Welcome to the Secret Atlas team page.

The passion for remote destinations brings us together on a mission to rekindle the long gone spirit of exploration.


Michele profile picture

Michele D'Agostino
Head of Sales and Partnerships, Co-founder

An avid high latitude sailor and explorer, Michele co-founded Secret Atlas to bring the small group expedition experience to the Polar regions.

Holder of Yacht Master Ocean (commercially endorsed) and PTGA Polar Guide.

Expedition Leader Mariano Curiel

Mariano Curiel
Head Of Operations & Sustainability, Partner

Mariano Curiel is a senior polar guide and expedition leader with a wealth of experience in the execution and management of operations. As a seasoned expedition veteran, Mariano Curiel has sailed pole to pole, becoming the first Argentinian to cross Greenland.

Meet Mariano

Expedition Team

Expedition Leaders

John Rodsted Expedition Leader

John Rodsted
Photo & Expedition Leader

Originally trained as a commercial photographer, he has impacted the world of imagery with his work as war photographer. Today, he is not only known for his award-winning work as a photojournalist of communities at risk, but also for his artistic and written work.

Meet John
Mette Eliseussen Expedition Guide

Mette Eliseussen
Photo & Expedition Leader

Mette has guided in all polar regions for over 16 years, totaling over 300 voyages. Before this, she was program manager for Save the Children in Afghanistan from 1990 to 1997 and was a key member of the international campaign to ban landmines, who were awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace prize.

Meet Mette
Raphaël Sané expedition guide Secret Atlas

Raphaël Sané
Expedition Leader

Raphaël has a lifelong interest in nature and holds a Master of Advanced Studies in Hydrobiology. In 1997, he participated in his first scientific expedition to Arctic Siberia. He works as a guide, instructor, and expedition leader aboard our expeditions in the Arctic.

Meet Raphaël
Ombline Chabasseur expedition leader Secret Atlas

Ombline Chabasseur
Expedition Leader

Ombline has been working as a guide and expedition leader all over the Arctic and Antarctic. With more than 12 years of guiding experience and her passion for the polar regions, she’ll make your trip unforgettable.

Meet Ombline
Robert Gilmore Expedition Leader Rossøya Svalbard

Robert Gilmore
Expedition Leader

Bob has enjoyed 18 seasons working in the polar regions as Expedition Leader and Lecturer on Geology, Glaciology and Sea Ice. More recently, he and a few colleagues have developed a citizen science initiative that is helping scientists understand how climate change is affecting the Polar Regions.

Meet Bob
Jon Fuhrmann Expedition Guide Secret Atlas

Jon Fuhrmann
Expedition Guide

Jon is a science communicator and expedition guide. He has a Master’s degree in glaciology and has worked for the Natural History Museum in London and the British Antarctic Survey. Jon has traveled to six continents and has a passion for the polar regions, astronomy, planetary sciences, and climate change. He is also an avid photographer.

Meet Jon
Virgil Reglioni Expedition Leader

Virgil Reglioni
Expedition Leader

Virgil is a polar expedition leader and professional photographer who specializes in polar landscapes and the Northern lights. He has won international photography awards and teaches photography in Northern Norway during late winters.

Meet Virgil
Rayann Elzein Expedition Leader

Rayann Elzein
Expedition Guide

Rayann is a professional photographer, guide and expedition leader in the polar regions. He lives permanently in Utsjoki, the northernmost municipality in Finnish Lapland, where he spends his winters chasing the northern lights.

Meet Rayann
Ida Olsson Expedition Leader Secret Atlas

Ida Olsson
Expedition Leader

Ida, an expedition leader from Svalbard, has explored the polar regions extensively, skiing to the North Pole in 2018 and leading a women's group across Spitsbergen in 2019. With a deep passion for nature, she continues to guide adventurous travelers on extraordinary journeys.

Meet Ida
Expedition Guide and Photographer Giancarlo Gallinoro

Giancarlo Gallinoro
Expedition Guide

Giancarlo is an Arctic-focused adventurer, photographer, videographer, and educator, striving to inspire conservation through his educational efforts and capturing the beauty of nature.

Meet Giancarlo
Julien Cornet Expedition Guide Svalbard

Julien Cornet
Expedition Guide

Julien is an enthusiastic recently graduated doctor in Geosciences with 10 years' academic knowledge about Earth. He is eager to contribute actively to current societal challenges, e.g., fighting climate change, developing future technologies, or educating people on these challenges.

Meet Julien
Laali Berthelsen

Laali Berthelsen
Expedition Leader

Laali is from Nuuk in Greenland. She is a highly experienced Arctic guide and has extensive knowledge of all places cold including Greenland, Canada, Iceland and Svalbard.

Meet Laali
Dr. Richard Hann

Dr. Richard Hann
Arctic Researcher

Dr. Richard Hann is one of the leading researchers in the emerging research field of icing on unmanned aircraft. Richard is also promoting the application of drone technology in the Arctic with several ongoing projects in the fields of meteorology, glaciology, and atmospheric pollution in Svalbard.

Meet Richard
Paul Copestake profile pic

Paul Copestake
Bird Expert

Paul is a passionate Ornithologist whose family has a longstanding connection with Antarctica. He has conducted fieldwork and expeditions, spending several seasons on South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Meet Paul
Photo of Piet van den Bemd

Piet van den Bemd
Expedition & Photography Guide

Piet developed a fascination for nature as a child through travelling with his parents to different continents, and receiving his first camera at age 16 inspired him to pursue photography as a way to share the beauty of the natural world and raise awareness of fragile environments.

