Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Ecology & Conservation
Oceanography
Travel & Destinations
Wildlife & Nature
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
George is known for his dynamic and entertaining presentation style. He has a BSc in biology from UBC in Vancouver and an MA in ecological governance from Griffith University, Queensland Australia. He was born in Australia and has dual Canadian / Australian citizenship.

He has been featured as an enrichment and destination lecturer on cruise ships throughout the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, Asia, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, UK and ports throughout the Mediterranean.

George has over thirty-five years of professional experience; as a Naturalist and photographer with Canada’s National Parks, as a Registered Professional Biologist, and as a Senior Consultant for terrestrial and marine strategies in British Columbia. Close encounters with snorting grizzly bears, erupting volcanoes, drooling Komodo dragons, and trumpeting elephants have all added spice to George's presentations. He has entertained and informed thousands of passengers with his photographs and ecological and cultural insights based on personal experience.

He lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with his wife and fellow adventurer, Jan.

Click here to visit George's website >> georgesranko.blogspot.com.au


(Click image for full size)
TALKS
Transatlantic

1. Cavorting with Atlantic Whales
Learn about the true giants of the Atlantic. One species is the loudest creature on the planet… and another can go two hours without a breath!

2. Drifting Continents and other Crackpot Ideas
Drifting continents? Expanding oceans? Early believers were once considered crackpots! Our planet is dynamic and change is inevitable…

3. Ocean Currents & Weird Weather!!
Here’s your chance to get whole the enchilada on the shrinking Arctic, rising oceans, and changing currents. Not to mention skyrocketing insurance!

4. What’s Shrinking and What’s Rising…? (On Planet Earth!)
Get the whole scoop on rising sea levels, shrinking icecaps, and out-of-control insurance!

5. Brains are Over-Rated!
They might be spineless and heartless… but they're still very successful!!

6. Unique Landscapes and Ecosystems of the Canaries
The Canary Islands represent a hotspot -- both in terms of geology and biodiversity

7. Some of the Most Fascinating Creatures from Our Travels!
True tales from our explorations, including the Aye Aye, Cassowary, Salties, Ellies, living dragons… and more.

8. A Fishy Future… Protein and Protection
What's the connection between bustling ecosystems, boatloads of tourists, and plentiful fish?? Connect the dots between Marine Reserves and the protein on your plate.

Transpacific

1. Smart Suckers -- Octopus & Squid!
Who says you need a backbone to succeed? Discover creatures without bones that are as smart as your average dog, with arms that think for themselves!

2. Marine Reserves in the 21st Century
Many of the world’s top Marine Reserves are full of tourists. Not only that, they are full of fish! Join George to connect the dots between Marine Reserves and a fishier future for all.

3. Jellyfish Invasion: A Stinging Success
Some of the most prolific and intriguing Sea Creatures are totally spineless and heartless. How can brainless blobs of jelly become so successful?

4. Living Ocean Dinosaurs & Really Big Fish Stories
Living in the open ocean is like living on another planet. Surprisingly, most life on earth lives under water! Discover the biggest fish in the world and a huge marine reptile.

5. Meet the Masterminds of the Sea!
These brainy creatures are amazingly well-adapted to a wide range of marine habitats - from warm tropical reefs to the dark, cold depths.

6. Pacific Giants and the importance of Fertile Seas
The true giants of the Pacific: fishy breath at one end and awesome fertilizer at the other!

7. Ancient Reptiles, Giant Sharks… and a Bonehead!
Huge sea-going reptiles and sharks the size of whales have you surrounded.

Arctic, North Atlantic, Iceland, Greenland

1. Who Owns the Arctic and the Fish Below
Melting ice and changing fates. Who makes the rules out here anyway!!?

2. Tips from Top Predators
Why the world needs muscles and jaws...and big teeth!

3. Who Owns the Arctic and the Fabled Northwest Passage
Melting ice and changing fates. Who makes the rules out here anyway!!?

4. Curious Creatures and Changing Ecosystems
Ecosystems are shifting northwards and many creatures are facing uncertain futures.

Alaska & Pacific Northwest

1. The Pacific Northwest: home to some Smart Suckers
These creatures are sure to impress – big brains and arms that think for themselves!
2. Momma's Boys of the Pacific Northwest
Matriarchs that rule the family and big boys that throw their weight around. The life of Killer Whales!

Caribbean

1. Killer Carnivores of the Caribbean
More fascinating than the Pirates of the Caribbean - and a true story!!

2. Parrotfish Can Save the Caribbean Reefs
Parrotfish vs lionfish: keys to healthy coral reefs.

3. The Gulf Stream: Mixing Hot Water & Wine!
The connection between ocean currents and the future of fine wine and winegrowing regions!!

4. Warming Caribbean Seas and Jellies Galore
Learning to survive in hot water and other lessons from brainless creatures.

Mediterranean

1. Unusual Sources of Wealth from the Seas
Some of the most successful ancient and modern civilizations have built empires on unexpected sources… including fish guts, the color purple… and venomous creatures.

