David grew up reading and watching Jacques-Yves Cousteau and National Geographic’s books/films while traveling to more than 21 countries before he was age 14. He has been studying animals and our planet as long as he can remember. He is a lifelong fan of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Dr. Edward O. Wilson, David Attenborough, Dr. Elliot Norse, Dr. Jeremy Jackson, Carl Safina, Sylvia Earle, Philippe Cousteau, Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin [RIP], Nat Geo Wild, Nature (PBS) and especially the Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Life series.
An avid scuba diver since 1981, he dives as often as possible and is certified with NASDS/PADI as an Advanced Open Water diver with additional experience/training in Enriched Air (Nitrox), Wrecks, Night Diving, Rescue and Deep Diving. To date, with over 1,000 logged dives, he has dove off Australia, Bonaire, Egypt, Fiji, Galapagos, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and of course, the USA (California, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico). David handles the day-to-day operations of MarineBio, working with the various editors, writers, photographers and moderators/volunteers.
David also provides consulting and Web project services for similar groups, especially those involved in frontline environmental projects.
Every creature occupying this terrain has earned a place at the great table of life, and each species is unique, with its own story to tell. – Jeff Corwin, Living on the Edge
Editor, Education & Volunteers Coordinator
Yorkshire, UK, Planet Ocean :: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew has been a member of MarineBio since 2006 and is a graduate of the University of Bangor, Wales (BSc, 2006), the University of Hull (MSc, 2008) and York St John University (PGCE, 2012). He is an experienced teacher who assists with many of the day-to-day operations of MarineBio as our Editor, working closely with David as well as our interns and volunteers.
He has been fascinated with sharks since a young age and grew up reading a mixture of educational marine books and Willard Price Adventure series. Andrew is a big fan of quality marine life documentaries and really bad shark films. He has a wide interest in marine conservation issues – particularly fisheries management and conservation education but will always have a soft spot for white sharks.
Moderators & Volunteers
Jeremy Day MarineBio Volunteer, Marine Biologist, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Jeremy completed a Bsc. in Marine Biology at James Cook University (JCU) in 2017, during which he worked as a PADI divemaster, commercial skipper and marine engine driver of various research and recreational dive boats, and has been involved in a range of projects from recording dolphins and surveying coral reefs to collecting dugong poo.
Jeremy undertook a Marine Science Honours year at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in 2019, where his topic of study was the role of predators in urchin barrens habitats. He continues to work on this topic into 2021 as a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle (UON) and currently holds a Scientific Diver certification. Jeremy is interested in Marine Sanctuary Zones, evidence-based conservation and trophic cascades, and he was first driven to study marine science after receiving advice from the original MarineBio forum back in 2009. In his spare time he enjoys surfing, spearfishing and gardening.
Rutu Patel MarineBio Volunteer
My name is Rutu Patel and I am a Software Engineer with a passion for the ocean and marine life, that was inspired from watching David Attenborough and wildlife documentaries in my childhood. I had always known that I had chosen the wrong career path, and for the wrong reason (because it was popular at the time!), and ever since have been trying to get back on the right path. In the early years of my IT career I was frequently dissatisfied with the work I was doing and had a burning desire to be making a difference somewhere in the marine world. In 2012 I obtained the Advanced Open Water Diver certification, which further fueled my desire to be more involved and to do more. I started searching for an avenue in, which led me to Compass Education through whom I have completed Marine Zoology Part 1 Diploma and currently working on Part 2. Another avenue led me to MarineBio through whom I use my passion and skills to help educate others. I hope to go on to a Marine Biology degree and continue steering my career towards Marine/Ocean/Conservation efforts.
Natalie Swaim MarineBio Volunteer, Marine Science Research Institute
Natalie has a dual-BSc in Marine Science and Biology and is currently obtaining her MSc in Marine Science, with a specialization in Physical Oceanography. She is Advanced Open Water SCUBA certified and still learning and logging dives by trying to complete a Rescue Diver Certification. She hopes to further her own knowledge of marine life and share her passion for conservation of the ocean by making shared knowledge more accessible to everyone, even those that are not necessarily right by the ocean.
Van Wangye MarineBio Moderator, Singapore
Van is a self-taught, award-winning wildlife/scientific illustrator, graphic designer, graphic artist, art teacher, and conservationist. He is bilingual in both Mandarin and English, which makes him able to bridge conversations about conservation between the East and West.
He hopes his works will help further the efforts of wildlife conservation and scientific education, to hopefully make a real difference for Life on this tiny planet.
