to follow their dreams no matter how impossible they may seem. She is the living embodiment of someone who did just that and who is still, vividly and enthusiastically, living and loving her childhood dream.”
Dr. Jane Goodall
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