Mark has spoken about exploration, tropical forests and the societies of humans and other animals to both scholars and the public, including at the Smithsonian Institution; NASA's Goddard Space Center; Google headquarters; the Institute of Human Origins; the Santa Fe Institute; a think tank organized by the Joint Chiefs; the World Science Festival; the Explorers Club; the American Philosophical Society; the Simons Foundation; conferences in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, anthropology and social psychology; universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge; as well as numerous public venues in the U.S. and other countries--and has been on stage with the likes of Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson.

Conservation and the behavior of humans and other species don’t need to be presented as dry statistics and dismal news. Mark challenges himself to find ways to tell stories about the little-known in nature. Through his scientific knowledge and unique, first-hand experiences, he introduces a Universe of special creatures in smart, adrenaline-packed appearances.

Here are three of his lecture topics:

  • Mark looks at societies across the animal kingdom, and in humans right up to the present day.  How do those societies stay intact over the long haul, and what causes them to inevitably break down?  How, for example, do we humans accommodate strangers in our societies, when most species cannot?


  • Why modern humans are more like certain ants than we are like our nearest relatives, the chimpanzees.  Why are comparisons of ants and humans valuable, and how do ants build societies more complex than we find for any other species in nature other than our own.


  • A rainforest resembles a city, its architectural space providing accommodations for millions of residents. How are rainforests put together, and in what ways do their physical structures compare to that of other natural communities, from coral reefs to (believe it or not) the metropolises of bacteria thriving on our teeth?

Despite the seriousness of these topics, Mark keeps his presentations fun and fascinating. "You haven't lived until you've seen Dr. Moffett imitate the mating dance of a frog or praying mantis," proclaims retired editor Mary Smith at one of his talks at the National Geographic headquarters.  Below is a spot-on portrait of Mark on stage by the master New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast.

Comedy show

Mark even tries his hand at standup at New York venues like Gotham and The Creek & the Cave.

Deborah Benson
Changemaker Talent