Aurora is proud of its expedition staff who are some of the best in the business.
Many are recognised world leaders in their fields, and they enthusiastically share their knowledge to
ensure that each moment is interesting and educational.
And more than that, they just love being with people.
ACE Voyage 2023
Enrichment and Education
ACE Project Lead
- Hayley is Aurora Expeditions – Chief Marketing Officer
- Deeply passionate about working for purpose-driven companies committed to respecting the majestic beauty of our planet
- 25 years+ experience in strategic branding, marketing and media for an array of iconic Australian and global brands including Canon, Earth Hour, QANTAS, News Corp, Fairfax Media, Abu Dhabi Tourism Board, Hong Kong Tourism Board, among others.
- Believes the best outcomes in expedition travel are best achieved with an ongoing commitment to bold, dynamic and active environmental initiatives
Peter Szyszka (SCUBA Pete)
ACE Partnership Manager
- Peter or ‘SCUBA Pete’ as he’s known, has extensive experience across all areas of diving. His gift for training and passion for the sport inspires all. He is among the top elite group of diving professionals globally and has dived on all seven continents, including 47 countries, to depths past 120m in all conditions and temperatures.
- He is an experienced polar dive guide and technical supervisor, has Instructor Trainer status with six training agencies and is certified to service over 13 brands of SCUBA equipment.
- His sense of adventure, good humour and experience makes every voyage one to remember, even if you aren’t diving.
- Antarctic IMO Ice Pilot and IAATO Expedition Leader providing guiding, logistics and planning for vessels wishing to venture to Antarctica, South Georgia, Chilean Patagonia and the Falklands.
• Permit applications and Initial Environmental Evaluations
• Detailed itinerary planning including chart lists, weather and ice information
- RYA Commercial Yachtmaster Offshore, Powerboat Instructor, Diesel Engine, Radar, First Aid and Sea Survival
- Diving – PADI Dive Master & Master Diver (Ice, Altitude, Dry Suit, Enriched Air and Underwater Navigator), Advanced European Science Diver and trained as Decompression Chamber Operator.
- Ashley graduated from University of Southampton with a dual major with honours in Geography and Oceanography. She’s a fellow of the RGS (Royal Geographical Society) and has over 130,000 miles offshore as a skipper on vessels between 20’ and 185’.
- From 2009-12, British Antarctic Survey appointed her as their first ever woman boating officer in Antarctica, in charge of all waterborne activities at Rothera, then King Edward Point, South Georgia. After three years living and working in the Southern Ocean, she became expedition staff on vessels sailing to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. A keen adventurer herself, she has climbed Aconcagua in the Andes, Island Peak in the Himalayas and even spent her honeymoon summiting Mount Kenya.
- In 2019, she and her husband sailed their 30’ yacht from Newfoundland to explore the West Coast of Greenland.
- Ashley enjoys planning safety-centric expeditions to polar regions involving citizen science when possible.
Assistant Expedition Leader
- Born in Melbourne, Australia, Dot has a love of the outdoors, adventure and travel. An avid hiker, Dot has been an expedition guide since 2008 with diverse trekking highlights such as the Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea, the Inca Trail, Peru and the West Highland Way, Scotland.
- Dot dived into many roles on expeditions to Japan, Indonesia, Pacific, New Zealand, South America, Mediterranean, Antarctica and Australia’s Kimberley.
- Previous roles include Lecturer at Silverseas, AEL at ATP & Noble Caledonia.
- Qualifications include Coxswain, Powerboat licence, SSI Open Water Diver.
- Her favourite expedition destinations are Antarctica and Scotland for their remoteness, incredible beauty, amazing wildlife and interesting challenging history.
- Dot’s advice to passengers is to stop and listen. Whether it’s the sound of the wind, the wildlife or the complete silence. Take in the sounds of nature and appreciate the beauty.
- Justine’s ambition and competence have led her to a diverse range of roles within Aurora’s head office and onboard their ships.
- As Aurora’s Hotel Manager, Assistant Expedition Leader and Expedition Coordinator since 2016, Justine has acquired a vast range of skills and knowledge to ensure all passengers, expedition team, and crew enjoy a safe and successful voyage. She has an effortless approach to problem-solving and an unconditional commitment to customer service.
- When not onboard, Justine’s desire to explore the world remains whilst she continues to educate herself in scuba diving, photography, and videography.
Dr Ulyana Horodsky
- Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj is a glaciologist, geologist, astronomy enthusiast and visiting professor of environmental science at Colorado College in the United States.
- Ulyana has always been drawn to adventure and science. Her PhD in geological sciences took her deep into the Nepali Himalaya, where she was the lead researcher for the Black Ice Project. She investigated contributions to ice mass loss on debris-covered glaciers, particularly in the Khumbu valley (Everest region). Ulyana went on to complete a post-doc at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, where she looked at how black carbon impacted snow and ice melt on Baffin Island in the Arctic.
