Photograph by Gerald Kooyman
Photograph by Mark Thiessen
Greg Marshall is an inventor, biologist, conservationist, and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who has dedicated his life to studying, exploring, and documenting animal life in the oceans and across the globe.
Marshall’s most celebrated contribution to the research community is the invention of the National Geographic Crittercam, a small, lightweight, streamlined camera that has the remarkable ability to travel unobtrusively with its animal hosts where no camera has been before, capturing never before seen footage of the private lives of wild animals.
Marshall’s inspiration for Crittercam came during a diving expedition off Belize during which he encountered a large shark and a remora—a natural hitchhiker fish suckled to the shark’s side. Imagining the unique point of view of this tiny stowaway and the profound information such a perspective would provide for science and conservation, Marshall conceived a remote camera that would mimic the remora’s behavior—and the field of animal-borne imaging research was born. Marshall has since dedicated his life to researching the behavior of marine and terrestrial species across the globe, heading up over a hundred field expeditions worldwide and collaborating in cutting-edge behavioral studies of over 70 species, from lions to emperor penguins to humpback whales.
In addition to publishing with his collaborators in major journals, Marshall has through his Crittercam research provided a dazzling library of imagery from the perspective of animals in the wild. This footage has been used in over 70 National Geographic documentaries, including a 13-part National Geographic television series, numerous PBS/NBC/NGC specials, and 60 short films airing on PBS’s Wild Chronicles series.
Marshall has given hundreds of talks and was one of the founding speakers for National Geographic’s Speakers Bureau. He was recently featured in CNBC’s “10 of the World’s Coolest Jobs.” As Marshall continues to explore new approaches to research and imagemaking, his mission remains to share the experiences of wild animals in ways that make their lives immediate and relatable to humans. Through his research, films, lectures, and conservation efforts, Marshall brings the outdoors inside, creating windows into the natural world that allow animals to show us their world—their struggles, their challenges, and their triumphs.
In the News
A team with National Geographic's Crittercam recently installed two cameras on American bison for the first time—find out how they did it.
Crittercam video captures Humpback whales feeding at the bottom of the ocean, illuminating a new hunting behavior. Video.
Researchers employ Crittercams, and schoolkids, to get the truth behind what Hawaiian monk seals do all day.
Blistering speed. Immense power. Ocean wanderers. These are just a few terms used to describe billfish. Another word that could be used is “threatened.”
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the oldest species of seal on the planet. But their tenure in paradise is perilously close to its end; only about 1,100 seals remain in the wild.
In the Ghanzi district of western Botswana, Andrea Dekrout is employing Crittercams to study cheetahs in the region.
In Their Words
When we learn something new and fascinating about animal behavior, the divide between us and them dissipates, and an urgency for conservation is ignited.
National Geographic's Crittercam is a research tool designed to be worn by wild animals.
Experience the adventure of science through National Geographic's Crittercam.
It's a first. Outfitted with a Crittercam, an Australian sea lion has filmed itself hunting, and eating, a large octopus.
Watch humpback whales work together to catch their lunches off the coast of Alaska. Get a whale's-eye view with the help of a Crittercam!
Why does one kind of turtle escape hungry tiger sharks, but another doesn't? National Geographic's Crittercam® helps researchers find out how one turtle species stays off the shark's dinner menu.
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