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Dr Vivien Cumming is an Earth scientist, photographer, writer and filmmaker from Scotland specializing in natural world storytelling and documenting scientific expeditions. Viv did a degree in Natural Sciences followed by award-winning PhD and postdoctoral research at Durham University in the UK, Harvard University in the USA and McGill University in Canada. After 8 years as an academic studying the diversification of life on this planet and times of extreme climatic variation, Viv decided to follow her passion of documenting and communicating science to a wider audience through photography, film and storytelling.

Viv's work involves following scientists or a hunch to document our changing world and to tell the story of how the Earth works. For the media, Viv covers scientific expeditions at the forefront of research and exploration. She works closely with scientists on expeditions and at universities training them in different storytelling methods as well as helping them to curate content for their websites and social media in order to get their research out there.

Through 2017, Viv has been on a number of scientific expeditions which she has been sharing on the National Geographic Voices blog.

A journey through Earth’s history by canoe part 2: Rivers keep flowing and life goes on

  From the beginning of life, rivers experiment, trying new directions and invariably taking the easiest path. Everything follows the line of least resistance, a river, a vein cutting through rock, animals crossing a hillside, people on their way to work. As we go in search of some of the earliest life, passing through layers…

Journey through Earth’s history by canoe part 1: Hunting for early life in Arctic Canada

  It was early morning on the Coppermine River in Nunavut, Canada. A gentle mist rose from the surface of the glassy water, the sun’s first pink rays sparkling in the moving current. In the distance, the gurgling sound of faster flowing water was punctuated by birds waking in the trees, dragonflies chasing the buzz…

Exploring Earth’s wildest places to journey back in time

This is the first in a series of Voices posts by Dr Vivien Cumming, who explores remote regions of the world in search of photographically beautiful stories about how our planet works and the people who brave all nature throws at them to live in or study the natural world. Follow her blog here to go on a journey with her from Arctic Canada to the Southern Ocean.

They are usually grey, of variable hardness — you hopefully wouldn’t throw one at someone’s head! Sometimes they sparkle or contain a rainbow of colors. They don’t move unless pushed (by you or one of Earth’s many uncontrollable natural forces) and they make up the entire surface of our planet. You may have guessed what I’m talking about.…rocks!