CoralRealm Advisory Board Bios

Dr. Randall John E. Randall, Ph.D.

Dr. John Randall is the world's leading authority on coral reef fish taxonomy. He was born in 1924, and displayed an early interest in the sea and fishes. Graduating from UCLA in 1950, Dr. Randall earned a Phi Beta Kappa key. In the same year, he sailed his 12-meter ketch to Hawaii to pursue doctoral research on surgeonfishes at the University of Hawaii. In 1955, Dr. Randall and his wife Helen traveled to Tahiti on a fellowship involving field research on the fishes found in this area. The ketch served as their base of operations.

In subsequent years, Dr. Randall served at the Marine Laboratory of the University of Miami, directed a three-year marine biological study of the Virgin Islands national park on St. John, and spent four years at the University of Puerto Rico as a professor of zoology and Director of the Institute of Marine Biology. He returned to Hawaii in 1965 as Director of the Oceanic Institute. He was the Senior Ichthyologist with the Bishop Museum in Honolulu and Marine Biologist with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Hawaii until his recent retirement. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

Dr. Randall has published over 500 scientific and semipopular articles on fishes and other marine life, and seven guidebooks on fishes. He is an excellent fish photographer, and takes most of the photos found in his books. He is currently continuing his research on the taxonomy of fishes, as well as working on reef fish field guides.

Gerald Allen Gerald Allen, Ph.D.

Jerry Allen was born in Los Angeles, California in 1942. He received a Ph.D. in marine zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1971, having done his thesis research on anemonefishes. A year later, he immigrated to Australia with wife Connie and son Tony. He served as Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum in Perth for 24 years, having recently retired to take a position with Conservation International as their Science Team Leader for marine surveys in Southeast Asia.

Over the years Dr. Allen has travelled extensively throughout the Indo-Pacific region, having logged over 5000 hours of SCUBA diving in the process. He is the author of 27 books and more than 300 scientific articles. His current research includes damselfishes, cardinalfishes, and freshwater fishes of Australia and New Guinea. He lists underwater photography and bicycle racing as his favorite hobbies.

Fred Bavendam Fred Bavendam

Fred Bavendam is an American with a passion for marine animals and photography. After growing up in Ohio, he attended the University of New Hampshire from which he graduated with majors in art and zoology. He spent the next few years working as a commercial photographer. At the age of 28, Fred took an introductory scuba course and began diving and taking underwater pictures as a hobby. Over time, the hobby became an obsession until he abandoned commercial photography to devote all his efforts to underwater photography in 1985.

Fred's goal, as he takes each picture, is to capture the essence that makes each animal a unique being and the behaviors that allow it to survive in a hungry ocean. He likes nothing more than to take a diver (or even several divers) along with him to follow, observe and photograph a single animal. As a result, his pictures are highly sought after and have been published in many of the world's top magazines.

Fred's definitive photo essays about manatees, the giant octopus, crinoids and frogfishes were each published in National Geographic, Geo Germany and Geo France. Additional stories on cuttlefish, nudibranchs, sea stars, monkfish and marine animal behavior have appeared in many other magazines such as Figaro, Terre Sauvage, Airone, International Wildlife, Smithsonian, Newton and Quark . He has also won several BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year contests.

We are honored to have some of Fred's photographs on CoralRealm.

Kelvin Aitken

Kelvin AItken has been captivated by marine life from an early age. He now uses his training as a commercial photographer to record the fascinating animals beneath the sea. Traveling to all the major oceans of the world, he specializes in photographing his favorite animals, sharks, as well as other large marine creatures such as whales and dolphins.

Kelvin's images have won him many professional, national, and international awards, including Victorian Professional Photographer of the Year in Australia and the prestigious BBC Wildlife Award in London. Kelvin is also the author of Sharks and Rays of Australia (published in 1998 by New Holland). He currently reside in Melbourne, although he is a New Zealand native.

Kelvin is our favorite shark photographer. You will see many of his wonderful images peppered throughout Coral Realm.

Bob Halstead

Bob was educated in England and has a Bachelor of Science with Honors in physics/mathematics from King's College London University and a post graduate Certificate in Education from Bristol University. He learned to dive in the Bahamas in 1968, bought his first underwater camera the same year and qualified as a NAUI Diving Instructor in 1970.

Bob emigrated to Australia in 1972 and was employed as an Education Officer in the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea teaching Science and Mathematics. By luck he was posted to Milne Bay, one of the best diving areas in Papua New Guinea (PNG). He became a naturalized Australian Citizen in 1975. He met Dinah and taught her to dive, and they married in 1976. With Dinah, he gave up school teaching and formed PNG's first full time sport diving business, Tropical Diving Adventures based in Port Moresby. They taught diving, ran a dive shop and dive tours. Bob and Dinah set out to systematically explore as much of PNG's still largely unseen underwater paradise as they could.

