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IBEX Tour Leaders

(Listed in alphabetical order, by last name)

Slavik Dushenkov

Slavik Dushenkov
Slavik Dushenkov

Leads tours in: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kamchatka

Dr. Dushenkov is an accomplished entomologist, naturalist and scientist with more than 25 years of teaching, research, and administrative experience at major universities in the United States and the Russian Federation. A trained field biologist, he has worked for many years as the director of Moscow Pedagogical State University's Agricultural Experimental Station directing field trials and educational programs. In more than 20 years as an educator, he has led expeditions and tours to Azerbaijan, Belarus, Botswana, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, USA, and Uzbekistan.

Dr. Dushenkov received his Ph.D. from the Moscow Pedagogical State University in ecology and his B.S. from the same institution in biology, chemistry and education. He has managed numerous companies and research foundations in his career as a director and entrepreneur. He is currently the managing director of GIBEX - the Global Institute for BioExploration.

He is fluent in English, Russian, with proficiency in Ukrainian and Belorussian. He is an author of several field training course textbooks and guides. Dr. Dushenkov is an avid science and nature photographer. His photographs have appeared in many international journals, including Science.

Talk to Slavik Dushenkov.

Sam Hall

Leads tours in: New Zealand (Aotearoa)

With 15 years of experience in assisting exclusive group travelers, your hostess Sam Hall will take you on a journey through New Zealand - the "green" travel destination.

Talk to Sam Hall.

Anne-Michelle Marsden

Anne-Michelle Marsden
Anne-Michelle Marsden

Leads tours in: Belize

Sixteen years into her academic career Anne-Michelle Marsden was offered an opportunity of a lifetime. Supported by the Belize Ministry of Culture and the indigenous organizations that comprise the Maya Leaders Alliance, she developed and directed the Maya cultural project during a 15 month Rutgers University granted sabbatical.

The National Launching Event for “The Living Maya: The Mopan and Q’eqchi’ of the Toledo District of Belize, Central America” was held in 2001. Anne-Michelle’s work, a documentary on CD that includes over 500 pages of text, 26 videos, elder oral histories, language samples, and over 1000 photos was premièred to an audience that ranged from the Maya, bussed to the event in the country’s capitol from the Toledo District, to the national media, dignitaries and representatives from educational institutions throughout the country. For her work with the Maya, she received the Zonta International Women Who Make a Difference award in 2003.

Today, a permanent resident of Belize, Anne-Michelle continues her 25+ year passion for teaching Rutgers University students online from her home office in the Toledo District. She serves as a faculty member within the School of Management and Labor Relations. In 2007, she received a national Excellence in Online Teaching award for her work in online pedagogy.

Talk to Anne-Michelle Marsden.

John W. Mount

John Mount
John W. Mount

Leads tours in: Tanzania

John W. Mount, member of the Board of Directors of the Rutgers New Brunswick University College Alumni Association and also serves on the University College Community Dean's Advisory Committee, is the recipient of the 2009 Edward J. Bloustein Award for his humanitarian services. In 1980, the year after John graduated from Rutgers, President Jimmy Carter recognized him as one of New Jersey’s leading community and civic leaders.

Decades later, he continues to surpass expectations in his lifetime commitment to serving others. A few examples of the many ways he gives back include helping to rehabilitate wildlife, conserve natural wonders, preserve history, educate the public, support disaster and homeless relief, improve business relations, serve local schools, advocate for recycling programs, and represent consumer interests. As president of John W. Mount Associates, a multifaceted government and public affairs consulting firm, he also serves organizations such as The ARC, Easter Seals, and the Cerebral Palsy Society, as well as groups concerned with environmental and ethical issues.

Talk to John Mount.

Richard Parsons

Richard Parsons
Richard Parsons

Leads tours in: Ecuador

Richard Parsons, tour leader in Ecuador, is the owner and manager of the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, which started operating as a lodge in 1995. Richard, a British national, has a Masters in Liberal Studies in Science in Society from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and is fluent in Spanish, French and German, with some knowledge of Malagasy. For many years, he had worked as the Academic Director for College Semester Abroad Programmes for the School for International Training in Ecuador, and in Madagascar, where he set up the first international study programme in 1991.

