Ronan Donovan, a National Geographic Explorer, traces his deep-rooted love for the natural world back to rural Vermont, where he was raised. Transitioning from a field biologist to a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, Ronan has traversed all seven continents, capturing diverse experiences. His remarkable portfolio includes documenting wild chimpanzees in Uganda, chronicling the lives of Yellowstone’s grey wolves, and covering the conservation status of mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
In a pivotal moment, Ronan’s career as a conservation photographer took shape in 2011 while researching chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. Climbing fig trees to observe the primates, he captured impactful images that caught the attention of wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman. This connection led Ronan to Kathy Moran, National Geographic’s senior editor for natural history.
His journey continued in 2014 when Moran invited him to assist photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols on a Yellowstone National Park project. What began as a two-week contract evolved into months of collaboration. When the need arose to cover Yellowstone’s grey wolves, Nichols advocated for Donovan to take on the assignment. The resulting work, published in the May 2016 issue, marked a significant milestone in Ronan’s career, solidifying his position as a respected contributor to National Geographic.
Ronan’s latest project unfolds in the Canadian high Arctic, documenting the life of a family of arctic wolves, showcased on the National Geographic Channel and in print for the September 2019 issue. His journey from the Vermont countryside to the world’s most remote corners exemplifies a dedication to capturing the beauty and significance of the natural world.
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