Born and raised in the bushveld of South Africa, Alan has a life-long passion for wild animals and wild places. After a year in Portland, Australia as an exchange student, he studied Zoology and Botany at the University of Cape Town, culminating with a PhD on Lesser Sheathbills in the Subantarctic.
Alan made three expeditions, totalling two years, to subantarctic Marion Island. In addition to sheathbills, he worked on albatrosses, petrels, penguins, and terrestrial invertebrates. Alan emigrated to Canada in 1980 and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.
Wildlife conservation is a key element of Alan’s professional and private life, and he is heavily involved with the biology and management of the Marbled Murrelet. He has published numerous scientific papers, which include studies of whales, seals, oceanography, and Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. Alan’s research has taken him to many remote seabird colonies and islands in South Africa, Galapagos, Newfoundland, New Zealand, and British Columbia.
Alan and his wife Andrea spent a year in the Seychelles, studying seabirds, publishing a handbook for monitoring tropical seabirds, and establishing a seabird working group for the Seychelles archipelago. Interpreting science and helping others enjoy the wonders of nature is one of Alan’s main interests and he has given many presentations, written newspaper and magazine articles, and led groups on nature trips.