Their first real dive boat was the 10 meter Solatai which they used to run camp and dive safaris. In 1986 they started the first live-aboard dive boat operation, the highly successful Telita Cruises. The Telita was a 20 meter dive charter vessel that was built in PNG to their specifications. Bob has cruised Telita throughout all the coastal regions of PNG and has made over 7000 dives in the process. He has also discovered several marine species new to science, including a fish, Trichonotus halstead, that was named after Bob and Dinah in 1996. He has won many gold medals in International underwater photographic competitions, including Australasian Underwater Photographer of the year 1983. Bob has published numerous popular and technical articles on diving safety and diving in PNG for various magazines including:- Paradise Magazine, Sportdiving in Australasia, Dive Log, Scuba Diver, Skin Diver Magazine, Ocean Realm, Tauchen Magazine, Journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society, Asian Diver, and Scuba Times.

Bob has had several books published. These include: Tropical Diving Adventures (1977), Dive Papua New Guinea (1995), The Dive Sites of Papua New Guinea (1996), Asian Diver Scuba Guide to Papua New Guinea (1996), The Coral Reefs of Papua New Guinea (1999) and Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Guide to PNG (1999).

Bob and Dinah now live near Cairns.

Robert Myers Robert F. Myers

Robert F. Myers was born in Leesburg, Virginia in 1953. As the son of a Defense Department linguist, he spent most of his childhood overseas where he developed an intense interest in the terrestrial and aquatic animals of each post. His first two years of high school were spent in Hong Kong, living a few blocks from the beach at Repulse Bay where he took up skin diving and kept his fist marine aquarium. The next three years were spent in northern Virginia where his fascination with the ocean grew, nurtured by marine aquaria and the growing popular literature on diving and marine science. After a year of college, he transferred to the University of Hawaii where he began studying coral reef fishes in their own environment, took up underwater photography, and became actively involved in local dive clubs, graduating in 1975 with a BA in zoology. As an undergraduate, he surveyed populations of fishes around Oahu, collected moray eels and sharks at Johnston Island, and assisted in the collection of potentially toxic fishes at Enewetak Atoll.

In 1977 he moved to Guam to pursue graduate studies at the University of Guam Marine laboratory. There he divided his time between studies, underwater photography, and employment before earning an MS in biology in 1984. In 1981 he founded Coral Graphics and from 1982 to 1995 he worked as a fisheries biologist for the Government of Guam. He retired in 1995 to pursue photography, writing, research, and consulting. The relatively poorly known waters of Micronesia offered new horizons in photography and faunal studies, leading to the discovery of hundreds of new locality records and several new species. Since moving to Guam he has written or collaborated on numerous s cientific appears and technical reports as well as the first two books in the series The Coastal Resources of Guam which covered fishes and corals. In 1989 he published the first edition of Micronesian Reef Fishes, folowed by Collins Pocket Guide to Coral Reef Fishes with Ewald Lieske, and Korallenfische Zentraler Indopazifiik (in German) with Dieter Eichler. In 1999 he published the much expanded, third edition of Micronesian Reef Fishes. His photographs have appeared in many additional scientific and popular magazines and books. Since 1993 he has served as a consultant with Sumeria in the production of multi-media CD-roms

John Hoover John P. Hoover

John Hoover is an avid diver, author and an accomplished underwater photographer. He is the author of Hawaii's Fishes and Hawaii's Sea Creatures. He was also a major contributor to Coastal Fishes of Oman. John worked at the Oman Marine Science and Fisheries Center in Muscat from 1987 to 1990, where he helped establish a marine sciences library. He compiled a photographic guide to the fishes of Oman, which he deposited in the library when he left. This guide drew the attention of government officials, who eventually commissioned the Coastal Fishes of Oman.

John lives with his wife in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has spent hundreds of hours exploring the reefs of Hawaii, including some of the more remote areas in the Leeward Hawaiian Islands.

Keisuke Imai

Keisuke Imai started scuba diving as a freshman in college and has been hooked ever since! He is an underwater naturalist and photographer that is especially interested in the classification of fishes.

Fourteen years ago, Keisuke began taking fish photos as a way of helping him identify the species he saw in the sea. Since then, he has spent many hours underwater in various Indo-Western Pacific locations including: Bali, Borneo, Saipan. In Japan, he has explored many tropical and subtropical diving spots and has dived the intertidal zone to a depth of more than 240 feet.

