I’m an independent consulting wildlife biologist who surveys for rare, threatened and endangered species for utility companies and private developers in Southern California. Using my federal Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Permit, I contract to search for certain birds, butterflies, and reptiles. Some of my time off is spent shooting underwater photos. I’ve been free-diving since I was rather young, and became SCUBA certified when I was 13, after a summer-long trip to the Galapagos. I’ve dived Galapagos, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Baja California, but the California kelp forests are a unique habitat that I don’t have to travel far to enjoy.
Lately, I’ve become focused on understanding the ecology of our local giant sea bass (also called black sea bass). I’ve been collaborating with academics to try to understand more about this fish that is occasionally seen by southern California divers, but about which little is known. I started out wanting photos of one of their juvenile stages where they turn orange, but became fascinated with the biology of this strange critter. Now I have more macro photos than I need of the juvenile stages, and want to show how the fish uses its habitat through close focus wide angle shots. I’m working on one ongoing giant sea bass study, and plan on pursuing several other questions during the next giant sea bass breeding season, both on my own and with others.
I generally don’t travel to dive, but I’ll dive while I’m travelling. I’m not interested in visiting resorts, and am more likely to bundle dive gear into a rented four wheel drive, and dive remote areas while exploring. I WILL dive from live-aboard dive boats, and prefer longer boat trips to remote destinations.
I’m currently shooting a Canon 7D in a Nauticam housing, with Canon 8-15mm and 60mm lenses, but I have a deposit on one of the first Canon 5DsR cameras to come in to my local camera store. In July, I’ll find out what 51 megapixel photos look like!