2. Undersea Robots and an Ancient Computer
Robots and computers let us delve into the furthest reaches of the world’s oceans… but how do you explain a 2,000 year old computer left lying at the bottom of the Med?

3. Plugging into Waves & Tides: Renewable Ocean Energy
Ocean energy has the potential to power a large portion of modern civilization. The oceans are in constant motion (as we know on board!!). Will the power be with us…?

4. The Mediterranean – Wealth in Many Forms
DIY guide to building empires (bird droppings can come in handy)

5. Dangerous Volcanoes & Ancient Time Capsules
Visiting some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

6. Undersea Explorations Reveal Untold Treasures
The Mediterranean is revealing secrets such as an ancient 2,000 year old computer… found lying at the bottom of the sea. You can’t make this stuff up!

Australia, New Zealand

1. Up Close with Coral
Are corals animal or vegetable? Learn fascinating stories about the “rainforests of the sea” and who’s eating who (and how to avoid joining the food chain…!)

2. Koalas, Crocs & Komodo Dragons
We are voyaging to exotic lands inhabited by some of the most amazing creatures on earth!! Get up close and personal with stories and photos to intrigue and inspire.

3. Living Dragons that Won't Be Tamed!
Discover some of the myths and realities of creatures that dwell in the Land of Dragons.

4. Romance and Mystery of the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the richest ecosystems on earth. Discover some of the magic and mystery of this iconic reef.

5. Sexual Selection Makes the World Go 'Round!
Meet some fascinating creatures with habits that may surprise you and perhaps even inspire you!

6. Land of Lizards & Dragons
Discover why Australia is known as the land of reptiles (lizards, not wizards!) and dragons! These reptiles include some true giants and the world's deadliest snakes!

7. Romance and Mystery of Ningaloo Reef
Deep immersion into one of the richest ecosystems on earth... without getting wet!

8. Devils, Crocs & Amazing Creatures of OZ
Meet a real handsome ‘devil’… and an egg laying mammal with toxic spurs!

Japan, Asia, Indonesia

1. Japan & the Not So Pacific Ring of Fire!
Ready to blow off some steam and crack some crust? Japan has lots to offer...!!

2. Are Alien Jellies attacking the Sea of Japan?!
Lessons on How to Succeed in Life by Brainless Balls of Slime.

3. Fishy Findings on the Kuroshio Current
Connecting the Japan Current with shrinking icecaps, rising seas, and extreme weather.

4. Kill or Cure – Singapore, Venom & BioMeds!
Hideous or handsome… venomous creatures can be deadly! Discover how venomous snakes, sea snails and other deadly creatures provide the painkillers and specialized meds of tomorrow.

5. Dangerous Volcanoes & Ancient Time Capsules
Sail past some of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world and learn tales of cities frozen in stone.

6. Life in the Tropical Jungle: Biodiversity & Cultural Hotspots
Ecosystems are shifting, as is our understanding of biodiversity… rainforest secrets revealed!!

7. What does it take to attract a Female in Paradise...?
We're travelling through some exotic lands inhabited by some of the most amazing creatures on earth!! Stories and photos to intrigue and inspire.

8. Komodo Dragons Won't Be Tamed!
Some fascinating discoveries about Komodo dragons and Homo floresiensis the tiny human hobbits that once shared these islands with modern humans in the true Land of Dragons.

9. Tambora & the Pacific Ring of Fire
Discover a planet that is more active, and often more destructive, than we can imagine. Learn about the lost city known as the Pompeii of the Far East.

Hawaii, South Pacific

1. Fantastic Reefs of the Coral Sea
Dive into the amazing biodiversity of Coral Reefs as we sail near some of the greatest reefs - and most amazing natural history stories - on earth.

2. Tropical New Caledonia: Biodiversity & Cultural Hotspot
Discover why New Caledonia is considered one of world's biodiversity hotspots!! One native animal even makes tools and knows how to use them!

3. Sharks and Traditions of Fiji
Local Fiji communities traditionally consider sharks to be sacred, eating them is taboo. New perspectives on ancient predators and the ecosystems they inhabit.

4. Volcanic Isles of Samoa and Its Happy People
The rich ecosystems of Samoa and cultural traditions that have evolved on these steep volcanic slopes.

5. Life in the Pacific Can be a Stinging Success!
Meet some amazing creatures that are brainless, spineless and heartless - and still very successful!

6. Amazing Cultures of the True Pacific Giants
Meet Cetaceans with complex undersea societies much like our own… and communication abilities we are just beginning to understand and appreciate.

7. Hawaii - Hot Stuff and Tectonic Tales!
Hawaii is one of the best places on earth to experience living Lava and Killer Crust... Such is life on an unstable planet!

South & Central America, Amazon

1. Costa Rican Rainforests: Monkeys are Made of Chocolate
Ecosystems are shifting, as is our understanding of biodiversity… rainforest secrets revealed!!

