National Geographic Expert

Rosa Vásquez Espinoza

Dr. Rosa Vasquez Espinoza is a chemical biologist, conservationist, National Geographic Explorer and award-winning artist. Of Peruvian-Andean and Amazonian descent, Rosa grew up learning about traditional medicine from her grandmother in their backyard’s "natural pharmacy.”

Today, Rosa travels to the most extreme environments on the planet, such as the Amazon rainforest and Yellowstone’s boiling, acidic waters, searching for the tiniest creatures—from microbes to stingless bees. With her scientific-based explorative nature, she connects the micro-to-macro worlds to nourish our appreciation for biodiversity in all its magnitudes. Her studies include the miniature lifeforms that sustain life on Earth and help humanity, such as the bacteria at Yellowstone that make COVID testing possible.