Photograph by Faith San Felice
Greg Marshall is a scientist, inventor, and filmmaker who has dedicated the last 25 years to studying, exploring, and documenting life in the oceans.
In 1986, while diving in the reefs off Belize, Greg encountered a shark and was struck by the sight of a remora fish clinging to the shark's side. Imagining the unique perspective the remora must have when hitchhiking with its host, Greg conceived a remote camera that would mimic the remora's behavior.
If the camera were small and lightweight, it could attach like a remora to a host and record the behavior of sea creatures in situations where a handheld camera could never venture. Recognizing the scientific potential of such a tool, Greg decided to make it a reality.
Greg began developing a revolutionary animal-borne research tool to record images, sound, and data from an animal's perspective. Today that tool is called Crittercam, and it has been used in groundbreaking studies on dozens of marine species.
Deployed on whales, sharks, seals, turtles, penguins, and other species, Crittercam has enabled Greg and his research collaborators to capture information that, until now, was inaccessible to humans. In 2003 Greg and his team deployed the first land-based Crittercam on wild lions in Kenya, capturing remarkable new images and insightsâ€”and ushering in a new era of behavioral science.
Funded by National Geographic Television, philanthropic foundations, and U.S. federal grants, Greg has created not only a scientific tool, but also a major collaborative research program engaging scientists worldwide. Over ten years, Greg's Remote Imaging Program has collaborated with over 30 scientific groups on over 50 different species.
In addition to providing critical scientific data for basic biology and habitat management, Crittercam's unique perspective captures the imagination of television audiences. Shared through National Geographic films, the stories these images convey fuel public awareness of the extraordinary lives and challenges many marine species face. With heightened awareness comes caring, and with caring, conservation.
Greg is a two-time Emmy Award winner for cinematography and sound, for the National Geographic Specials "Great White Sharks" (1995) and "Sea Monsters: Search for the Giant Squid" (1999). Since then, Greg has created and been executive producer of a 13-part series and 6 hour-long NG films on Crittercam.
Greg earned a bachelor's degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a master's degree in marine science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently discovering extraordinary creatures named Connor and Logan—his sons.
Spotlight on Big Cats
Big cats are quickly disappearing. Now is the time to act. Cause an uproar to save big cats today.
Support the Ocean
Help protect the last healthy, undisturbed places in the ocean so we can learn how to help healthy reefs thrive, help unhealthy reefs recover, and better preserve the ocean.
National Geographic Trips
Explore the Ocean
Order ocean books, DVDs, maps, and more from the National Geographic online store.
Explore the world's oceans, from their prehistoric beginnings to modern-day efforts to preserve their natural wonder.
Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep through colorful maps, photos, and satellite images.