Fiona Durnford MarineBio Volunteer, Plymouth, UK
My name is Fiona Durnford and I study (BSc) Marine Biology at the University of Plymouth in the UK. I grew up in the 80s, when whale hunting was heavily protested. I could not imagine anyone wanting to hurt these incredible animals and all I wanted was to protect them. As a teenager growing up in a place where we do not really encounter much marine life, I started to drift off and chose other professions, but the passion to protect Ocean life always stayed with me. A few years ago, after years of feeling something was missing, I decided to change my life. I went to South Africa to do volunteer work. This entailed working with a Marine Biologist towards the protection of Great white sharks. I also became a certified diver and got to experience the ocean in the most beautiful way possible. After my time in South Africa, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting the oceans and its inhabitants. The feeling that I was missing something disappeared as soon as I got accepted to study at the University for Marine Biology.
Eirini Kardara MarineBio Volunteer, Greece
Eirini Kardara is a Geoscientist from Greece, keen on participating in ocean & climate change projects. She holds a BSc in Geology and a MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering. Passionate about the environmental awareness she assisted as a scientific writer on marine bio articles. Her long term objective is to become an active member of ocean life protection and make her own research on ways to reveal how ocean life & geology is affected across the globe.
Shelby-Jay Lewis MarineBio Volunteer, Up Hatherley, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Shelby-Jay Lewis is an aspiring Marine Biologist with a passion for underwater life and for conservation of the oceans. She has a BSc in Marine Biology and spends her free time stuck in a good book or educating herself about the wonders below the surface. Her main ambition in life is to positively contribute towards the sustainable management of the planet.
Dru Thush Moderator, Shop Owner, Designer, Customer Service, San Pedro, CA, USA
Looking for ways to further my son’s interest in the ocean, is when I found MarineBio. With the wealth of its resources, I knew I wanted to help others, who like my son wanted to know more, do more and give back to conserve this natural resource.
Vicki Richardson Moderator, Dallas, Texas USA
I'm a mom from Dallas, who cares about and loves all animals, especially the ones in the ocean. <3
Erich Hoyt – Marine Mammals
North Berwick, Scotland, Planet Ocean
Erich has worked for the conservation of whales and dolphins and marine protected areas (MPAs) in more than 40 countries over the past 30 years. Senior Research Fellow with WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Erich also directs the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP), which is doing pioneer research with Killer whales in Kamchatka. In 2001, the project won the prestigious German Klüh Prize for Innovation in Science.
Erich was recently appointed to a second term with the Cetacean Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. He is also a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. His current work focuses on identifying cetacean critical habitat and establishing effective MPAs in national waters and on the high seas of the world ocean
Erich has written 18 books (14 for adults, 4 for kids) translated into 20 languages. He often presents lectures about marine ecotourism, MPAs and cetaceans, and has written scientific papers for journals, articles for National Geographic and the Sunday Times, and the odd film script. His books have won many awards; he has twice been named a James Thurber Writer-in-Residence, and was Vannevar Bush Fellow at MIT in 1985-86.
A Canadian-American, Erich has lived in North Berwick, outside Edinburgh, since 1990, with his wife and four children. For more information on Erich’s work, visit www.erichhoyt.com.
Dr. Paul H. Yancey – the Deep Sea
Walla Walla, WA, USA, Planet Ocean
Paul is a marine animal physiologist at Whitman College, where he is a Professor of Biology and the Carl E. Peterson Endowed Chair of Sciences. He teaches undergraduate courses in marine biology (for both biology and non-science majors), animal physiology, bioethics (including environmental ethics), and directed research. His students work with him in his marine research projects (including many deep-sea research expeditions, some with the Alvin submersible) and he has won several teaching awards. He has also helped lead eco-trips for Whitman alumni to the Washington and Oregon coasts and Costa Rica. In 1997, he developed the first website on deep-sea biology for the general public, a site which continues to be popular. Paul has been an avid lover of marine life since childhood, inspired by watching Jacques Cousteau on television, by many family beach vacations in California and Baja California, and an undergraduate invertebrate zoology course at Catalina Marine Station. His Ph.D. research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanographywith Dr. George Somero involved osmotic adaptations of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) and temperature and pH effects on marine fishes from polar regions to the tropics (well before we knew about ocean warming and acidification). His work on marine osmotic adaptations quickly led to a revolutionary shift in our understanding of mammalian/human kidney function, and later to a major new theory on how animals survive high pressure in the deep sea. After Scripps, Paul then worked at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (England) before joining Whitman College. Since then, during summers and sabbaticals, he has worked at the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center; the National Institutes of Health; the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory; Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station; Louisiana State University; the University of Otago (New Zealand), University of Hawai’i (Oceanography Department and Institute of Marine Biology), and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
Paul’s research specialty continues to focus on effects on marine animals of environmental stresses, including not only osmotic, temperature, and pH, but also sulfide (at hydrocarbon seeps and hydrothermal vents) and pressure in the deep sea. With corals increasingly under threat from temperature and pH changes, he and his collaborators are now working on coral reef conservation projects in Hawai’i and Yucatan, Mexico. Due to his osmotic discoveries, he also occasionally joins medical research teams studying not only basic kidney processes but also diabetes and cystic fibrosis. He has co-authored numerous scientific papers and a textbook on Animal Physiology. He has given scientific talks throughout the US, and in Canada, the U.K., Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Botswana and Brazil; his students have given research presentations in the U.S., Russia, France, Australia and Iceland.
