reefs magazine

Summer 2010

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.
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.
Christine Williams started keeping fish while she was still a fetus. While the aqueous environment did lend itself to the hobby, it limited her to freshwater species, and so she decided to be born several weeks early. Through sign language she demanded that her parents convert her crib into a reef aquarium and thus started her illustrious career in marine ornamentals. After completing her studies in biochemistry and molecular microbiology she went to work at “Animal ER” where unfortunately she was not filmed for the Animal Planet channel (though her feet did make a cameo during a rescue segment). Currently she is the head of the Industrial Marine Microbiology team for her division of a “very large international chemical company,” where she spends her days mixing chemicals, microorganisms and plankton together and seeing if they will A) explode, B) glow in the dark, or C) make a good salsa. In order to further her skills she is also a graduate student at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kevin Kohen earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Wright State University, and is an avid marine life photographer, lifelong aquarist and marine fish enthusiast. He was one of the early pioneers maintaining live corals in captivity back in the early 80's. He began his professional career in the marine fish industry working in a retail fish store, and then moved on to manage the operations of one of the largest freshwater and marine fish wholesale and import/export businesses in the Midwest for over eight years. From there, he ventured on to launch the LiveAquaria.com web site, and designed and oversaw the installation of the Drs. Foster & Smith Aquaculture Coral & Marine Life Facility. He currently oversees the operations of the facility, and is responsible for the acquisition of the animals, as well as their husbandry.
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.
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.