Mikołaj was born and still lives in Warsaw, Poland. A biologist by education, he has had a life-long passion for both natural and exploration history. His childhood love of and fascination with cold regions was confirmed while he was studying behavioral and genetic ecology of various carnivores in the winter forests of northeast Poland. After defending his PhD in 2002, Mikołaj he immediately went on his first overwintering expedition to the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station as a scientist studying the reproductive strategies and genetics of southern elephant seals. Since then, he has participated in 3 more expeditions to the station, including another year-long expedition when he worked as the base commander and the leader of the 32nd expedition.
Mikołaj started working on expedition ships in 2006, happily sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge of Antarctic and Arctic nature and history, as well as seeking satisfaction in facilitating other people’s infection with the polar bug that has held him in its grip for many years.
When not on a ship, Mikołaj spends his time caring for his daughter, Hanna Gaia, as well as a motley crew of creatures, including black cats and an introverted tortoise, and working as a translator and author of books and articles on ecology, nature conservation and history.