Meet Our Expert


Dr. Tessa Hempson

Knowledgeable experts from renowned organizations will accompany you throughout the trip and enrich your experiences with insights into the sights, cultures and people we encounter in each destination.

Dr. Tessa Hempson

Tessa grew up in the bushveld of South Africa, immersed in an environment that instilled in her a passion for ecology and wild places from a young age. Fueled by this curiosity and a passion for discovery, she was drawn to the ocean since the very beginning. This has taken her on a journey, from sailing the coast of South America to volunteering on the remote Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles, and managing marine logistics in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique. She holds a BSc. Hons, and an MSc. in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, and in 2017 she completed a PhD in coral reef ecology at James Cook University in Australia, where she remains an adjunct researcher.

In 2018 she returned to her roots in Africa to establish the Oceans Without Borders program, which she led for 5 years. In her current role, she serves as Chief Scientist for Mission Blue, working to realize Dr. Sylvia Earle’s wish to ignite support for a global network of marine protected areas. Tessa is also a Fellow of The Explorers Club, and believes passionately in the potential of exploration and travel to restore our fundamental connection to wild ecosystems and to underwrite a sustainable future on our planet.