Ronald L. Shimek, Ph. D.

Ron got his start down the path to becoming a marine invertebrate zoologist and ecologist with his first salt water aquarium in 1962, in Great Falls, Montana, which housed his first marine invertebrate, a small specimen of the infamous Aiptasia, along with a couple of insignificant fishes. His interest piqued, Ron went on to study zoology first at Montana State University and later at the University of Washington, where he received his M. S. and Ph. D., for work done investigating marine soft sediment ecosystems. His first marine ecology course was taken at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Ron has subsequently investigated marine ecosystems from the Pacific Abyssal Plain to the Bering Sea to Indo-Pacific and Caribbean coral reefs. He has maintained marine aquaria more or less continuously starting in 1972.

He has written numerous articles for Aquarium Fish Magazine, Aquarium Frontiers, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Aquarium USA, Marine Fish and Reef Annual, and other aquarium magazines. He has also written for Natural History and Shells and Sea Life as well as over 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications dealing with marine ecology and molluscan biology. Additionally, he has been on the editorial review boards of several scientific journals.

Active in education for over 25 years, Ron has taught at several universities in the United States and Canada, including numerous times at the Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island, where he served as Assistant Director. He is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Ecology at Montana State University and works as an author, environmental consultant and taxonomist from his home in Wilsall, Montana. He is a world recognized authority in scaphopod mollusks and turrid gastropods, and has been an invited speaker at over 10 scientific meetings.

Understanding that knowledge of the animals and their biology is the best remedy for much of the false mythology in the aquarium literature, he has been actively speaking to many aquarium societies and conventions. Ron believes that only by increasing the knowledge base available to the average aquarist, can we hope to have a successful and humane hobby.

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