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Jonathan Shackleton


Jonathan is a cousin of the Irish Kildare born Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. He is the family historian for the Irish Shackletons, whose ancestor founded a Quaker school in Ballitore, County Kildare in 1726. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin in Natural Sciences and was awarded his Masters Degree from Ohio State University for work in Arctic Alaska. As a lecturer and guide, Jonathan has accompanied 21 groups to the Antarctic in the past 10 years as historian, guide, photographer and occasional Zodiac driver. Highlights of his visits have been landing on the godforsaken Elephant Island at Point Wild, visiting Ernest Shackleton’s grave on South Georgia, travelling to the Ross Sea, landing at Cape Adare and visiting two of the largest Emperor penguin colonies in the world. He continues to visit Antarctica regularly. He has been involved in many Shackleton activities including films, TV documentaries, television and radio interviews, exhibitions and has given many talks in Antarctica, Canada, England, Ireland (including schools), Tasmania and the United States. He acted as Consultant to Sir Ranulph Fiennes for his recent biography “Captain Scott”.He is also very proud to have led a group of Irish students to the Antarctic in 2001 with the Canadian based Students On Ice group. This was the first group of students from Ireland or Europe to visit Antarctica. Jonathan owns one of the sledges that Ernest Shackleton took on his “Nimrod” expedition in 1907-1909. Jonathan has written a book with John MacKenna “Shackleton – An Irishman in Antarctica” about Ernest Shackleton with emphasis on the Shackleton family and the explorer’s Irish background. It was published in 2002 (reprinted 2002, revised edition 2003) by Lilliput Press,Dublin, Ireland and University of Wisconsin Press in the USA. He was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London.