Keisuke is a remarkable fish photographer, and some of the results of his efforts have been published in such noteworthy publications as the Grand Atlas of Japanese Fishes, Reef Fishes and Marine Aquarist magazine. (You will see his magnificent photos on CoralRealm.)

In recent years, Keisuke he has been a voluntary staff member at the Kanagwa Prefectural Museum of Natural History under the guidance of Dr. Senou. His duties include helping with research activities and studying systematic ichthyology.

Keisuke's "weapons" of choice include a Nexus F4 housing, with Micro Nikkor 105 mm lens, X2/X1.5 teleconverter, Nikkor 16 mm fisheye, 24 mm lenses. He also uses a Nikonos V with 15 mm lens, as well as Nikon and Sea & Sea strobes. His favorite groups of fishes include the basslets (Anthiinae: Serranidae) and the gobies (Gobiidae).

Keisuke lives in Japan with his wife Mahoko, his son Riku and some Chrysiptera parasema and Chromis viridis.

Roger Steene Roger Steene

Roger Steene is known to most underwater explorers as the best fish photographer in the world. He is a fun-loving Australian who has always lived close to the Great Barrier Reef. He has more then 30 years experience diving and photographing underwater subjects at numerous locations around the globe. Roger's meticulous attention to detail conveys a special impression of marine life. Concentrating on close-up photography, including microscopic work, many of his subjects are animals that have neither been recorded or named.

Roger has a close working relationship with the scientific community and is affiliated with several marine biological institutions. He has published 11 books dealing with marine life. Recently, he published a remarkable coffee table book entitled Coral Seas. He is also the co-author of A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes of the World with Dr. Gerald Allen and Mark Allen.

We are proud to feature some of Roger's outstanding photographs on CoralRealm.

Denise Nielsen Tackett
Larry Tackett

In the early eighties, Larry and Denise left established careers in chemical engineering and banking for part-time jobs collecting marine specimens for an American university in order to spend more time observing and photographing marine life. For 14 years the Tacketts lived and worked in remote areas in the Indo-Pacific region. During this time, they traveled to many other countries always pursuing their interest in terrestrial and marine nature photography. They logged thousands of dives in countries like Truk, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Maldives, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Most recently, Larry and Denise have spent over two years in North Sulawesi, Indonesia diving, photographing and writing about Lembeh Strait and the unique flora and fauna of the area. They are intimately acquainted with the area with over a thousand dives each in the Strait and know how best to photograph the resident marine life.

Two years ago, they formed their own company, Above and Below Photography, in order to pursue their love of documenting nature (photographically and journalistically) on a full-time basis. They are hard at work on their book, Reef Life: The Lives and Behaviors of Marine Fishes and Invertebrates, which will delve into some of the lesser known behavioral aspects of marine life.

The Tacketts are available for assignment work and have extensive photographic equipment to cover any underwater or topside nature assignment. They work as a photojournalist team and can provide fully illustrated, written articles, in addition to stand-alone photographs. Both are experienced audio-visual presenters and teach advanced photography classes and seminars. Larry and Denise are represented by stock photo agencies in England, Sweden, Canada and the United States. Their work has appeared in a wide range of dive and travel magazines, including: Action Asia, Diversion, Zoolife, Insight Travel, Verve, Asia, Wildlife Conservation, Islands, Cruising World, National Wildlife, Asian Diver, Sport Diver's Journal, Ocean Realm, BBC Wildlife, Sport Diving and Unterwasser UWF.

We are thrilled to present some of Larry and Denise's underwater photos on the CoralRealm website.

Hiroyuki Tanaka Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka

Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka is a medical doctor specializing in upper digestive organs. He's also a true fish enthusiast! Born in Miyazaki, Japan in 1954, Hiroyuki started keeping marine fishes at the age of 19, while a student at medical school in Tokyo. He is a member of the Ichthyological Society of Japan and of Miyazaki, and is active in SeaQuest, a marine aquarist's society in Miyazaki City.

Hiroyuki has been writing articles on marine fishes for four Japanese magazines since 1997 and is currently writing a series of articles showing fish species that have been described by Dr. John E. Randall and/or Richard L. Pyle and their colleagues. He also is a book reviewer for two magazines.

Hiroyuki is currently co-authoring a comprehensive book on some of the most beautiful fishes in the sea -- the wrasses of the genera Cirrhilabrus, Conniella and Paracheilinus. (Check these fish out for yourself in the reef fish database!) He is writing this book with Dr. John Randall.

We are pleased have Dr. Tanaka provide content for the CoralRealm website.