Jake Adams is a professional aquarist living in Golden, Colorado and he has written numerous articles and given many presentations on marine aquarium topics. Jake is the founder and organizer of the ReefStock conference and he is the senior editor of ReefBuilders.com, the popular daily reef aquarium news website that draws over 5000 visitors a day.
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.
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.
Chris Jury grew up in the Great Lakes state of Michigan, which is a part of the US about as far from a tropical coral reef as one can reside. Nonetheless he developed a strong interest in coral reefs and marine organisms and has been an avid aquarist for many years. As an undergraduate he worked at a large retail store as one of the saltwater gurus, gaining a great deal of practical experience with a variety of marine organisms. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in biological oceanography at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He holds an M.S. in marine biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University. Chris is broadly interested in the biology and ecology of marine organisms, especially reef corals and other reef organisms, and has worked on projects ranging from ocean acidification research to coral reproductive biology, including work with the endangered Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). Chris has written for Advanced Aquarist Online magazine and Reefkeeping magazine and frequently gives lectures to marine aquarium clubs around the country. He is also an active member of several online aquarium forums, where he spends more time than he probably should.
Michael Lukaczyn was introduced to marine aquarium keeping by his father at the age of five. Over the past 30+ years he has maintained various types of marine aquariums and currently has a 50 gallon non-photosynthetic reef. Michael served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps and is currently the Assistant Director of Environmental Services for a St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY. When not maintaining his non-photosynthetic aquarium; he is either riding his single-speed mountain bike, swinging the kettlebell or enjoying life with his patient wife.
Lissa Mann has been keeping saltwater fish for a mere six years and thinks reef tanks are a cruel mistress. She currently has a 75g mixed reef saltwater aquarium. When she is not putting her hands in her tank, she is attempting to do Real Science in order to pay for her expensive hobbies. She also enjoys taking photos now and again.
James Passantino started reef-keeping in 2000 and kept one or more tanks until 2005 when he sold/gave away his belongings and took his meager savings to travel the Americas for a year after getting his master’s degree in Ed. Psych. He currently works as a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, NY and started up his new nano-reef late last year. He loves eating and drinking to excess, traveling, writing, SCUBA diving, rock climbing and experiencing anything new to him. He doesn’t love anchovies, mushrooms or carnies.
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.
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.
Janine Tirone is a brooding, twenty-something perpetual student who has been keeping animals of various phylum for her entire life, most of which she caught in the back woods of her parent's Long Island home. Cursing herself for pursuing a career in the arts rather than veterinary medicine, Janine is finishing her BFA in Photography and Art History at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where she assists fish whisperer/coral guru Randy Donowitz with his large reef systems. She maintains a small mixed reef in her apropos, artist mandated loft apartment, because rigorous course loads do not allow time for her to keep her one true love, the cephalopod, as a roommate. When not reefing or sleeping, Janine can be found hiding in Pratt's ambiguous chemistry lab performing various experiments (for fun!) or reading about her mistresses: biochemistry and molecular physics. Or you could just see her wandering the metropolis of New York city trying to pet other people's dogs.
Matt Wandell is an Aquatic Biologist at the Steinhart Aquarium, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. He has been an avid reefkeeping hobbyist since 1999 and completed his BS in Marine Biology from UC Davis in 2004. When he's not feeding his anthias 6 times a day, he is busy maintaining the Aquarium's 200,000 gallon Philippine Coral Reef exhibit.