Meet Piet
Photo of Sandra Walser

Sandra Walser
Expedition Guide

Sandra Walser possesses a wealth of expertise, which she seamlessly applies to her various roles within the industry from Senior Polar Guide to author and historian. She has been working as an expedition guide and photographer since 2009 and is a valued member of the Polar Tourism Guides Association.

Meet Sandra

Our Photographers

Tom Crowley Secret Atlas Photography Guide

Tom Crowley
Photography Expert

Tom Crowley is an outstanding wildlife and adventure photographer and cinematographer working on some of TV’s most iconic series, including Frozen Planet, Life Story and Planet Earth 2.

Meet Tom
Paul Goldstein Photo Tour Guide

Paul Goldstein
Photography Expert

Paul Goldstein is a wildlife photographer and conservationist based in the UK. He is best known for his stunning wildlife photographs, which have been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions worldwide.

Meet Paul
Jean Paul de la Harpe Z.

Jean Paul De La Harpe Z.
Photography Expert

Jean Paul, biologist and photographer, leads expeditions, capturing nature's beauty. He promotes conservation through media and teaching, advocating for nature photography's impact.

Meet Jean Paul
Rick Tomlinson

Rick Tomlinsson
Photography Expert

Rick is a professional, expedition, wildlife yachting photographer. His pictures have been published in magazines all over the world, including National Geographic and in Yachting World.

Meet Rick
Roie Galitz photo tour guide

Roie Galitz
Photography Expert

Roie is a globally acclaimed wildlife photographer whose images have been exhibited in publications all across the world. ​​His passion for photography and dedication to our planet have earned him the title of Greenpeace ambassador who actively contributes to sustainability and environmental matters.

Meet Roie

Office Team

Anna Zuckerman-Vdovenko

Anna Zuckerman-Vdovenko
Expedition Specialist

Anna is a seasoned polar expert with a Bachelor's from Princeton and a Master's from Cambridge, combining her background in photography and journalism with over two decades of polar exploration to offer transformative experiences to guests. With almost 100 voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic, along with her contributions to conservation efforts, Anna continues to inspire guests through her stories and serves as a board member for Friends of South Georgia Island.

Lewis Morcombe

Lewis Morcombe
Expedition Specialist

Lewis, with over a decade of travel industry experience, harbors a lifelong passion for exploration. His expertise, cultivated at a leading UK travel agency, encompasses polar expeditions, Patagonian adventures, and cycling vacations in Europe, particularly emphasizing road cycling and leisurely trips to renowned wine destinations.

Yaroslava Skorikova

Yaroslava Skorikova
Arctic Operations Coordinator

Yaroslava transitioned from a professional biathlete to a tourism career, specializing in guiding and operations management in Svalbard, where she has lived for nearly seven years, showcasing her diverse skill set and passion for environmental projects.

Sophie Dingwall Marketing Director Profile Picture out in the field

Sophie Dingwall
Marketing Director

Sophie, with her solid background in sailing and a serious love for all things water-related, has found a way to combine her passion for the ocean and the environment through storytelling in journalism and brand stories.

Beccy Finlayson

Beccy Finlayson
Content Manager

Beccy is a passionate traveller, storyteller, and environmental advocate with a background in geography and 10 years of TV production experience. She thrives on exploring the world, collaborating with creatives and scientists, and sharing her love of the natural world through media.

Kathrine Wolff Pedersen
Digital Marketing & Customer Service Executive

Meet Kathrine, her love for travel ignited in Norway, where she explored icy landscapes and snow covered mountains. Crossing the Atlantic twice on a majestic full rigger marked the beginning of her sailing career, leading to a full season in Svalbard as a seafarer. Fuelled by her passion for nature, visual arts and storytelling, she puts together content for you to enjoy!

Luca Chiumento

Luca Chiumento
Project Manager

A senior project manager with a love of travel, Luca brings years of international experience delivering projects in E-commerce, 3D visualisation and app development across industries. As well as travelling overseas, he studied in the UK at the University of Southampton before living in Munich, Germany for 8 years. Today he’s based in Northern Italy and enjoys spending time in the outdoors and tending to the garden, amongst managing our digital projects.

Chris Saggerson
UX Designer & Developer

Chris is responsible for keeping the website afloat, and ensuring you find what you need quickly and easily.

Prakash Shah

Prakash is a qualified accountant, with years of financial experience with blue-chip names such as Deloitte, Nomura, Barclays, M&G, UBS and JP Morgan.

Becky Lima-Matthews

Becky Lima-Matthews
Freelance Content Writer

Becky is a freelance copywriter, content writer and scriptwriter based in London. She has over seven years’ experience in writing words that inspire action, raise awareness, educate and entertain. As well as her work for Secret Atlas, she also works with organisations such as Into Film, YHA and King’s Health Partners.

Nikolai Kolesnikov

Nikolai Kolesnikov
Senior Advisor

With over 25 years in the maritime industry, Nikolai recently served as Chief Development Officer at SunStone Maritime Group A/S, a major expedition travel shipowner. Previously, he was EVP & CFO at SCF Group, a top marine energy transporter. He also held roles in finance at JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, and EBRD. He holds degrees from Moscow Institute of Finance, IE Business School, and Columbia University.