National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo Wild


Yuri Khudy, a traditional reindeer herder, has spent his entire life above the Arctic Circle on the Yamal Peninsula in Russia. Over the last 25 years, he has herded more than 10,000 head of reindeer across the Siberian tundra. A member of the Nenets people, one of the largest groups of reindeer herders in the world, Khudy relies entirely on his herd of domesticated reindeer for his livelihood.


Dr. Dan Fisher, a renowned palaeontologist and curator of the Museum of Palaeontology at the University of Michigan in the U.S., has been studying mammoths for 30 years. Shortly after arriving in Ann Arbor in 1979, Fisher was called to several local sites where remains of mastodons turned up during excavation of farm ponds. Evidence at some of these sites suggested that humans had been involved in butchering of mammoths, which led to Fisher’s further investigation of the link between humans and the late Pleistocene mega faunal extinctions. Fisher’s studies also focus on the structure and composition of mastodon and mammoth tusks to reconstruct their behaviour, growth history, nutritional status, reproductive biology and response to environmental conditions. He has participated in over 20 excavations world-wide to uncover various Ice Age fauna.


Dr. Alexei Tikhonov is a senior scientist at the Laboratory of Mammals at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an associate scientist at the Museum of Mammoth in Yakutsk, Russia. Tikhonov is the scientific secretary of the Mammoth Committee of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of the Paleontological Society of Russia. His primary research has focused on the systematic extinction of elephants and ungulates at the end of the Pleistocene, as well as changes in mammoth physiology over time. Tikhonov participates in annual expeditions in search of mammoth remains and is credited with several impressive discoveries.


Dr. Naoki Suzuki is a professor of palaeontology, medicine and engineering and the director of the Institute for High-Dimensional Medical Imaging at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Suzuki has participated in multiple expeditions around the world, including trips to Siberia in 1996 and 2004 to investigate a woolly mammoth discovery site in Yukagir, Russia. As director of this expedition, Dr. Suzuki oversaw the transport of a frozen mammoth head and leg, as well as the execution of a large-scale CT scan to create the first-ever 3-D anatomical atlas of the woolly mammoth.


Bernard Buigues, vice president of the Geneva-based International Mammoth Committee, has been organising expeditions to the North Pole and Siberia for more than 15 years. He has developed a logistical base at Khatanga in northern Siberia for launching high-latitude expeditions. Buigues is also the director of the Mammuthus Project, which has been credited with two important discoveries in Siberia — the Jarkov and Yukagir mammoths.


Adrienne Ciuffo, producer and writer of Waking the Baby Mammoth, is an award-winning filmmaker who has been creating nature and adventure films for decades. She launched her career in film at National Geographic Television, heading up research and development for the weekly magazine Explorer. Since going independent in 1990, she has travelled from the jungles of Chiapas to the tundra of Siberia, producing high-profile films for clients such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, France Television and NHK, among others. In 2000, Ciuffo created the San Francisco-based production company Woollyworks.