The Quest team of tour leaders is made up of nature enthusiasts who are expert birders and naturalists as well as skilled tour managers. We understand the joy of connecting with nature and the thrill that comes from viewing wildlife whether you are an enthusiastic amateur or adding species to your life list. We also understand that knowing exactly what you are seeing and understanding how it all fits together with the local environment makes being there that much more exciting.
Our expert tour leaders are selected very carefully, not only for their natural history knowledge, but also for their ability to share it with you. Our leaders enjoy being with people, are efficient, experienced travellers and will make sure that you have a great time while ensuring that you don't miss a thing.
Our leaders come from many walks of life - from interpretive biologists to retired educators. All our leaders are actively involved in field work in their home communities when not leading Quest tours. Many are published authors and expert photographers. On all our tours, our North American leaders are accompanied by local naturalists who live where we travel, speak the language and know just where to find the birds and wildlife.
Past-President of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Glenn Barrett
has a degree in Wildlife Biology and has worked extensively in outdoor education programming for educational institutions and as a Wildlife Technician for Environment Canada since 1994.
Ottawa based naturalist Tony Beck
's award winning photography appears in many books, websites, magazines & calendars. He teaches Birdwatching and Nature Photography courses as well as conducting Breeding Bird and Ornithological Surveys.
has been involved with nature his entire life, as a guide and teacher. He recently published his second book, Antarctica - First Journey, where he shares his extensive knowledge of the White Continent's wildlife, climate and history.
is the University of Guelph Arboretum’s Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator and a self-proclaimed “nature geek”. He teaches workshops at the Arboretum, and participates in research projects around the world. Chris has led many Quest trips in the past, including several to Africa.
has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Cornell University and has worked as a Wildlife Habitat Biologist and a Research Scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. He was also Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at Lakehead University. Dave continues to work as a consultant in forest and wildlife management.
Retired from teaching outdoor education and natural science, Geoff Henderson
continues to work on botanical surveys, Kiwi monitoring, and an on-going native plants re-vegetation project.
A past president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists and retired school principal, Jean Iron
is active writing for nature publications and participating in Wildlife Surveys for the Ministry of Natural Resources.
is a naturalist who has worked in the provincial, national and regional park systems in British Columbia and in museums. The west coast has been her home for 35 years and she has explored all areas extensively.
is an expert naturalist who has travelled and led Quest tours throughout Europe, North and South America and Antarctica. A keen nature photographer, he is also extremely knowledgeable about birds, mammals and butterflies.
Justin Peter is Quest Nature Tours' Director of Programs and senior naturalist. Justin was most recently the senior naturalist at Ontario’s world-renowned Algonquin Park, where he coordinated the park’s interpretive program and acted as lead howler for the celebrated Public Wolf Howl events.
is a biological consultant whose recent work includes collecting background data for environmental assessments of proposed “green energy” projects near Lake Superior. He has worked extensively with species at risk such as Peregrine Falcon, American White Pelican, and Woodland Caribou.
Since retiring from teaching, Pete Read
has been active as an environmental consultant doing field work throughout Ontario and working on building projects for the preservation of the Loggerhead Shrike.
A “Renaissance Man” with training as an actor, singer, visual artist and teacher, Ian Shanahan
spends his summers as a Seasonal Park Naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park. His love for natural history - “anything that flies”- has taken him to many countries where he enjoys watching, photographing and sketching wildlife.
Alan Watson has recently retired from his position as the long-time Director of the Arboretum at the University of Guelph, where he was also Assistant Professor of Environmental Biology and a specialist in adult education.
is a third-generation naturalist and a second-generation Quest tour leader. While completing his PhD at York University, he developed and taught a popular experiential natural history course. Now at the University of Guelph, he works to enhance the quality of teaching and learning on-campus.
A widely travelled naturalist, Mike Street
has just completed his twentieth year as a counter for the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch. Mike’s careful trip planning and attention to detail are appreciated by tour participants.
Tony Beck and Nina Stavlund
Tony Beck & Nina Stavlund are partners based in Ottawa, where they operate their company "Always An Adventure". Tony is a freelance naturalist and photographer, teaching Birdwatching, Photography and conducting Ornithological Surveys. Nina is a graduate of the Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo, Norway; her award winning work appears in magazines, catalogues, and other publications around the world.