Author of SaltwaterAquariumblog.com and The Reef Aquarium Book Series.
Alex Pilnick is currently an Environmental Journalism/Media Studies masters student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has his B.Sc. in both Marine Science and Geology, has worked on the wholesale side of the marine aquarium industry for 5 years, and has been active in the hobby since 2004.
Austin Lefevre founded and owns Aqua Box, a group of passionate professionals who bring unique aquarium systems to fruition worldwide and offer fully quarantined and conditioned fishes to the US retail market. Austin has been a bonafide fish nerd for his entire life. When the kids in elementary school were reading Dr. Seuss, Austin was reading Jacques Cousteau. He’s been in the aquarium industry since 2002 working in local fish stores, coral farms, and headed up a fish breeding program. He’s been an avid SCUBA diver since the age of 12 and consistently seeks new aquatic adventures.
Aida is a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior PhD program of the City University of New York and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She received a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Biodiversity from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid where her research focused in marine biodiversity and conservation, ranging from the captive rearing and reintroduction of endangered seahorse species to the systematics and evolution of polychaete worms. She is broadly interested in the biodiversity and evolution of marine invertebrates, with an emphasis on the molecular basis and evolutionary processes that originate convergent traits. She is using next-generation sequencing technology and comparative genomics to investigate the molecular basis and evolution of two striking convergent traits in polychaete worms: bioluminescence and venom production. Aida is also very interested in science communication. She particularly enjoys science writing and has authored several articles and the award-wining children’s book ‘Seres Luminosos’.
I found my love for the ocean at an early age. By kindergarten, I knew I wanted to work in the sea. As the cards were dealt, I am land locked. So, I brought the ocean to me. I’ve been a Local Fish Store (LFS) worker for the last 13 years, and I have never lost my love for the hobby. It’s so much fun! I clean tanks all day long and come home and clean my own. So much to learn! Learning is half the fun!
Gordon Greenley is a marine ornamental fish and invertebrate breeder who also specializes in nano fish, shrimp, ornamental macroalgae, and non-photosynthetic coral husbandry.
I grew up in Michigan, hunting turtles, frogs, and other wonderful, creepy things. In high school I became particularly interested in coral reefs and set up my first reef tank in 2001–a modest 10 gal tank. I soon upgraded that tank and, as they say, the rest is history. I’m currently a Ph.D. candidate in biological oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where I investigate coral calcification and coral responses to global change.
Chris Maupin is a research scientist at Texas A&M University, whose primary research interests consist of using the geochemistry of coral skeletons, microfossils and cave deposits to reconstruct climate variability and investigate climate change in the coral-rich regions of World Ocean. His day job ranges from from turning wrenches on mass spectrometers to culturing corals, with fieldwork in incredible places in between.
Danilo Ronchi, aka DaniReef lives in Italy where he is hydraulic engineer, but starting from his love for reef aquarium and photography, he began to write about marine aquariums from 2006 and now he’s published his first book “Marine Aquarium”. From 2007 Danilo writes on his blog danireef.com where publishes articles, pictures, product reviews, aquariums coverage, reportage and history of his tank. Now he’s happy to be part of Reefs.com
Dr. Mac Terzich is a board certified veterinary pathologist. He is the owner of Pacific East Aquaculture a licensed coral aquaculture facility located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
I’m an aquarist with interests in Syngnathids, aquatic medicine, coldwater aquariums, corals, taxonomy, aquaculture, fish breeding, and nano reefs. I started my career in the aquatics department at a big box chain pet store in the early 2000’s. I’ve worked in aquaculture, online aquarium retail, aquarium photography, wholesale, aquarium maintenance, marine fish purchasing, and managing local fish stores. In addition to articles on reefs.com, I have many photos and articles published in pulp mags and on other websites.
Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD’s reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident “Fish Geek” and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world’s largest vertically integrated fish farming company.
Heidi is a Marine Biologist who has been working in the public aquarium industry as an aquarist and now as a consultant specialising in husbandry, interpretation and staff training. She has also written a series of children’s books about the aquarium and fish world called “Abby’s Aquarium Adventures”.
Hunter Hammond is a marine hobbyist who currently keeps a 190g reef in his living room featuring numerous rare wrasses. He strives to be a leading expert in the captive care of all reef-safe wrasses. He has been in the marine hobby since 2009 and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his devoted partner. Hunter’s professional career is in the aerospace propulsion engine industry as a structures engineer.
Josh Saul is a technology consultant for large global banks. He has been involved in the aquarium hobby for 15 years and has been SCUBA diving for more than 20.
Lemon is a reef fish fanatic with an academic diploma in biotechnology. Like many, he started toying around with the fresh water hobby but quickly grew into a proficient hobbyist in the marine scene. His passion for the natural world sees him travelling to far flung, exotic places, where his secondary love for photography comes in handy. At 23, Lemon is one of the youngest and most prolific fish writers, and is well known for his obsession with the wrasse genus Cirrhilabrus.
