Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Adventure & Exploration
Film & TV
Science - General
Wildlife & Nature
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Carin Bondar is a biologist, author, TV host and public speaker from British Columbia Canada. She is an accomplished science storyteller, with a number of television credits including National Geographic, The Discovery Channel and The Science Channel. Dr. Bondar is writer and host of the online smash hit series 'Wild Sex', which has amassed over 100,000,000 views. She is also writer and host of a brand new series with Seeker media on her latest book, 'Wild Moms' (release date May 2018). Dr. Bondar grew up as a ballet dancer, and she brings a unique poise and style to her onboard lectures. Her approach to public speaking is best described as 'performance lecturing' - she combines the wonder of the natural world with fine artwork and meaningful stories.

In addition to her media work, Bondar is also an adventurer and naturalist. Her research group has found over 20 new invertebrate species in the deep jungles of Borneo and Brunei, and her next expeditions will take place in July and October.

Dr. Bondar has vast and diverse experience in her education and work in the natural world. This allows her to craft lecture performances that are specific to any region of the world, any ecosystem or any specific port destination.

Click here to visit Carin's website >> www.carinbondar.com




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PRESENTATIONS
Corals and Chaos

This lecture takes a threefold look at coral reef ecosystems across the tropics. This is a great presentation for audiences that are interested in making active and informed conservation choices. First, I introduce the basic biological nature of corals in a way that is entertaining and appealing to people – I use analogy and metaphor to reinforce the science. Second, I examine how specific human-caused environmental perturbations affect coral biology, and third, I examine cutting-edge research breakthroughs that may put an end to mass coral die-offs. Overall the lecture is packed with relevant and interesting information about some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.

Parasites in Paradise

It is estimated that at least 50% of all organisms on the planet are infected with parasites. This is among my favorite lectures to give because parasites are complicated, fascinating and utterly tyrannical in their approach to survival. People don’t generally think about the evolutionary success of parasites; what we do instead is dismiss them as dirty, disgusting and evil. However, when we turn this approach onto its head – considering their unprecedented success – it makes the story much different.

Since parasites are ubiquitous, I can tailor this lecture to virtually any environment to make for relevant local examples. This lecture is an unexpected and entertaining look at a part of the animal kingdom that we don’t generally revere. Audiences will never consider parasites in the same way again!

Engineering, Meet Biology

Humans are capable of designing, constructing and implementing major feats of engineering. Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, our brains have evolved to have unique capabilities and an astonishing size. However, some of our biggest feats of structural prowess have revealed how biology can throw a wrench into the best laid plans of intellectual masterminds. This lecture takes a step by step look at the major feats of engineering prowess of the Suez and the Panama canals. It then takes the audience on a journey of the unexpected biological wrenches that brought the engineers to their knees. Both canals were eventually completed; however, the biological aftermath continues to wreak havoc in astonishing ways.


Mysterious, Mythical Mutualisms

A mutualistic interaction is described as a cross-species relationship that benefits both parties. Mutualisms can take on many different forms, and they can involve species from diverse animal phyla. This lecture takes the audience on a journey of mutualisms across different environments, scales and animals – specifically outlining some of the most extraordinary scenarios of unexpected cooperation. There are often 3 or more players in these complicated interactions; however, this presentation is a poignant reminder of how elegant and simple alliances are pervasive in the animal world.

What about the human world? Interestingly, humans tend to highjack mutualisms and exploit them to our benefit. I outline several examples of mutualisms between humans and animals (dolphins and coastal artisanal fishermen, and honeyguide birds and Hazda/Yao tribes in Africa) that showcase the ways in which humans manipulate mutualistic interactions and how this might impact their ultimate existence.

Evolution, Extremism and Creative Thought in Medicine

This lecture has been presented to numerous audiences in the medical field. It is an entertaining and astonishing lecture that is directly applicable to biology, evolution, general medicine or any facet of the health-care field.

I begin by outlining the process of evolution by natural selection, and then move on to the specific points at which humans aim to circumvent it. Essentially, the entire practice of medicine is a way for humans to evade the biological notion of ‘survival of the fittest’. I myself would have been ‘weeded out’ of the human gene pool, as I was struck with intense and unrelenting morning sickness during my second pregnancy.

The lecture continues with a look at how extreme animal adaptations can actually provide creative fodder for new medical breakthroughs. Humans, because we circumvent the process of evolution, are much less specialized to live in extreme environments. However, since our brains are so immense and capable, we can observe the extreme adaptations of other animals and create ways in which to harness their power for our own use. For example, Burmese python (snakes) have the ability to increase their heart-volume far greater and faster than any other reptile or mammal. What can this teach us about cardiac health and how can it be applied to the human heart?



Friendships in Unexpected Places

Communication between different animal species is a fascinating topic of study. While I was travelling the world filming Worlds Oddest Animal Couples (Animal Planet USA, Netflix Canada) my reality was irreversibly altered by what I learned. I realized that love and friendship transcend oral language, and species identity makes little difference to the formation of caring and strong bonds. This may not be terribly surprising for people with pets; however, consider people that form unique bonds with a baboon, a cheetah or a pangolin. Such unexpected and important relationships allow us to push the boundaries of what we know about human and animal cognition.

**Please note that friendship is a different thing than mutualism. Mutualisms are long-term, mutually beneficial, functional relationships whereas friendships are isolated and unique examples of caring and love. These vastly different topics make sense as two different lectures.


Science on TV: Try your hand at being a TV scientist!

This is a combined presentation and interactive game with willing audience members. I begin with a discussion of various platforms and what works well for science-themed films/videos and series. Since I have vast experience in both online and television series, I outline the most important aspects of keeping the scientific content entertaining, edgy and straightforward. I draw on examples from my own career (Wild Sex, Wild Moms, Stephen Hawking’s Brave New World, World’s Oddest Animal Couples) with photographs and videos of some of our most memorable shooting days: successes and failures.

I round out the event with a fully interactive mock shoot of ‘Outrageous Acts of Science’ (a show on which I am one of the hosts, the backbone of The Science Channel for the past 6 years). This amazingly successful show (we have made over 120 X 1-hour episodes) is based on video clips from the internet. The show’s panel of expert scientists then explains the science behind the amazing footage from the clip.

I call for audience volunteers to come on stage and discuss one aspect of an astonishing animal video, and I provide them with their ‘answers’ and take on the role of director. We round out the show with a look at how the professionals did it, we look at the actual TV version of the videos we used.

It is generally a fun, educational and interesting presentation for diverse audiences – I have given it in the jungle, on a cruise ship and even at a high school.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Guest lecturer on Viking World Cruise (Chennai - Aqaba), April 2018. Six lectures ranging in topics from dolphin mutualism, crocodile specialization and coral species endemic to the Red Sea.
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Viking Sea SE190118 West Indies Explorer 10 San Juan Friday, January 18, 2019
Viking Star ST181122 Cuba, Panama & the Pacific 21 Miami, Florida Thursday, November 22, 2018
Viking Sun SU171215 The Viking World Cruise 2017 - 2018 140 Miami, Florida Friday, December 15, 2017