Neal Pollock was born in Edmonton, Canada. He developed an early passion for aquatics and outdoor adventure, moving from competitive swimming to bicycle touring, skiing, whitewater kayaking and scuba diving by high school. He completed a Bachelor degree in zoology, the first three years at the University of Alberta (Edmonton) and the final year at the University of British Columbia (UBC, Vancouver). He stayed in Vancouver after graduating, working in the diving field, and completing a Master degree while serving as diving officer at UBC. He was able to dive in many locations around the world in this time, including Antarctica. He then moved to Florida to work on a diving research study directed by Dr Richard Vann of Duke University and complete a doctorate in exercise physiology/environmental physiology at Florida State University (FSU). While at FSU he taught anatomy and physiology and exercise physiology to undergraduates and gross anatomy to first year medical students. He also continued seasonal research diving in the Antarctic. Upon graduation, he taught at East Carolina University (ECU) and then Georgia Southern University while commuting to Duke University to work on environmental physiology studies. He moved to Duke on a full-time basis in 2000, progressively increasing his involvement with Divers Alert Network (DAN) Research. He currently serves as Research Director at DAN and as a Research Associate in the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke. His research interests focus on human health and safety in extreme environments. He has served as a reviewer for 22 peer-reviewed journals; and has been on the editorial board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine since 2008. He still cycles, skis, kayaks and dives and is quick to accept invitations to interesting places.

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