reefs magazine

Fall 2015

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.
Lemon TeaYK is a Singaporean aquarist with a deep interest for reef fish. His passion and pursuit for rare and exotic fish species has fueled his travels all across Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and the United States, where he’s seen firsthand some of the best private home collections anywhere. His travels have allowed him to meet and talk to a myriad of industry experts, divers with niche specialization as well as relevant authorities of their respective fields, which bides his unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He is also an accomplished photographer and his photos are often used in magazines, books and other publications. At 22, Lemon is one of the youngest minds of the industry with a well-traveled repertoire and a deep understanding and knowledge on his expertise. Although well versed in other aspects of the hobby, his interests primarily lie in fish and he’s currently the senior editor for that department on ReefBuilders.
John Parkinson is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. He earned his doctorate at Penn State University, where he studied coral symbiosis ecology and evolution. John uses molecular techniques to assess climate change impacts, improve coral restoration, and describe new species. You can read more about his work at, and follow him on Twitter at @parkinsonje
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.
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.
James Fatherree is a science instructor at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. He has been keeping marine aquariums for 20 years, and has spent many days diving in Florida, the Bahamas, Hawaii, Japan, and Indonesia, too. In the past, he also managed an aquarium store, owned and operated an aquarium installation and maintenance business, and worked for an aquarium livestock collector/wholesaler in Florida. James has also published over 250 articles in various aquarium magazines in the U.S. and Europe, and has written and illustrated several books on the topics of reef organisms and marine aquariums, the latest of which is Giant Clams in the Sea and the Aquarium. For more about the author, visit his homepage at, or look him up on Facebook.
Joe Rowlett has a B.Sc. in zoology and an entirely unhealthy obsession with evolutionary biology and phylogenetics. He oversaw the marine livestock at Old Town Aquarium for many years, and before that he serviced aquaria (including Michael Jordan's). He currently studies prairie insect ecology at the Field Museum of Natural History. At home, Joe has an algae-filled reef tank stocked with three Chrysiptera.
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.