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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Dana Riddle has had a fascination with marine life since childhood and began keeping saltwater fish in 1965. He made the transition to reef aquaria when George Schmitt published his articles in Freshwater and Marine Aquariums in the 1980s. There wasn’t much information in those days and his success in maintaining live corals was limited. Information slowly surfaced, but was mostly hype for ineffective products. Instead of buying more acrylic reactors for $400 a pop, he invested in a Li-Cor PAR meter in order to unlock some of the mysteries of lighting, and so it went. Today his small coral lab in Hawaii has over $100,000 of equipment, including an electronic water velocity meter, PAM fluorometers, fiber optic spectrometers and standard items usually found in a wet laboratory. Results of research conducted with this equipment have been published in Advanced Aquarist, Aquarium Frontiers, Coral Science, Koralle, Aquarium Fish, Reef Aquarium Annual, FAMA, SeaScope, Breeders’ Registry, MASNA newsletter, Marine Fish Monthly and others. He also wrote the book The Captive Reef in the mid-1990’s. Riddle has had the honor of making over 60 presentations at the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA), the International Marine Aquarium Conference (IMAC), regional conferences and marine aquarium societies from New York’s Brooklyn Aquarium Society to Orange County’s Southern California Marine Aquarium Society. He was humbled when he received MASNA’s Aquarist of the Year in 2011 at the MACNA conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
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
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.