5 Things We Love About Dr. Mireya Mayor

World-renowned primatologist, Fulbright Scholar and National Science Foundation Fellow, Mireya Mayor is not your typical scientist.

September 03, 2021

Photo by: Courtesy of Dr. Mireya Mayor

Courtesy of Dr. Mireya Mayor

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“I'm drawn to the mystery and unknown in nature, which is why I've spent my entire career studying animals we've known nothing or very little about in the most remote and unexplored places.” Anthropologist and wildlife correspondent, Dr. Mireya Mayor boldly adventures into the planet’s unknown places.

A Florida native, Dr. Mayor is the daughter of Cuban immigrants. Her career has taken her from cheerleading with the Miami Dolphins, to some of the wildest parts of the globe. Often referred to as the “female Indiana Jones”, her work has done much to advance multiple fields of study.

Here's what we love about Dr. Mayor:

1. She discovered a whole new species

Considered the world’s smallest primate, Dr. Mayor co-discovered the mouse lemur (Microcebus mittermieri) while conducting research in Madagascar. She fought hard to protect its environment and ultimately convinced Madagascar’s president and prime minister to establish its habitat as a protected national park.

2. She’s incredibly intelligent

Photo by: Courtesy of Dr. Mireya Mayor

Courtesy of Dr. Mireya Mayor

In September of 2016, she was named a Global Changemaker by Fulbright for her work as a primatologist, anthropologist, and conservationist. A few of her other achievements include Explorers Club Fellow, National Science Foundation Fellow, and Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent.

3. She is passionate about education

Dr. Mayor encourages children to strive for their dreams, no matter how big. She has lectured at STEM programs and Universities around the world. Here are just a few of the places she’s presented: IBM, Perot Museum, Young Professionals Organization (YPO), Stony Brook University, Duke University, STEM Outreach, Noble Foundation, Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA), Peace Center, University of Tennessee

4. She’s Tough

Dr. Mayor survived a plane crash in 2009, has been chased by elephants and withstood poisonous insect bites. According to an interview with CNN, she’s also “ingested leaves to calm down an angry 400-pound silverback gorilla in Congo.” Dr. Mayor isn’t afraid to get her hands, or really anything, a little dirty in the pursuit of science.

5. She’s Done all of this while raising 6 kids:

While exploring and researching in some of the world’s most remote places, Dr. Mayor has also maintained a robust family life. She has six children, 2 dogs, a cat, a husband and according to her website, “a menagerie of exotic animals”.

In 2019, Dr. Mayor participated as one of four wildlife researchers on the series Expedition Bigfoot. The team spent three weeks searching for evidence of the cryptid. Of her experience on the show, she wrote, “Some will argue that it has been “proven by countless investigations that Bigfoot doesn’t exist, and therefore this is a waste of time”. In my humble and professional opinion, both of those statements are false.” The series, which premiered in January of 2020, has been renewed for a second season.

Stream full episodes of Expedition Bigfoot now on discovery+.

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