Jamieson, A.J., Yancey, P.H., On the validity of the Trieste flatfish; dispelling the myth. Biological Bulletin, June 1, 2012 vol. 222 no. 3 171-175
Dr. James B. Wood – Cephalopods
West Palm Beach, FL USA, Planet Ocean
James is a marine biologist and the former Director of Education at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. James has made a career out of his passion for discovery and sharing marine science with the public through teaching, online outreach projects and magazine articles. He is the author of numerous scientific and popular publications and was the first person to observe mating, hatching and to rear any species of deep-sea octopus in the lab.
James is the coauthor of the book Octopus: The Ocean’s Intelligent Invertebrate and is also involved in many other marine life/science websites such as: The Cephalopod Page, Census of Marine Life, and OBIS.
Some of James’ collaborative work on communication in Caribbean Reef Squid could be seen on the HDTV Discovery Channel special “Tentacles.” Dr. Wood’s deep-sea octopuses are featured on the Discovery Channel Special “The Amazing Octopus”
Dr. Wood’s (on left) fall 2005 Marine Invertebrate Class with Dr. Sylvia Earle (center)
James is an avid diver (PADI 1989, AAUS science diver 2003), sailor, and underwater photographer.
Dr. Martin Griffiths
Cambridge, UK, Planet Ocean
Martin is currently a commissioning life sciences editor for the Cambridge University Press (the oldest printing and publishing house in the world, since 1584). His work involves commissioning new titles and managing their publication from initial research to project development and final publication. Martin travels frequently all over the globe to promote, sell and commission new works. He earned his PhD in neurochemistry from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
When not immersed in academic publishing, Martin enjoys SCUBA diving (PADI Rescue Diver), running, weight training and walking. He has a keen ear for music and likes to dabble in the kitchen. Martin also enjoys fishkeeping and gardening. In 2002 he traveled extensively through southeast Asia including visits to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Fiji. Naturally, he did a lot of diving on this trip and enjoyed the underwater realms in Thailand, the Great Barrier Reef, and in the seas around Fiji.
Ginelle Smith – Public Relations/Media Specialist
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Planet Ocean
Ginelle currently works for a major Communications Company in British Columbia, Canada. She has been an Animal Rights and Marine Conservation Activist for many years and has been affiliated with various organizations around the globe. Her great love for the Ocean, especially Marine Mammals, began when she was a small child feeding a fish to an orca (killer whale) on a visit to SeaWorld in San Diego, California. Her boundless passion towards activism and marine life conservation has continued to be a major focus throughout her life as the issues concerning the health of our seas, effecting the millions of amazing species within them, continue to worsen despite increasing awareness. She currently works with David to help us create the awareness needed and expand our research and conservation efforts using a combination of various Web technologies and her excellent networking skills. Ginelle is learning more about Marine Conservation and its complex issues every day while also educating her children, who already possess the Activist gene.
Interests – SCUBA! Ginelle is a certified PADI Rescue Diver and is currently working on earning her Divemaster Certification with a specialty in underwater photography. She dives on a frequent basis and is eager to photograph and meet all the species in our world below on future MarineBio Expeditions. Nature (PBS), Life Series (Blue Planet), Nat Geo Wild, Marine Biology/Conservation, Kinesiology – Personal Training, and, of course, Planet Ocean.
Why Marine Biology?
Marine environments are vital to the health of the planet. They help to regulate the climate and support massive biodiversity yet that same diversity is disappearing at an unprecedented rate. We have a duty of care for the planet we inhabit as well as a responsibility to leave a healthy legacy for those who follow us.
Marine environments are critical to the future of humans. They provide natural coastal defences that protect communities, sources of renewable energy, mineral resources and critical trade routes integral to modern industries. Beyond this the immense repository of biological resources held within marine habitats play an important and growing role in scientific, technological and medical innovations.
