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Mireya Mayor

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Mireya Mayor (born 1973) is an American anthropologist and wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic. On one of her expeditions in Madagascar, she discovered a new species of lemur, considered the world’s smallest primate.[1][2] She has co-written several scientific papers on lemurs species.[3] She has been referred to as the "female Indiana Jones."[4][5][6] Her work has provided her with extensive field experience studying primates, tarantulas, and other wild animals.[4]


Mayor was born to a Cuban mother and a Spanish father. She was raised by her mother, grandmother, and aunt after her father left the family.[7]


Mayor studied at the University of Miami where she obtained her bachelor's degree in anthropology and philosophy.[8] During this time she was a cheerleader for the NFL Miami Dolphins.[4]

She was a Fulbright Scholar[9] before earning a PhD in anthropology from Stony Brook University in New York.[5]


In 1999, Mayor was hired as the first female wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic series Ultimate Explorer. Two episodes she hosted, "Girl Power" and "Into the Lost World", received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming.[8]

In 2009, she was cast in the Mark Burnett-produced miniseries Expedition Africa on the History Channel, which retraced H.M. Stanley's expedition through Tanzania to find David Livingstone.[10].

In 2019, she was cast in the Travel Channel documentary series Expedition Bigfoot, in which she and other wildlife researchers spent three weeks searching for evidence that Bigfoot exists.[11] The show aired in January 2020 and has been renewed for a second season.

On one of her expeditions in Madagascar, she was one of a research group who described a new species of mouse lemur, Microcebus mittermeieri, or Mittermeier's mouse lemur,[12] after Russell Mittermeier, the president of green group Conservation International and a renowned field primatologist.[13][14] Following the discovery, Mayor persuaded the prime minister of Madagascar to declare the mouse lemur's habitat a national park.[15]


In 2011 Mayor published her autobiography, Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey From NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer.[4]


  1. "Dr. Mireya Mayor". USASEF. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  2. "Three new lemur species found in Africa". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  3. Mayor, Mireya. "List of Scientific Papers". Research Gate. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Adventures of the 'female Indiana Jones' - CNN.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 Animals - Animal Pictures - Wild Animal Facts - Nat Geo Wild - National Geographic
  6. Mireya Mayor, Primatologist/Conservationist Information, Facts, News, Photos - National Geographic
  7. Harnett, Cindy E. (2018-11-08). "African wildlife discovery helped launch career of Mireya Mayor". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Brazil, Ben (2018-09-20). "'Female Indiana Jones' to launch 2019 National Geographic Live speaker series at Barclay". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  9. National Geographic Events - Mireya Mayor
  10. Carter, Bill (21 May 2009). "Exploring Africa to Find Riches in Ratings". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  11. Weisberger, Mindy (8 December 2019). "'Expedition Bigfoot' Scours Oregon Woods for Signs of the Mythical and Elusive Beast". Live Science. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  12. Mittermeier, R.; Ganzhorn, J.; Konstant, W.; Glander, K.; Tattersall, I.; Groves, C.; Rylands, A.; Hapke, A.; Ratsimbazafy, J.; Mayor, M.; Louis, E.; Rumpler, Y.; Schwitzer, C.; Rasoloarison, R. (December 2008). "Lemur Diversity in Madagascar" (PDF). International Journal of Primatology. 29 (6): 1607–1656. doi:10.1007/s10764-008-9317-y. hdl:10161/6237. Unknown parameter |name-list-style= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |s2cid= ignored (help)
  13. "Three new lemur species found in Africa". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  14. "Dr. Mireya Mayor". USASEF. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
  15. Hajek, Danny (3 January 2015). "Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots: Mireya Mayor's Big Break". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 10 February 2021.

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