Anne Bunker was inspired to follow a career in marine biology by family trips to the seaside and an A-level field trip to Kilve Court in Somerset. She now lives beside the tidal Pembroke River and some wonderful seashores where she enjoys studying seaweeds in her spare time. On a visit to the Bunker household expect to find the fridge full of seaweeds and the dining table in use as a laboratory bench. Anne taught marine ecology to students at Orielton Field Centre before joining the Countryside Council for Wales as part of its intertidal survey team and currently as a Marine Conservation Officer. Anne is a council member of the Porcupine Marine Natural History Society www.pmnhs.co.uk and enjoys bell ringing, watercolour painting, kayaking and swimming.
Christine Maggs has been interested in seaweeds since childhood. During her degree in Botany, she had a work placement on seaweeds in the Natural History Museum, London, and went on a scientific diving expedition to Brazil. She found her first new species of seaweed, Schmitzia hiscockiana, when working at Orielton. This led to a PhD on seaweeds in Galway, Ireland, under the supervision of Prof. Michael Guiry. Since then she has researched the molecular systematics of seaweeds with particular interests in alien marine algae, conservation, and exploitable seaweed resources. She was appointed as lecturer in marine biology at Queen’s University Belfast in 1995 and became Professor of Phycology in 2004. She has published over 90 peer-reviewed scientific papers and co-authored two books in the Seaweeds of the British Isles series.
David Ebert who earned his Ph.D. at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, is currently Director of the Pacific Shark Research Center, a research faculty member at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and an honorary research associate for the California Academy of Sciences Department of Ichthyology and South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. Dr. Ebert has been researching chondrichthyans around the world for nearly three decades focusing on the biology, ecology and systematics of this enigmatic fish group. He has authored 12 books, including popular field guides to the sharks and rays of California and southern Africa, and has authored over 200 scientific papers and book chapters, and contributed approximately 100 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species assessments. Dr. Ebert is regional co-Chair of the IUCN Northeast Pacific Regional Shark Specialist Group, Vice Chair for taxonomy, and a Board member of the American Elasmobranch Society and Oceania Chondrichthyan Society.
Frances Dipper has always loved the sea, in spite of being brought up on a farm in deepest Warwickshire. An author, lecturer and marine consultant, she is a naturalist at heart and has been studying marine life round the world for nearly 40 years. Drawing on her experiences, she has written many books for both children and adults. Her Dorling Kindersley children’s book, ‘Guide to the Oceans’ won the Royal Society Aventis Prize for junior Science Books. Other books include Extraordinary Fish (BBC/Toucan Books) written to tie-in with the BBC’s Blue Planet series and the Reader’s Digest Waterlife of Britain, still in print after 28 years. She happiest sitting on the seabed watching the marine world go by and testing the patience of her diving buddies.
Francis Bunker is a marine biologist, diver and photographer with a passion for seaweeds and communicating his subject to others. Francis was given his first post by Dr Robin Crump at Orielton Field Centre, Pembrokeshire where he met his co-authors and they have remained friends and colleagues ever since. Francis formed his environmental consultancy Marineseen in 1989 and has written hundreds of reports and contributed to several published works, diving all around the UK and various far flung corners of the world. Other interests include coaching swimming and playing classical guitar and bass with ‘You’re Not Percy’. Since 2003, Francis, along with Christine Maggs, has run an annual Collecting and Identifying Seaweeds for the British Phycological Society. Francis is married to co-author Anne and they have two children.
Joanne Porter is a senior lecturer in Marine Biology at the Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology (CMBB) at Heriot Watt University. She specialises in the taxonomy, molecular ecology, biodiversity and chemistry of marine Bryozoa and their microbial symbionts. She studied for a BSc in Marine Biology at Newcastle University where she first encountered Bryozoa in a class with Judy Foster Smith. She studied the gelatinous Ctenostome Bryozoa for her PhD, supervised by Prof. John Ryland and Prof. Gary Carvalho at Swansea University. Since then she has been able to build a research team and expand her interest and enthusiasm for underwater research on the Bryozoa as a member of the Heriot Watt Scientific Diving Team. Joanne was elected as a zoological representative on the council of the Linnean Society of London in 2011. She has published more than forty scientific papers and is currently revising the Ctenostome Synopsis of the British Fauna, with Peter Hayward.
