Eva Prendergast is a polar scientist, photographer, naturalist and marine mammal specialist – and she’s bringing all her expertise to Antarctica as one of Intrepid’s 2023 experts. Here’s what she’s most looking forward to on her upcoming voyages.
Eva Prendergast has always loved the ocean. While her childhood friends guzzled celebrities and musicians, Eva was obsessed with a bottlenose dolphin in Ireland named Fungie. She spent all her spare time reading books about the ocean and trying to figure out how she could turn her passion into a career.
“My school was encouraging us to be doctors, to be lawyers, to be something society tells you to be; studying whales was definitely not one of those things,” Eva (originally from the UK) says from her new home in Reykjavík, Iceland. On Antarctica and the North Pole and how to help preserve them. It took me some time to find a path and realize this could be a career.”
Eva completed a master’s degree in polar sciences and began working at some of the world’s most prestigious universities and museums. According to her, “It all came together—my love of the oceans, the polar regions, and whales.”
These days she’s a polar scientist by trade, but she’s also held a variety of roles in the expedition industry: photographer, general naturalist, marine mammal specialist, citizen science coordinator, science chief, and assistant expedition leader. And now she He prepares to set sail again with Basil.
“I am very excited to be working with Intrepid in Antarctica on Ocean Endeavor In 2023.” “I’ll be on board for the majority of the season — four months.” Spending a quarter of a year at sea isn’t for everyone, and Eva admits that the line between work and life can blur a bit (“It’s not like you’re spending time working.” Every day”), but the rewards are worth it. “This isn’t a job for me,” she says. “This is what I love to do.”
Besides the whales, oceans, and polar regions of the planet, Eva’s other passion is scientific communications, and she’s looking forward to incorporating that into her daring expeditions. “Science communication involves sharing science with a larger audience that goes beyond academia,” she says. “It allows the general public to learn about topics that are often very complex, but in a very digestible way.”
And while Eva has had the privilege of visiting Antarctica many times, she understands the importance of the trip to her fellow travelers. “For most people, going to Antarctica is at the top of their wish list; they have been saving for years to go there,” she says. “That energy when you’re with them is like no other, so you want to make this experience as memorable as possible.”
As a wildlife lover, one of Eva’s favorite things to do in her job is spotting whales with passengers. “Whether it’s spotting a whale in the wild for the first time or a new species they haven’t seen, sharing that in a pristine environment like Antarctica never gets old,” Eva says. And while it seems obvious, Eva finds guests often shocked about how – well – big whales she is. “Hearing audible gasps from guests as they realize their sheer size is really something else.”
Antarctica Tough place to travel responsibly, so Eva recommends that you do your research before booking a flight. “It has a lot to do with your tour operator and that they are aware of the local rules, regulations and laws,” she says. “Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavor ship is affiliated with IAATO – the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators – so it adheres to all of those guidelines for respectful and responsible travel.”
If you’re whining and wondering whether or not to travel to Antarctica, Eva has one piece of advice: Go. “It really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and something you will never regret doing,” she says. “If you keep waking up thinking ‘I really want to do this,’ pull the trigger and go.”