Alyssa Gabriel has been keeping aquariums most of her life. She graduated from Salisbury University in 2013 where she studied biology. Alyssa has been working with Dr. Mac’s Pacific East Aquaculture as the head biologist for the past three years. In 2014 she and her fiancé Kyle Martin founded Seahorse Savvy, a Maryland based seahorse hatchery producing thousands of captive bred seahorses a year.
Austin Lefevre installs and maintains upscale aquariums and works closely with a local aquaculture facility propagating corals. Austin has been in the aquarium industry since 2003, working with marine fish and invertebrates, along with freshwater fish, plants and invertebrates. He's been an avid SCUBA diver since the age of 12 and consistently seeks new aquatic adventures.
Brian Cook is an artist and graphic designer from South Florida, presently living in New York City. He is pursuing his graduate degree in the History of Art at Hunter College and is currently employed in the Writing and Tutorial Center at the Pratt Institute. In March of 2014, he finally started up his first 20 gallon reef tank, learning much from many of the best hobbyists in the country.
Jay F. Hemdal l is curator of fishes at a large U.S. zoo / aquarium and is actively involved in the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). He is the author of over 130 articles for a dozen different aquarium magazines and scientific publications since his first article about sharks was published in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium magazine back in 1981.He has also written five books: Aquarium Careers, Aquarium Fish Breeding, Advanced Marine Aquarium Techniques, Bugs as Pets, and Miniature Aquariums.
Josh Saul is a consultant for Fortune 500 finance and banking companies. He has been involved in the aquarium hobby for 15 years and has been SCUBA diving for over 20. He spends his spare time planning dive trips, designing websites, DJing, and finding new and exciting ways to flood his apartment.
Peter Blagojevic like many people I started with fresh water aquariums which I had for five years before seeing the light and have now had a number of marine aquariums since 2000. My current personal aquarium is 3500lt, 10.5' X 4' X 2.5'. It's a mixed reef tank with heavy emphasis on SPS & tangs and is now in its 8th year. We live in a lovely town called Redcliffe in Queensland Australia a few minutes from the ocean. In 2003 I started my business, 100% Reef Safe. Initially I was mostly selling a few corals, doing NSW collection & sales, breeding clownfish and making a few equipment sales. It was very much a part time, hobby business while I still worked at my chosen career as an aircraft tech on the RAAF's F111's. In 2005 I moved to Redcliffe and started ramping the business up but it was still a secondary, part time job until I was made redundant in 2008 when the F111's were retired. From then on it became a full time business growing steadily until it got to the point in 2014 that my partner Sue sold her catering business and come on board to also work full time. My other passion is photography which has seen me travel quite a bit and try and expand my horizons capturing nature in all its glory.
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.
Rich Ross is a Senior Biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences where he cultures and cares for exotic cephalopods, fish & coral, participates in ongoing field work on coral spawning, animal collection & transport, and manages tropical saltwater displays including the 212,000 Philippine Coral Reef exhibit. He is a prolific writer and dynamic speaker, authoring academic papers and a catalogue of articles on aquarium and reef related educational topics including his Skeptical Reefkeeping series which focuses on critical thinking, responsibility and ethics of aquarium keeping. His work has been covered by mainstream media outlets including Scientific American, National Geographic, Penn’s Sunday School and Fox News. Richard 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. Before working in the animal world was a professional Juggler and corporate presentation script writer. He is an avid underwater photographer/videographer and has been fortunate to scuba dive many of the worlds reefs. At home he cares for a 300 gallon reef system and a 250 gallon cephalopod/fish breeding system, a hairless dog, 2 hairless cats, 2 geckos and 6 chickens. When not doing all that stuff, he enjoys glass blowing, juggling, horseback riding, mixed martial arts, exercising his philosophy degree, spending time with his fabulous daughter and his incredibly generous, intelligent, gorgeous and patient wife.
Richard Aspinall has worked in the conservation field for over two decades and has been photographing the underwater world since he learnt to dive seven years ago. Richard is now a freelance writer and photographer and works for a number of magazines. Richard is also the editor of UltraMarine Magazine, the UK’s premier magazine for marine aquarists . Richard also shoots the world above the water line and runs another photography and journalism business: Aspinallink along with his wife Angela, he is based in Yorkshire, England. See more at: www.triggerfishphotography.com www.aspinallink.co.uk
Todd Gardner has been studying marine life since he was old enough to walk. He has an extensive background in marine sciences and has written numerous scientific and popular articles about his research and experiences collecting, keeping, and culturing marine organisms. In 1993 he graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and marine science. After graduation he spent a year working for Blue Earth Films, assisting in the production of a National Geographic Explorer feature film about coastal marine life. Todd spent the next 3 years working at the world's largest marine ornamental fish hatchery, where he worked on developing technology for the production of new marine species. In 1998 Todd left commercial aquaculture to pursue a Master of Science degree in biology at New York's Hofstra University where he completed a thesis on the early nutrition of the lined seahorse, Hippocampus erectus. Todd is currently working as an aquarist at Atlantis Marine World where he cares for a number of exhibit tanks, leads collecting expeditions, and continues his aquaculture research behind the scenes. In his spare time, Todd dives, photographs marine life and plays in a blues band.