Iain Campbell - Director, Guide
Iain grew up in the Australian bush and went to University in Sydney and Canberra. After a short stint as a research regolith geochemist at the CSIRO in Australia, he headed to Africa and South America to map tropical landscapes and explore for gold. His lifelong birding passion soon caught up with him, so he switched careers to build Tandayapa Bird Lodge in Ecuador and form Tropical Birding Tours with his mates Keith and Nick. Iain is near fanatical about getting more people into birding and wildlife photography, and works with many organizations trying to achieve this main goal. Besides searching for, and photographing rare birds and animals, he became fascinated by forest regeneration and the holistic relationships between landscape, vegetation and wildlife. He moved back to Australia in 2021 to expand the Australia tours. When not running and organising nature tours around the world, he writes wildlife field guides, ecology and biogeography books, as well as consulting on ecotourism projects. Iain uses Swarovski binoculars and scope, and shoots with Olympus camera gear.
Iain's Favourite Tour:
Habitats of the World
The idea behind this book is that people need a way of understanding the environments they are visiting, and the animals they should expect to see there, in a format that they are used to with bird field guides; it is the way the Tropical Birding guides see the world and want others to enjoy it. When guiding Iain will not say "Tomorrow we will be visiting Daintree, Mareeba and Atherton", but rather "Tomorrow we will be birding in lowland tropical rainforest, open eucalypt savanna and montane rainforest"
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Cristina Cevantes - General Manager
Cristina is TB’s General Manager, and it is through her good work that our tours run so smoothly. An Ecuadorian, she has a thorough understanding of business in South America and beyond. She has two children, Gabriel and Amy, and currently lives in Maryland where the Tropical Birding head office is located. She is an occasional birder too, but prefers colorful toucans to skulking tapaculos. Cristina uses Swarovski binoculars.
Our Extended TB Family
Click here to see all the Tropical Birding guides
and the places we can take you
Desire D'Sylva - Office Staff
Desirée was raised in Quito, but her life has taken her on many exciting adventures to the most beautiful places in the world. She lived on merchant ships during her teens, and saw spectacular scenery and culture throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and is the only person in TB to have sailed through the Suez and Panama canals. After finishing a degree in history, she developed a farm in NW Ecuador to produce ecofriendly palm oil. Desirée manages our Africa and Asia logistics.
Lisle Gwynn - Guide
A mixture of rugged Celt and English gentleman, Lisle grew up among the heaths of southern England where, as a teenager, he quickly developed a preference for birds and beasts over video games and parties. After graduating from a British University chosen solely for its birding potential, a scholarship from the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology led him to the beautiful Cape of South Africa, a place he now considers a second home. There he spent several years birding widely whilst studying birds of prey and fynbos endemics. A keen photographer and ‘mammal enthusiast’, Lisle is as comfortable seeking and photographing mammals as he is birds, something he has pursued across 6 continents. With a full year at sea under the belt, spent across most of the world’s oceans, he is also a knowledgeable and obsessive ‘Petrel-head’, with tubenoses and marine mammals being two of his greatest passions in life. Lisle is shooting with Sony and Nikon camera gear.
Lisle's Favorite Tours:
Emma Juxon - Guide
For as long as Emma can remember, she has spent her life knee-deep, (quite literally on many occasions), in the natural world. Her innate passion for wildlife led to a degree in Zoology along the stunning Cambrian coastline of Aberystwyth, Wales (UK). Here, Emma found the abundance of Red Kite as much as a distraction as the Student Union, and graduated fueled with a desire to inspire others about the world around us. She found herself focusing her interests on birds and blubber which has taken her from the glacial high arctic to the jeweled volcanic islands of the South Pacific. After working offshore as a marine wildlife and seabird surveyor for a few years, Emma decided to hang up her coveralls and steel toe-capped boots, because let’s face it, sharing incredible sightings with like-minded enthusiasts is far more exciting than completing spreadsheets and writing reports for the offshore industry! She now resides in the Surrey Hills, UK, educating the community for the local wildlife trust when not guiding for Tropical Birding Tours. Having travelled the world to many a remote place, Emma is as at home traipsing through thick jungle to ‘sailing’ across flooded calderas in rapidly sinking rust buckets, to being sprayed in the face by blowing blue whales. Her experience took her across six continents, regions including the Arctic, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, New Zealand, South Pacific islands, and the Americas. Emma uses a Swarovski scope.
Emma's Favorite Tour:
Ben Knoot - Guide
Ben is a nature photographer originally from the state of California. He has been photographing the natural world since the age of 9, focusing mainly on wildlife. It was through the lens of his father’s camera that he first observed the beautiful green and purple sheen of a Common Raven. Observing the fine hairs at the base of the birds massive bill, Ben became passionate about sharing the beauty of the natural world around him. From then on, Ben’s desire to educate others blossomed. He self-published a children’s book The Color of Birds to help young children learn their colors through bird identifications. He has traveled the United States extensively, especially in the Pacific Northwest where he completed college. While in school, Ben further honed his desire to teach with a degree in Environmental Policy and Education. Ben’s work has been published since 2007 by multiple organizations including: Natures Best Photography, Audubon, Ranger Rick, NANPA, Wildlife Photo Magazine and the BBC. Ben shoots with Olympus gear.
Ben's Favorite Tour:
Color of Birds
Audubon's (2013) Editors Choice
Natures Best Photography Grand Prize (2011)
Birds of the PNW
Sam Woods - Guide
Sam’s unhealthy obsession for birds began with a pair of tits in a London park at age 11. He famously proclaimed the evening before “I’m not looking at birds; they’re boring”. Rarely have words haunted someone for so long. Sam was instantly hooked, starting off by spanning the British Isles in search of birds, which quickly expanded to the wider world, and has now traveled to all seven continents over the last thirty years. He has been working as a full-time guide for Tropical Birding since 2005, since when he has guided on six different continents. Sam attended Plymouth University in Devon (UK), getting a degree in Environmental Science, which led him to the Andes of Ecuador to undertake research on hummingbirds. This stoked an interest in the Americas; originally from the United Kingdom, he now resides in Ecuador (South America), but arguably spends just as much time overseas, as he does there. He is most at home, when he is away. Sam has also been a co-author on several books on Australian birds and wildlife. He uses a Swarovski scope and binoculars; Olympus camera. You can read Sam’s blog Lost in Birding.
Sam's Favorite Tour:
Wildlife of Australia
Birds of Australia