|1. Born January 11th 1956 in Roosendaal, Netherlands.
2. Lived most of life in Rotterdam, also during study in Amsterdam.
3. 1970. Started keeping cichlids when I was 14 years old. See interview by Juan Miguel Artigas at his great website for further “details”.
4. 1974-1980. Studied medical biology at the University of Amsterdam and did my doctoral exam in 1980.
5. 1980-1986. Did research on lysosomal enzymes at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Most of it DNA-related work (molecular biology), which just takes too much of your free time.
6. Moved to Germany (St. Leon-Rot near Heidelberg) in 1986 to live with Gertrud and her two daughters, Mey (12 years) and Louiza (3 years). I started to write books and breed Tanganyika Cichlids. I also worked for 18 months at the University of Heidelberg, Parasitology Dept.
7. Started my own publishing company, Cichlid Press, in 1991 and first-published book was the “Cichlids Yearbook, vol. 1”.
8. In 1996, after 10 years of living in sin, Gertrud and I married in Malawi. Stuart Grant and his wife Esther were our best men.
9. Moved to El Paso, Texas, in 1996. The reason:
the sun ALWAYS shines and less than 7” rain in a year. It is a beautiful
place with mountains (7000ft) and El Paso is at 4000ft (1250m). It can
be hot in summer (>110°F / 42°C) but at night it cools off. We
all received the “Green Card” in 2000 and became US citizens in 2016. Don’t plan to move away in the next
100 years. Also moved Cichlid Press to here. It is still a mom-and-pop
company with Gertrud and me doing the traveling, planning, photographing,
diving, writing, layout, prepress, publication, and distribution for my
own books but also Back to Nature books and books by other authors. On
average I get two requests per week for photos for magazines, books, scientists,
museums, etc. I also do the layout/prepress for Cichlid News and the Dutch Cichlid Club magazine, and work as editor on the best cichlid site on the web, www.cichlidae.com. Worked with and partially employed by Jay Stauffer of Pennstate University
on several topics but all related to Malawi cichlids. Started with Jay the Stuart M. Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund in 2007 trying to protect the Malawi cichlids from over-fishing and the Tanganyika cichlids from over-extraction by the ornamental fish industry. Between the expeditions
and talks I used to fly too many miles a year, but have quieted down last few years with only 2-3 presentations per year. The good thing of it all: I haven't worked
a day in my life! Enjoy your cichlids!
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