Naturalist icon Naturalist

JIll Niederberger

Jill is an aquatic biologist, naturalist, divemaster, and captain with a love for everything living in and depending on water. Whether sailing catamarans, leading snorkeling tours, or assisting with cetacean field research projects, she enjoys connecting others to the wilderness around them. Her most recent adventures have led her into a focus on marine mammals – those creatures with fur and blubber that defy the odds by living in or depending on an environment in which they cannot breathe.

While getting her degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Jill focused her studies on the fish and invertebrate ecology of the kelp forests along the Southern California coast, as well as the impacts of climate change on coral reefs in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. She has worked in informal education positions for the majority of her adult life, including positions as an Aquarist for the university aquarium and Educational Programs Instructor at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Since graduating, Jill has obtained her 100-ton Master Captain’s license, working on eco-tourism vessels as both a Naturalist and Captain in Alaska and Hawai’i. As one who spends her entire year in “whale season”, she is the resident instructor of biology, ecology, and natural history for multiple eco-tourism companies in those areas.

Jill is passionate about science, conservation, and engaging with nature. When not on the water, she strives to be in it – as a research SCUBA diver, in a kayak, or just tidepooling along the coast. She now lives in San Diego, California, where she spends her time sailing, diving, or volunteering with local marine mammal centers when not exploring the seas with Lindblad Expeditions.