Juliet Brodie is a research phycologist at the Natural History Museum, London, specializing in the taxonomy, ecology, biodiversity and conservation of seaweeds. She studied red seaweeds for her PhD, supervised by Prof. Michael Guiry, Galway, Ireland, where she holds an adjunct Professorship. She is a specialist in Porphyra, red seaweed eaten around the world (e.g. laver bread in Wales and nori – the wrapping in sushi). She also has an interest in the green seaweeds and is keen to find ways of helping people to identify these organisms. Juliet is keen to raise awareness of the seaweeds and their importance in coastal ecosystems and, with Francis Bunker and Christine Maggs, has developed The Big Seaweed Search, www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/british-natural-history/seaweeds-survey/index, which you can join in. Juliet is currently President of the British Phycological Society and the Systematics Association. She runs a choir, plays the spinet, loves natural history and likes to get together with her friends.
Paul Kay studied Scientific Photography before working as a volunteer at the Sherkin Island Marine Station in County Cork, Ireland where his lifelong fascination in marine life began. He gained a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society with the first digitally printed submission of natural history photographs – all of temperate marine life from around Britain and Ireland. His previous books include The shallow seas of Wales, Ireland’s Marine Life and Underwater Photography and his photographs have been used throughout the world, in numerous publications. He has been diving and taking underwater photographs for over 25 years and has dived in locations as diverse as Tahiti and the Falkland Islands, The Caymans and New Zealand, but still prefers the waters surrounding Britain and Ireland. He now freelances as a photographer – specialising in underwater photography and videography. He shot the underwater footage used in Natur Cymru for S4C.
Sarah Fowler was born in London, but fell in love with the sea when very young, during holidays on the Isle of Wight. She studied Marine Zoology in North Wales and Conservation in London, before working as a marine conservation ecologist. Sharks took over Sarah’s life in the 1990s, when she was appointed to the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. Sarah also set up the Shark Trust and the European Elasmobranch Association and has a freshwater shark (discovered during a project she led in Borneo) named after her. Nowadays, Sarah’s unnatural habitat is mostly in windowless meeting rooms, where she strives to improve international shark conservation policy. She has written a great many boring technical reports on sharks, and was coauthor to the Collins Guide to Sharks of the World.
Steve Trewhella is a diver and photographer, specialising in the photography of British marine life above and below the waves. He is also a keen naturalist with a particular interest in the coast and sea. When not diving he enjoys beachcombing, rockpooling and recording strandline and coastal invertebrates. His beachcombing finds include several new species records for the UK and new information about the ecology and distribution of animals and plants endemic to beach strandlines.
Julie Hatcher is a marine biologist working in marine conservation in Dorset. Her work involves raising awareness of the marine environment and marine and coastal wildlife in the UK and includes writing articles for newspapers and magazines and designing leaflets and information panels. She also leads guided rockpool rambles and seashore identification training courses and has been a scuba diver for many years, mostly in the UK.
Steve and Julie met in 2004 since when they have organised projects to record pink seafan skeletons on Chesil Beach, long-haul litter and strandline invertebrates as well as carrying out dive surveys on seahorses and stalked jellyfish in their local area. They married in 2013 and live on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.
Tomáš Grim is Professor of Zoology at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. He has studied cuckoos and other birds for 20 years and his ecological research projects have taken him all over the World. He has written 50 scientific papers on cuckoo biology and has been popularising biology via writing popular articles and giving public lectures since the age of 16.
Oldřich Mikulica is a nature photographer with a special interest in the common cuckoo and its biology spanning more than 35 years. He was crowned European Nature Photographer of the Year in 2011 and is the author of several illustrated natural history books and well received films (for Czech TV). A retired engineer he lives in Lužice, Czech Republic.
Karl Schulze-Hagen is a gynecologist and dedicated ornithologist and has studied reed warblers and cuckoos for over 40 years. He is the co-author of Reed warblers – diversity in a uniform bird family published by KNNV, Uitgeverij and the winner of the British Birds/British Trust for Ornithology Best Bird Book of the Year 2012. He has written several scientific papers on cuckoo biology and natural history and lives in Mönchengladbach, Germany.
Bård Gunnar Stokke is a researcher in conservation biology and evolutionary ecology at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). He is also holding a post as research scientist in the AfricanBioServices project at the Department of Biology, NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. He has been studying the ecology of avian brood parasites for 20 years and is the coauthor of several books and more than 65 scientific papers dealing with brood parasite biology.
Colin Speedie FRGS is a writer and photographer whose main interests are sailing and conservation. He led research crews aboard small sailing vessels for over twenty five years, conducting research programmes around the British Isles, focusing on whales and dolphins, marine turtles, and Basking Sharks, working for many different Marine Conservation NGO’s. He writes for the online sailing magazine Attainable Adventure and works as a consultant on the design and construction of expedition yachts with owners from around the world. Colin divides his time between living in Falmouth, Cornwall and sailing the oceans of the world with his wife Louise Johnson, aboard their yacht Pèlerin.