Jennifer Hayes, a contributing photographer and author for National Geographic magazine, specializes in marine environments. Some of the unique locations she has explored include the Coral Triangle in the western Pacific, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and the frigid seas of the Arctic, Antarctic, and Greenland. She has spent more than 11,000 hours underwater.
It all began with elasmobranchs, which are creatures like rays and sharks. Having begun diving at an early age, Jennifer went on to study zoology and marine ecology, documenting shark finning and commercial shark landings in the Northwest Atlantic. Her doctoral research focused on sturgeon, a critically endangered species. A life in academia seemed the logical next step, but the call of the wild and the desire to share science through storytelling and imagery was stronger.
Among her many accolades, Hayes is a trustee of the Shark Research Institute, an Explorers Club National Fellow, and Principal Photographer for Elysium Artists for Antarctic, Arctic Expeditions, and Coral Triangle Expeditions. Hayes is also a speaker for the National Geographic Live! series, presenting “Coral Kingdoms and Empires of Ice” to an international audience.
Her current projects include documenting UNESCO World Heritage Site coral reefs threatened by climate change and the restoration of North American sturgeon populations.
When not underwater, she lives in the Thousand Island Region of St. Lawrence River in Clayton, New York, with her partner in photography and life, David Doubilet.