- Ulyana is especially passionate about science education and outreach. After completing her PhD, she launched an adventure and citizen science initiative called Science in the Wild, aimed at getting people outdoors, thinking like scientists and helping to collect scientific data while on expedition with her in the field. She has also worked with Girls on Ice, a program that takes teenage girls into the wilderness to do small scientific projects. Many of the participants have never set foot on a mountain.
- Ulyana is also a member of a citizen science program called Project PoSSUM (polar suborbital science in the upper mesosphere), aimed at educating the public about the upper atmosphere, at the edge of space.
- In 2016, Ulyana was chosen as mission commander for an on the-ground deep space mission with NASA and was chosen as one of 120 semifinalists (from a pool of 18,354 applicants) for NASA’s 2017 astronaut class.
- Annette is a marine biologist who specialises in whales, penguins and open ocean ecosystems. She holds a PhD in behavioural ecology of king penguins at the Subantarctic islands of South Georgia, Kerguelen and Crozet, and has worked on protected areas for macaroni penguins with the British Antarctic Survey, BirdLife International and CNRS France.
- Annette has 15 years of experience as a whale watching guide and advisor for underwater film and photography teams in the Azores and Patagonia. As a guest lecturer for marine biology and sustainability with Heidelberg University in Germany, Annette now regularly takes students to the Azores for first hand experience of the open ocean and to gain close experience with whales and dolphins, sharks, manta rays and seabirds.
- Besides her work as a scientist and lecturer, Annette is collaborating with international education institutions to pass on her passion for the oceans and raise awareness of the fragility of the sea and its inhabitants.
- Annette currently lives between Cambridge (UK), Heidelberg (Germany) and the Azores, where she works on sustainable fisheries, whale foraging behaviour and educating the next generation.
Haining Wang 王海宁
- Haining hails from China but has grown up in many places. He loves outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking and enjoys reading adventure stories since childhood.
- He joined Chinese Antarctica Research Expedition (CHINARE) in 2004 and stayed at Zhongshan station (69°22’S) for one winter season and two summer seasons doing science research. His science projects include Upper Atmosphere Research, Geomagnetic and Sea Ice research. During the Antarctic winter days, he enjoyed observing emperor penguins, Weddell seals and skuas as well as camping and hiking in Larsemann Hills. He then got E.E. Master’s degree and joined multinational companies to pursue a business
- He is a world traveller and particularly loves glaciers and the aurora borealis. Since 2016, Haining began to work part-time as a polar guide in Antarctica and Arctic regions.
- Haining has a publishing workshop focusing on polar books translation and publishing. He also provides consulting services to local tour agencies.
- In 2008 Sergei worked as a sailor and then as a boatswain on the Polar Pioneer
- Russian Federation (English good)
- A professional diver
- Took part in commissioning and testing of new Arctic ice breakers.
- Spotter / in-water guide – whale shark swim interaction, humpback whale swim interaction & Eco tours on Ningaloo reef
- Extensive dive and drysuit instructor experience
- TV host and personality
- Freedive instructor and philantropist
- Observing on board Sardine Fishing vessels, monitoring interactions with Threatened, Endangered or Protected Species
- Expedition Team Leader at Bush Blitz TeachLive
- Facilitating teachers’ engagement with their classes remotely via online platforms and video-link
- Passive acoustic monitoring and marine mammal observer in oil and gas and renewable energy industries, worldwide
- Former British Commando Diver with significant ice diving experience
Fisheries Officer, Department of Primary
Industries & Regions, SA
- ECOCEAN Whale Shark Research & Conservation, Ningaloo Reef, WA
- Skipper, guide and naturalist
- Has spent the majority of her time in the field as an underwater camera operator working on natural history productions for national television
- Extensive ice dive guiding experience including for Aurora Expeditions
- Eirik Grønningsæter originally born on the west coast of Norway in a small town of Molde and has lived in several places abroad and in Norway. Through his strong passion for birds since early childhood, he is an acknowledged birder and whale specialist in Norway.
- The interest in nature and nature conservation has always played a central role in his life. Since graduated with a CandScient degree in zoology from the Natural History Museum (University of Oslo) in 2003, he started his own company where he designs and runs fieldwork for various scientific projects both in Norway and abroad.
- His work has been primarily with birds, but he has also gained experience with other animals such as whales, bats, cetacean and large predators. Through the years, he has evolved a particular strong interest in the Arctic, and since 2001, he has worked for different projects in the Arctic and Antarctic.
- Since 2007, Eirik has combined field biology with a career in wildlife photography, and photo journalism is an increasing part of his company Feltbiologen Grønningsæter. Despite his relatively short photography career, his work has been recognized internationally and been published in highly prestigious magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Natur og Foto, Villmarksliv, A Magasinet as well as larger newspapers and books both internationally and nationally.
- Eirik is a frequent guide on board Waterproof Expeditions in Norway
- Diving Supervisor and Instructor with the Royal Engineers
- 12 years in 59 Commando permanent dive team, including 3 as supervisor. planning and conducting operations and training worldwide
- Extensive ice diving experience
- Experienced polar ice diver
- Dived in the polar regions as a guide with Aurora Expeditions