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Our team

Jessica Pociask
Jessica is the owner of WANT Expeditions, and has been to almost 80 countries leading expeditions all over the world. She holds a B.S. in natural resource management from Michigan State University. Dedicated to conservation, she has worked extensively with The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society. In winter of 2006, she completed a study in Antarctica on climate change and shortly thereafter, she was one of fifty women chosen from the US and Mexico by the National Wildlife Federation to participate in the 'Women's Leadership and International Sustainable Development' conference in Washington DC. In addition to leading expeditions, Jessica is also a travel writer, nature photographer and holds a research position at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, she is also currently working to complete a M.S. in environmental sciences and public policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Laurel Chor
Laurel is the Founder of the Hong Kong Explorers Initiative and was previously named a National Geographic Young Explorer and an ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute HK. Through her organisation, Laurel devotes her time to encouraging people to explore the outdoors and raising awareness and appreciation of wildlife. In 2013, Laurel was named a National Geographic Young Explorer. The following year, she was appointed by Dr. Jane Goodall to be an ambassador for her institute in Hong Kong. She is also on the board of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation and a member of the Explorers Club. In the past, she has worked on gorilla conservation in the Central African Republic, dolphin research in Hong Kong, and a documentary on illegal ivory trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she posed as a buyer and filmed an ivory market. A photographer and a writer, she is currently Associate Editor of Coconuts Hong Kong, a news and lifestyle website. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with a BS in International Health and a certificate in International Development. She was born in Canada and raised in Hong Kong. Twitter: @laurelchor

Sharon Schafer
Sharon is undoubtedly one of the top wildlife artists today in the United States, and her work has been featured regularly by the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service among others. In addition to a degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University, Sharon has a diversified background with skills ranging from wildlife biologist, naturalist, photographer, writer, painter and river guide. In an effort to combine her interest in art and natural science, Schafer opened Skydance Studio in 1998. The studio is dedicated to the creation of fine art images that promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the natural world. Schafer is a signature member of Artists for Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists. Her paintings and photographs have been displayed in museums across the country. Schafer’s sense of adventure and curiosity about the natural world has led her to the ends of the earth, where she has worked extensively as an artist, photographer, and videographer, including the Polar regions. With her incredible eye for art, Sharon adds a deeper context too all tours she leads.

Eryka Thorley
To say that Eryka lives and breathes adventure would be an understatement of infinite proportions. As a NOLS graduate, she has spent almost three months in the wilds of Alaska honing her expedition skills. Her experience is vast, and she has guided over 60 expeditions on Mt Rainer, and has led numerous trips mountaineering in the Cascades on Mt Hood, Rainier, Baker and Schuksan. Most excitingly, Eryka was the expedition safety and travel leader for the Greenland "Meltzone 2011" project. Eryka has also completed a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician course, and holds a current EMT Basic certification.

Hajnalka Kovacs
Over the last 20 years, Hajnalka's life and work experience was closely linked to conserving both the natural and cultural heritage of the Middle East. In Egypt, she ran eco-resort operations for divers and marine biology students, acted as an independent diving instructor, trained volunteers in coral reef monitoring techniques while leading regular coral reef surveys and Crown-of-thorns monitoring programs. In Jordan, she worked as an independent marine and communication consultant for the IUCN and for the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. In Yemen, she acted as an expert at Socotra Conservation and Development Project, Yemen responsible for scuba dive training of the project's Marine Team and the protected areas' staff, she was a member of the marine monitoring team visiting the Abdel Kuri, Semha and Dersa islands. Since she is fluent in Arabic, Hajnalka is leading the majority of the Middle East destinations at WANT Expeditions. She knows and understands not only the natural beauties and wildlife of these countries, but their culture and their complex traditions, so you can be sure that under her leadership, you will get the best out of the Middle East.

Jill Harvey
Living in the Pacific northwest of British Columbia, Canada, Jill has grown up with nature and adventure in her backyard. While completing an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Victoria (UVic), Jill worked as a marine guide with resident Orca populations in the coastal waters of southern Vancouver Island. Drawn by the poles, she spent 5 years after her first degree leading and lecturing on expedition trips in the Antarctic Peninsula region and in the Arctic. She returned to university in 2009 to complete a MSc in Geography at UVic. This research focused on studying glacial expansion and climate change in the central Coast Mountains of BC. Addicted to backcountry field research and education Jill is now pursuing a PhD in wildfire science. Keystones in her character, Jill thrives on adventure, passion and education. It is her privilege to remain involved and engaged in the industry of wildlife and nature travel. Jill brings great leadership and project management skills to the position of tour leader alongside an attitude of passion, adventure and fun!

Rita Csontos
Shortly after completed M.S. degree in economical and agricultural sciences, Rita decided to let her love of nature and travelling rule her life. Combining passions, she has visited some of the most undeveloped and remote parts of the world. Over the years she has been an eco-lodge manager and nature guide in the rainforests of Costa Rica, managed safari camps in Kenya and Kwando camps in Botswana, and a beach resort in Fiji Islands. For several years, Rita also directed the Hotel Department on an 1A Category ice-breaker cruising from Antarctica to the Arctic. After taking some time out from work to raise a family in Hungary, she has now decided to venture back into the work force and share her vast experience with others wants to enjoy adventure and wildlife and we’re excited to have her part of our team.

Ferenc Kis
Nature conservation expert and environmental management consultant. Ferenc has been working in over 30 countries throughout Africa, Asia and in Eastern Europe. He led missions for the World Wildlife Fund, coordinated national park management plans for several governments and drafter proposals for grassroot organizations. He has special interest in freshwater river systems and managed transboundary wetland restoration project in the Danube basin. Recently he has been involved in local renewable energy solutions and forest carbon research. Ferenc gained experiences in managing complex logistics in one of the most remote areas in the world: no matter if it is about a birdwatching tour in Indonesia, horse-riding in Mongolia or a deep dive in The Philippines, he will be confident guide as these countries were home for him over three years.