Tim Laman


Tim Laman is a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist.

Tim first went to the rain forests of Borneo in 1987 and the Asia-Pacific region has been a major focus for both his scientific research and photography ever since. His pioneering research in the rain forest canopy in Borneo led to a PhD from Harvard and his first National Geographic article in 1997. Since then, he has pursued his passion for exploring wild places and documenting little-known and endangered wildlife by becoming a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine, where he will soon have published twenty feature stories. Tim has also published more than a dozen scientific articles related to rainforest ecology and birdlife, and is a research associate in the Ornithology Department at Harvard University.

Tim has developed somewhat of a reputation for being able to come back with shots from the wild of nearly impossible subjects like gliding animals in Borneo, displaying Birds of Paradise, and some of the most critically endangered birds in the world such as the Nuku Hiva Pigeon and the Visayan Wrinkled Hornbill of the Philippines. He relishes such challenges, and firmly believes that promoting awareness through photography can make a difference for conservation.

Tim’s work has garnered numerous awards, including the highest honor of the North American Nature Photography Association in 2009 – their annual “Outstanding Nature Photographer” Award. Ten of his images have won recognition in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, and he has won several prizes in the Nature’s Best International Photography awards including first place in the underwater category.


Tim’s collaboration with Edwin Scholes on the Birds of Paradise is his most ambitious project to date. He has recently completed the first comprehensive photographic coverage of this extraordinary family of birds in the wild. They are the most spectacularly ornamented birds in the world, but inhabit rugged and remote regions of New Guinea, where they are an extreme challenge to locate and photograph in their dense rain forest homes. He and Ed spent over eighteen months doing fieldwork in the New Guinea region over the past eight years on this project, with support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Conservation International, and the National Geographic Expeditions Council. The project has now come to fruition as a major photographic book (BIRDS OF PARADISE: REVEALING THE WORLD’S MOST EXTRAORDINARY BIRDS), published by National Geographic Books. In addition, this work is featured in a National Geographic Channel documentary, new National Geographic magazine article in December 2012, and a major travelling educational museum exhibition, all in the hope of spreading awareness about the Birds of Paradise and the rain forest of New Guinea.