2. All Cracked Up! Guatemala and Life on an Unstable Planet
Belching volcanoes, the Pacific Ring of Fire, and Killer Crust... Travel tips for an unstable planet!

3. Red Devils of Mexico & the Sea of Cortez
No bones about it - these creatures are smart suckers...! Discover how more than one brain can come in handy.

4. California: Land of Condors & Prehistoric Giants!
True tales of California beyond the world of Disney! Top predators, killer birds, and predatory primates…and did I mention megafauna?! Giant sloths, camels, lions & tigers used to roam here!

5. How to Succeed Without a Brain (Not for Dummies)
Brainless, spineless and heartless creatures are poised to take over… why are they so successful??!

6. Pacific Currents, Extreme Storms and Rising Seas
The Humboldt Current has created to one of the planet's richest ecosystems… and massive change is 'currently' underway.

Africa

1. Unique Wildlife of Madagascar
From Lemurs to fascinating Geckos and Chameleons, Madagascar is home to some of the most unique creatures on the planet and some of the highest biodiversity, with about 150,000 species that exist nowhere else.

2. Madagascar: Escape from Africa!
How can islands float…? Madagascar continues to drift away from the African continent … where did it come from and where is it headed…?

3. Mighty Ocean Currents and Feeding Frenzies
We’re sailing near one of the most powerful ocean currents in the world, the Agulhas Current. Learn how these rich waters produce one of the greatest feeding frenzies on earth!

4. In the Realm of the Great White Shark
This coast is home to one of the greatest carnivores on the planet. Discover some fascinating insights into the life of these top predators and the ecosystems they help create and maintain!

5. Apex Predators of Africa
Discover the fascinating role of the largest carnivores in Africa… and their valuable ecological roles in “top-down” structuring of the ecosystem. Without 6. Lions… would their prey survive?
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Summary of Cruise Ship Lecture assignments:

Apr-2019 Viking Sun - Durban, South Africa to London - 28 days
Oct-2018 Westerdam - Vancouver to Yokohama - 16 days
May-2018 Seabourn Sojourn - Kobe to Vancouver - 21 days
Apr-2018 Amsterdam - Grand World - Cape Town to Dakar - 15 days
Nov-2017 Seabourn Odyssey - Caribbean - Miami Return - 12 days
Sep-2017 Volendam - Transpacific - Vancouver to Yokohama - 16 days
Jul-2017 Zuiderdam - Baltic Adventure - 12 days
Apr-2017 Noordam - South Pacific - Sydney to Honolulu - 16 days
Oct-2016 Rotterdam - Transatlantic - NYC to Piraeus (Athens) - 25 days
May-2016 Maasdam - Panama Canal - Ft Lauderdale to Seattle - 20 days
Oct-2015 Statendam - Transpacific - final farewell - Hilo to Singapore - 22 days
Apr-2015 Volendam - Transpacific - Kobe Japan to Vancouver - 17 days
Feb-2015 Amsterdam - Grand World - Sydney to Singapore via Perth & Bali - 23 days
Nov-2014 Maasdam - Transatlantic - Ft Lauderdale/Rome - 22 d
Apr-2014 Volendam - Transpacific - Yokohama /Vancouver - 17 d
Jan-2014 Prinsendam - Grand S. America - Ft Lauderdale / Lima - 10 d
Nov-2013 Maasdam - Med/Transatlantic - Civitavecchia /Ft Lauderdale - 23 d
Sep-2013 Volendam - Hawaii - Vancouver/Honolulu - 11 days
Mar-2013 Amsterdam - Grand World - Seychelles/Cape Town, South Africa - 11 d
Nov-2012 Rotterdam - Caribbean Odyssey - Rotterdam/Barbados - 23 d
Mar-2012 Amsterdam – Grand World – Sydney / Singapore - 21 d
Jan-2012 Rotterdam – South Pacific – Honolulu /Papeete - 21 d
Nov-2011 Nieuw Amsterdam – Med/Transatlantic – Venice/ Ft Lauderdale
Feb-2011 Rotterdam – S. America – Puerto Vallarta /Calloa (Lima) - 12 d
Jan-2011 Prinsendam – Amazon – Barbados / Forteleza
Aug-2010 Maasdam – Voyage of Vikings via Iceland, Greenland – Ireland /Boston - 23 d
May-2010 Azamara Quest – Mediterranean Athens /Civitavecchia - 12 d
Dec-2008 Amsterdam – South America – San Diego /Santiago Chile
Oct-2008 Volendam – South Pacific - Honolulu /Auckland
Apr-2008 Amsterdam – Grand World - Trans-Atlantic - Lisbon / Ft Lauderdale
Dec-2007 Zaandam – San Diego /Honolulu
Sep-2007 Westerdam – Mediterranean - Civitavecchia /Return 22 d
Jan-2007 Statendam – Sydney – Auckland 14 days
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT INFORMATION
George and his wife both have dual Australian/Canadian citizenship, providing cruise lines with additional flexibility