Niall McCann was born in Victoria, Canada, into a family of adventurers and grew up in Shrewsbury, in England’s most rural county: Shropshire. Niall studied Zoology at the University of Bristol, and is currently completing a PhD at Cardiff University, studying Baird’s tapir, the largest mammal in the neotropics and one of the most threatened species in all of the Americas.
Niall has dedicated his life to seeking out adventure in the natural world, either in combination with his zoological studies, or on stand-alone adventures. He has spent well over two years on expeditions on six continents.
Niall’s first major expedition came in 2000, when, at the age of 18, he spent one month cycling in the Himalayas with his father and a friend, crossing the Khunjerab Pass, the highest paved pass in the world. Niall has since cycled the highest road in the world, canoed the River Yukon, been mountaineering in the Alps and been rock climbing in Europe and The USA.
In 2007 Niall rowed across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. This expedition was followed, in 2009, by a successful attempt to manhaul on skis across Greenland. Niall was due to guide an expedition to the Magnetic North Pole in 2011, which was aborted – along with all other expeditions in the region – due to dangerously thin sea ice conditions. Niall is a member of the Cardiff University High Performance Programme and is in training for a series of adventures planned for late 2013 and 2014.
In his career as a zoologist, Niall has specialised on working with endangered species, and has conducted zoological research in the UK, Italy, Mauritius, Bolivia, Namibia, Guyana and Honduras; spending over 21 months living and working in remote and challenging parts of the world. As well as his involvement in research, Niall is actively engaged in ongoing conservation projects in Honduras, Nepal and Guyana, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Niall made his television debut in 2011 with the PBS documentary Lost in the Amazon: the enigma of Col Fawcett, which aired in the History Channel in the UK. As a result of the success of this documentary, which won two international awards, Niall landed a six-part wildlife adventure series with the Discovery Channel, directed by Peter von Puttkamer and produced by Gryphon Productions. Niall is currently in talks with several networks about his next project.