Luiz Rocha is the curator of ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. His research interests and experience are centered on the evolution, phylogeography (or the geographic distribution of genetic lineages), biogeography, systematics and community and behavioral ecology of coral reef fishes. He frequently tries to combine these fields, invoking ecology to help explain evolutionary patterns and using molecular tools to test biogeographic and systematic hypotheses. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to test existing hypotheses (and propose new ones) about what generates and maintains the extremely high biodiversity in tropical coral reefs.
Based out of Fort Worth, Texas, I’ve been a hobbyist for more than 13 years. I enjoy helping others via my two websites melevsreef.com & reefaddicts.com. These feature articles, pictures, podcasts, interviews and product reviews, as well as documentation of personal experience maintaining tanks ranging from 3g to 400g. I make a living selling RO/DI systems and acrylic wares (sumps, frag tanks, overflows, photoboxes), which permits me to enjoy the hobby more.
I’m a member of DFWMAS and have served on the board of directors for seven years, doing what I can to encourage growth while keeping it fun. My articles have appeared in print & online, and I’m happy to be blogging on Reefs.com as well.
Matt Pedersen has been a marine aquarist for 25 years, and an aquarist for 30. After spending time on every side of the aquarium industry (retail, commercial and private maintenance & installation, wholesale, hatchery), he currently considers himself a “professional hobbyist”. Matt is well recognized as a marine fish breeder, having spawned 25 species of marine fish and reared 9 successfully to date, including the worldwide first rearing of the Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris in 2008.
Matt has been involved with breeding organizations for years, currently sitting on the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) Council. He writes and edits for multiple aquarium publications and websites, and speaks around the US on the topics relating to marine fish propagation. In 2009, Matt was awarded “Aquarist of the Year” honors by both IMAC West and MASNA in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the marine aquarium hobby. Matt is a strong proponent of being a lifelong learner.
With 12+ years of experience, from import to export and everything in between, I have the pleasure of calling this hobby my own.
Noel started his passion for marine life back in high-school: as far away from the ocean as possible…Iowa. Thanks to an Aquarium Science high-school program he attended for several years at Central Campus. While attending high school, he worked at the local zoo as their aquarist and a local fish store. After high school, Noel attended Oregon Coast Community College for their aquarium science program to advance his knowledge. While in college he worked for Hatfield Marine Science center as an aquarist and interned for NOAA working with cold water aquaculture. For the last four years, he has been serving time at the Long Island Aquarium as their aquaculture aquarist. During this time he has raised 15+ species, including the first captive bred anthias.
Joe is classically trained in the zoological arts and sciences, with a particular focus on the esoterica of invertebrate taxonomy and evolution. He’s written for several aquarium publications and for many years lorded over the marinelife at Chicago’s venerable Old Town Aquarium. He currently studies prairie insect ecology at the Field Museum of Natural History and fish phylogenetics at the University of Chicago.
I hate to say it but I have been keeping fish from about 1954 or so. I Was drafted in 1969 and was in the Army until 1971 and when I returned back from Viet Nam I bought my first salt water fish started a tank, that tank is still running.
I Did my first SCUBA dive in Sydney Australia while I was on R&R and became certified in about 1979. Most of my dives were for lobsters in NY waters with about a quarter of them in the tropics.
I am also a boater and a Lisenced boat Captain.
I made my living as a construction electrician foreman in Manhattan from which I recently retired.
Randy Donowitz has been keeping aquariums most of his life. During the mid 1980s and 90s he was consumed with the breeding of African Cichlids. In 1994 he purchased his first marine system- a simple 55 gallon reef setup and he has been an incurable coralholic ever since. Randy’s articles have appeared in numerous hobbyist publications including Aquarium Frontiers, Advanced Aquarist, Marine Fish and Reef USA Annual and Aquarium Fish magazine. Currently, he curates and maintains the 3 system, 700 gallon coral reef display at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where he enjoys the privilege of sharing his knowledge and love of the hobby with students, staff, and community members from around the Tri-State area.
Paul Whitby is originally from the UK, but now resides in Oklahoma USA. While in the UK, he received his Doctorate in the microbiology of fish diseases, specifically diseases of fish with high economic importance and has published several articles in this field as well as medical microbiology. Currently he is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma where he specializes in the microbiology of pediatric infectious diseases.
Paul is the current President of the Central Oklahoma Marine Aquarium Society (COMAS) and has had several articles published in Reefs Magazine, Reef Keeping magazine and Reefs.com and ReefBuilders. He has published several articles on COMAS, the development of a captive propagation program to conserve coral species, pests and parasites in marine aquaria as well as numerous reviews. In October 2007 his SPS dominated display tank was selected as Reef Keeping Magazine’s Tank of the Month. Paul has presented several marine aquarium related seminars at local clubs and conferences including Oklahoma’s CRASE, Reef Fest, ReefStock, NERAC, IMAC west and others. In association with his good friend Ed Brookshire, Paul owns Highdefcorals.com
He has been keeping saltwater aquariums for over 22 years and has owned a variety of tanks ranging from under 30 to in excess of 600 gallons. His current system, including filtration, is over 1,000 gallons.