Richard is also an experienced naturalist, having held a naturalist guide's licence for the Galapagos National Park for six years in the 1980s, as well as having been the first guide and leader at the Bellavista Reserve.

Talk to Richard Parsons.

Preston Scott

Scott Preston
Scott Preston (in white)

Leads tours in: Bhutan

Preston Scott has worked very closely with the Kingdom of Bhutan on a host of specialized environmental and cultural conservation projects since the late 1990s and is a frequent traveler to the eastern Himalayas.  He has worked directly with several ministries of the Royal Government of Bhutan including Agriculture, Education, Foreign Affairs, and Home & Cultural Affairs, as well as several international organizations active in Bhutan including the UN Development Program.  Most recently, he served as curator of the historic Bhutan program at the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC, which was the largest and most comprehensive celebration of Bhutanese life and culture ever presented outside the Kingdom. 

Mr. Scott is a graduate of the college and law school of the University of Virginia (having received degrees in law, and with honors in history, government and political theory), and is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and Virginia. While at the University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. Scott served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law.  Although Mr. Scott has worked in more than 30 countries on five continents around the world, his extensive knowledge and contacts in Bhutan provide a very special personal opportunity for IBEX travelers to experience life in the remote Himalayan Kingdom rarely possible for outsiders.

Talk to Preston Scott. 

Ilya Raskin

Ilya Raskin
Ilya Raskin

Leads tours in: Kamchatka

Ilya Raskin, Ph.D. has over 22 years of experience in academic research in plant biology and pharmacology and 5 years of experience in industrial research in plant biotechnology. Dr. Raskin received a Ph.D. in 1984 from Michigan State University and joined the faculty of the Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1989. As Professor II of Plant Sciences, he directs scientific programs composed of over 50 researchers from more than 15 different countries. He also serves as Director and Chief Scientific Advisor of Phytomedics Inc., a successful botanical therapeutics company; Director of the US NIH-NSF-USDA-funded biodiversity and pharmacological discovery program (ICBG) in Central Asia; Associate Director of the NIH Botanical Center for Metabolic Syndrome; and President and Founder of the Global Institute for Bio-Exploration (GIBEX).

Dr. Raskin achieved an international reputation through his work on plant immunity to diseases, phytoremediation and, in the last decade, for his research in plant-derived therapeutics, molecular farming, and bio- and chemo- diversity. Dr. Raskin’s research is featured in over 150 major scientific publications and in numerous popular press articles. Among his most cited scientific publications are four cover articles in Science and Nature. Dr. Raskin was also awarded 20 patents covering the discoveries made in his laboratory.

Dr. Raskin has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Albert Shull Award for outstanding contributions to plant biology and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards for revolutionary product innovation and scientific breakthrough. Dr. Raskin was named the Century Innovator in Botany by the U.S. News & World Report and has been listed as one of 108 most cited researchers in Plant and Animal Science (Institute of Scientific Information).

Talk to Ilya Raskin.

Lena Struwe

Dr. Lena Struwe

Lena Struwe

Leads tours in: Sweden

Dr. Lena Struwe is a botanist and evolutionary biologist working at Rutgers University, NJ, USA, but a native of Sweden until the mid 1990s where she got her degrees in biology, earth sciences, and systematic botany. She has over 25 years of experience in giving training courses, field trips, and lectures from kindergarten level to advanced professional audiences, especially in topics in conservation, ethnobotany, medicinal plants, and botanical biodiversity and evolution. Struwe's research embraces both traditional approaches using plant morphology, herbarium sheets and careful illustration as well as molecular systematics. She has described, alone or with collaborators, three new genera and over forty new species, mostly from South America. Struwe did the first groundbreaking evolutionary study of the whole gentian family with her international colleagues.

At Rutgers University she teaches ethnobotany, plant systematics, evolution, and is strongly involved in ethical bioprospecting for new medicinal drugs from the plant kingdom worldwide. Apart from plants, she is also interested in entomology, ornithology, photography, cultural heritage and geology, and she has a degree in from the Biological and geological B Sc track from Stockholm University, Sweden. During her years in Sweden she was on the national board as the Secretary of Field Biology for the youth NGO "Fältbiologerna" [the Field biologists]. She has 30 years experience with traveling, explaining, and observing Swedish nature and culture.

Talk to Lena Struwe.

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