Justin is Quest Nature Tours' Director of Programs and senior naturalist. Born and raised in Canada to an East Indian mother and Czech father, and schooled in French Immersion, Justin became by proxy a student of languages and cultures from an early age. A keen interest in nature also came to him early, and so one might say that travel came "naturally" to him as well when he was whisked off to visit relatives in faraway places! Driven by a desire to share his observations with others and an aptitude – so he was led to believe – to help others develop their own interests, he began leading nature walks in his early teen years and was ultimately able to make a career that married his multiple passions. He worked for several years as Senior Naturalist at Ontario's world-renowned Algonquin Park, where he coordinated the park's interpretive program and recruited and mentored promising young naturalists, in addition to serving as Lead Howler for Algonquin's celebrate Public Wolf Howls. Justin moved to Quest Nature Tours in early 2013. In addition to overseeing the tour roster, Justin has personally led tours to such places as India, Peru, Namibia, the Galapagos Islands, and the shores of Hudson Bay.
Justin fills the balance of his time with various other activities. He regularly leads spring bird walks at Point Pelee National Park. He also volunteers his skills in regional and international research projects and publishes his observations whenever possible; for example, he co-authored a scientific paper in the Canadian Field-Naturalist detailing previously undescribed behaviours of the Fisher, which is a medium-sized member of the weasel family famed for its ability to kill porcupines. He is also a popular speaker and trip leader at birding festivals and nature clubs. More recently, Justin completed revisions to the popular book Trees of Algonquin Provincial Park and he took on the role of moderator for the burgeoning Facebook group, Ontario Birds. He is Vice-President of the Toronto Ornithological Club and life member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists. Like some other Quest leaders, Justin is a member of the Brodie Club, one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious natural history clubs.
Justin's interests span the gamut of natural history and he is always keen to help tour participants enjoy every region they visit to the utmost. He admits a particular fondness for India and the Galapagos Islands!
Working on our 2018-2019 tour line-up!Memorable Moment
Spotting a white-morph Gyrfalcon actively hunting over the tundra habitat near Churchill, Manitoba!