I’m a native Floridian who has been living in crazy, hot Miami for over 15 years. I live in Coral Gables, my name means protector of the sea or coral depending on the language, so it is just my destiny that I grow coral for a living. I love this planet and I’m always try to be outdoors when I’m not fragging or writing. You can check out my coral babies at: Reefgardener.net
Jeremy Gosnell has been an aquarist for nearly all of his life. While studying sociology in college, he began writing for Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine, moving over to Fish Channel and Aquarium Fish International in 2005. In 2008 he began composing feature articles for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine, and today serves as TFH’s monthly saltwater Q&A writer, and is a member of the peer review content editorial board.
After becoming a PADI certified dive master and specialty instructor, Jeremy trained with the Beautiful Oceans Academy as a science diver, specializing in coral reef biology, ecosystems and food chain hierarchies. He worked with Beautiful Oceans to promote scientific diving and underwater GPS coral reef mapping and bio-diversity studies for both scientific study and recreational dive charters.
He holds various scuba related certifications including PADI master scuba diver, dive master, specialty instructor, DAN dive emergency specialist, marine wildlife injury specialist and several TECH REC technical certifications, including deep water diving, re-breather diving and cave diving.
In his spare time Jeremy is a science fiction writer, and his debut novel Neptune’s Garden was released in 2010. His second novel is being released later in 2015. Both books are oceanic in nature, exploring the existence of the mythical kingdom of Atlantis, from a scientific viewpoint.
I have a long time love for coral reefs and reefing. I currently have 30 years experience total in saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Currently I live in Tennessee with my wife and son and currently work as a level 2 tech support coordinator for my job.
Ret Talbot is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer who frequently covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. He is best known for his data-centered, investigative pieces in publications like Discover Magazine and CORAL Magazine. His multi-part series on the sustainability of the aquarium trade in CORAL, as well as his book Banggai Cardinalfish (Reef to Rainforest Media 2013), has brought attention to the socio-economic and environmental benefits of a sustainable aquarium trade, as well as the need for comprehensive aquarium trade reform. He lives in coastal Maine, where he blogs regularly at his own Good Catch Blog (www.GoodCatchBlog.com).
I am from Portugal (EU). I am a medical doctor and I also run the European reef blog H2O + Something. I´ve been a hobbyist for the past 15 years. I´ve started with freshwater aquariums – planted aquariums and African cichlids – and I´ve been doing reefkeeping since 2004.
Afishionado : a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity. (In this case, fish, corals and reef keeping). We are group of passionate hobbyists who are all about educating, creating innovative contents and providing eye popping visuals for hobbyists of all levels.
Robert, who comically refers to himself as a “budding biologist” is currently an undergraduate at Cornell University.
Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.
Sanjay Joshi in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. He has been a reef addict since 1992, and currently keeps several reef aquariums at home including a 500G SPS coral dominated reef. He also co-manages the 500G aquarium at Penn State. He has published several articles in magazines such as Marine Fish and Reef Annual, Aquarium Frontiers, Aquarium Fish, and Advanced Aquarist. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at several marine aquarium society meetings in the US and Europe. He received the MASNA award in 2006, for his contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.
Marcin Smok is a reefer, photographer, traveler, SCUBA diver and and avid DIY-er. He has been keeping freshwater fish tanks since he was 9 years old and saltwater tanks for the past 10 years. Check his photography site at www.travelibn.com and follow his Facebook profile https://www.facebook.com/photoreef/
Tal got back into the hobby in 2006 after a long break. After hearing Dr. Frank Marini speak at the Midwest Marine Conference in 2008 he was hooked on fish breeding . Since then he has created his own website with his personal captive breeding information and helped create the Marine Breeding Initiative. It is Tal’s hope to promote captive breeding as much as possible by speaking and writing about the topic.
Richard Ross currently works as an Aquatic Biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences, maintaining many exhibits including the 212,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef. He has kept saltwater animals for over 25 years, and has worked in aquarium maintenance, retail, wholesale and has consulted for a coral farm/fish collecting station in the South Pacific. Richard enjoys all aspects of the aquarium hobby and is a regular author for trade publications, a frequent speaker at aquarium conferences and was a founder of one of the largest and most progressive reef clubs in Northern California, Bay Area Reefers. He is an avid underwater videographer and has been fortunate to scuba dive in a lot of places around the world. At home he maintains a 300 gallon reef system and a 250 gallon cephalopod/fish breeding system, and was one of the first people to close the life cycle of Sepia bandensis. When not doing all that stuff, he enjoys spending time with his patient wife, his incredible daughter and their menagerie of animals, both wet and dry.
Todd Gardner is a professor of marine biology at Suffolk County Community College in Riverhead, NY. His life and his career have both been shaped by his passion for marine life and he has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. Todd’s professional background includes work on a National Geographic documentary, commercial aquaculture at C-quest Hatchery in Puerto Rico, and an 11-year term at the Long Island Aquarium where he spent much of his time developing techniques for rearing marine fish larvae. To date he has raised more than 50 species. In 2013 Todd received the prestigious Aquarist of the Year Award from the Marine Aquarium Society of North America (MASNA). In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life, runs marathons, and plays in a blues band.