Have Pink Boots, Will Travel: Meet Dr. Mireya Mayor, Nat Geo’s Real Female Indiana Jones

Mireya Mayor

It’s 2019! A time for Rebellious readers, female adventurers and fashion-conscious explorers to arm themselves with pink boots and a machete. Or, at least, attend the second installment of the Auditorium Theatre’s National Geographic Live speaker series of the same name.

“Pink Boots and a Machete” showcases the feats of Dr. Mireya Mayor, who explores the earth’s wildest and most remote areas with little more than a backpack, notebook, hiking boots, and a black dress should, according to her, “an unforeseen occasion arise.”

Known as the female Indiana Jones, Mayor swam with great white sharks, survived poisonous insect bites, has been chased by elephants, and charged by gorillas. That is, when she’s not spending time with her husband, six children, and myriad of pets—or speaking at “Pink Boots and a Machete” in Chicago this month.

“We’re delighted to be sharing Dr. Mayor’s remarkable story with Chicagoans at the historic Auditorium Theatre,” says Danielle Deabler, vice president of membership and NG Live at National Geographic Partners. “The theater is a wonderful home for National Geographic Live in Chicago, and we’re excited to continue our partnership with a compelling and inspiring speaker like Dr. Mayor, who embodies National Geographic’s 130-year focus on exploration and adventure.”

Mayor will appear in person to elaborate on her achieved dreams of going from an NFL cheerleader to esteemed primatologist, conservationist, and discoverer. That’s right, Mayor co-discovered a rare species of mouse lemur, considered the world’s smallest primate. Such a revelation prompted the prime minister of Madagascar to set up a national park to help protect the new species.

The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Mayor is also a National Science Foundation Fellow and Fulbright Scholar who lectures at schools and institutions across the country, conducts research in the rainforests of Madagascar, and traverses the world as a National Geographic Channel wildlife correspondent, for which she was nominated for an Emmy.

“We are thrilled to continue our Nat Geo Live Series, featuring the top leaders from fascinating fields,” says C.J. Dillon, Auditorium Theatre chief programming officer. “We look forward to hearing Dr. Mayor’s captivating stories on our historic stage, and hope that the next generation of explorers, biologists, and researchers join us to learn from her at this inspirational event.”

“Pink Boots and a Machete” is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive at Roosevelt University. Regular tickets ($42-$54), student rush tickets ($15), and teen tickets ($5) are available at AuditoriumTheatre.org. Discounts are also available for groups of 10+.

Complimentary tickets are offered to Chicago-area community groups via the the Auditorium Theatre’s ADMIT ONE program. A 20 percent discount is available to those who attend both shows in the National Geographic Live Series, which also includes “Point of No Return” on May, 7, 2019.

For more information on the series, visit NatGeoLive.com, NatGeoTV.com or NationalGeographic.com.

Photo of Dr. Mireya Mayor by Brent Stirton

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Ms. Arvia is a freelance writer, former filmmaker, artist and Janet-of-all-trades who is pleased to serve as Arts & Culture Editor on our magazine since she’s always been Rebellious.