Marine environments are at the frontier of human knowledge. Despite the importance of the world’s marine environments and the ongoing damage being done to them through human action there are large gaps in our understanding and knowledge of these systems. Scientists are constantly making new and amazing discoveries about marine life and environments.
The ocean gives us life. It gives us oxygen, rain, food, excitement, wonder and mystery. The ocean can be simultaneously peaceful, beautiful, calm or incredibly powerful and violent. The ocean buffers our weather and helps regulate global temperature. It manages vast amounts of our pollutants. The biodiversity of the ocean supports all life on our planet. Humans and the ocean are inextricably linked. Yet the ocean is just beginning to be understood. As our understanding of this vast and powerful force of nature increases we realize that in spite of its seeming invulnerability—the ocean and marine life are in real trouble. Marine conservation efforts are vastly outnumbered by the problems facing the ocean. Government policies worldwide to protect our marine resources are severely lacking.
Our lack of knowledge about the ocean leads to apathy. So MarineBio is here to show you the wonders of the ocean and to also show you the problems so that you have a better understanding of what’s at stake and what needs to be done. If you’re inspired by what you see here, then please take action today and become a member.
We are creating an educational and research home page for every common and endangered marine species (e.g., Sharks & Rays | Fishes | Squid & Octopuses | Reptiles | Birds | Seals & Sea lions | Whales & Dolphins, etc.), starting initially with about 10,000 or so of the most common and endangered species. MarineBio also supports the protection and study of marine life around the world. We hope to see humankind embrace the concept of a Sea Ethic to increase the sense of urgency and commitment to protecting the oceans. Together we ARE making a difference.
What we must do is encourage a sea change in attitude, one that acknowledges we are a part of the living world, not apart from it. – Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist
Neutrality: we are politically neutral, our only bias is towards improved environmental practice and legislation.
Science-led: our content, views and opinions are based on available scientific understanding. As such these may change to reflect changes in scientific understanding.
Inclusivity: we aim to actively promote diversity in science and support those affected by institutionalized bigotry in all its forms.
Co-operative: we believe that most issues can be solved by working alongside stakeholders to improve environmental sustainability and resolve environmental issues.
It has always been a part of the philosophy of the MarineBio Conservation Society to remain politically neutral on matters not relating to environmental policy and legislation.
Yet as we have watched events escalate in this past week, it has become painfully obvious that to remain silent is to undermine our other core philosophies.
We are led by scientific understanding. Science tells us that the idea of ‘race’ is fundamentally wrong. The product of bad, prejudiced and outdated science which did not follow scientific principles but was used to prop-up racist ideology (www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/04/race-genetics-science-africa/). We are all humans, every individual unique and beautiful in their own way but fundamentally the same. We should all be equal and afforded equal dignity and respect but this is not the case. This is wrong, this must be challenged at every opportunity.
Our purpose as an organization is to educate and inform people so that they will care about our marine environment. How can we possibly expect people to care about the world around us if we do not care about each other? We need to help people reclaim the dignity and respect they deserve.
We know that science is better and more robust when it is fed by different ideas and perspectives. Diversity makes science more innovative, creative and beneficial for all humanity (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05326-3). Yet STEM disciplines remain woefully unrepresentative. We need to change that.
The MarineBio Conservation Society has a platform, and we want to use that platform to actively promote diversity in science and support those affected by institutionalized bigotry in all its forms.
We do not know of any quick or easy fixes but we want to hear from you, our community, about how we can make MarineBio more open and inclusive. As part of this we have updated our philosophy to address inclusivity.
We want to celebrate all scientists, conservationists and activists throughout our sites, social media and educational materials.
We want to share links to any diverse and inclusive businesses, research, projects or opportunities that our community would use and benefit from.
At this time we want to let our community know that all creeds, races, colors, and sexual orientations are and have always been welcome. We thank you for your solidarity, especially during this difficult time!
Our sites are designed to work for the majority of our visitors, utilizing as few as necessary of the modern browser technologies and should not cause errors or problems in older browsers.
Our sites are built and randomly tested on Windows, Mac and Linux computers and devices. We also test the desktop and mobile versions for acceptable use/speed in the latest mobile Chrome, Firefox, Dolphin, Opera and Skyfire browsers.
If you are using a browser or operating system and are experiencing problems with this site please contact us. Also, though most production is conducted via Intranet, DSL and Cable Internet connections, the pages are also periodically tested for acceptable download speeds on dial-up/wireless modems. All 80,000+ links are checked and fixed at least every quarter.
We hope you enjoy our sites and look forward to hearing from you!