Sunday, May 18, 2008


Dr. Erik Monasterio (MBChB, FRANZCP) is a medical doctor and Senior Clinical Lecturer. Erik is a specialist in Psychiatry and a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He currently works as a forensic psychiatrist and is pursuing a number of research interests.

Dr. Monasterio is also a mountaineer and adventurer with over twenty years of climbing and expedition experience in some of the world's most remote and extreme environments. He has led and guided expeditions into the mountains and jungles of the Andes, the Himalayas, Alaska, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. He has climbed over forty previously unclimbed routes and peaks and has lived amongst native populations who have had little contact with Western civilization. He has reached many of the highest summits in the Andes in “solo” climbing style.

At the age of 21 Erik was kidnapped in Peru. Left to his own devices and with a gun pointed to his head, he quickly discovered the importance of thinking and performing well under extreme pressure. As an adventurer Erik has also faced many stressful and dangerous situations, and has endured extreme physical and psychological challenges: He has walked and biked unassisted across the world’s driest desert, the Atacama; he has undertaken a 1000km solo exploration of the Bolivian Andes and Amazonian rainforest's, surviving many days lost and without food; in 1988 he ran from the valley of Kathmandu to the base camp of the Everest mountain in record time and climbed over forty mountains with altitudes above 5500m. in a single season, including a number of unclimbed summits and many new routes.

Over the years Erik has combined personal experiences with scientific research to develop a training approach that maximizes performance under stress and in extreme environments. Erik believes that the concepts applied to the successful completion of expeditions in unstable and unpredictable environments are transferable to all areas of life. When faced with the demands of modern life, competitive work environments academic and sporting pressure individuals often under-perform and fail to reach their potential. Erik examines the all-too-common factors that contribute to suboptimal performance and describes practical techniques and training methods to overcome them.

Erik has previously worked as a photojournalist and illustrates his presentations with an extensive range of stunning photographs. The themes and topics of presentations can be adapted to suit different audiences and settings. The emphasis of presentations can vary from descriptions of extreme adventures, to focussed motivational speaking, goal setting and team building.

Erik has had articles and photographs published in a number of different newspapers, magazines and scientific journals. He has been interviewed for and has participated in a number of television programmes inlcuding the Sunday programme, ABC Catalyst, Canterbury TV and Guatemala State Television.
Please feel free to contact Dr Monasterio to determine the theme and style of presentation that is best suited to your conference/event.