Editorial & Image Contributors
Gaia Discovery writers use their personal time, often voluntarily, in contributing to this publication. The team lives by this mantra: to protect, preserve and restore eco-systems, people within their natural environment, uphold culture and tradition through interviews, reviews and first hand reporting. Views expressed by writers are of their own, and not of Gaia Discovery's, which is a platform for a plethora of viewpoints. Read what Gaia Discovery contributors have written by typing their names in the search field, and have a blast! If you would like to contribute to this publication, please write in to the Editor.
Mallika Naguran is the founder and managing editor of Gaia Discovery and The Gaia Guide. Mallika has an MSc in Environmental Management from the National University of Singapore. Apart from Gaia Discovery, she provides consultancy services through Gaia Consult Global on sustainable development and responsible tourism, as well as CSR training and communications. Mallika also acts as an advisor to environmental organisations and businesses. Mallika has worked for the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities and the Energy Studies Institute as a researcher. She has practitioner experience, providing sustainability and CSR directions to AccorHotels in Asia Pacific. Previously, she was the editor of Asian Diver and contributor to Discovery Channel Magazine, Forbes Supplement, Lonely Planet Magazine, Asian Geographic and more. Mallika Naguran gives talks, moderated conference sessions and has appeared as a commentator in Voices Today as well as the BBC.
Concerned with the alarming rate of unsustainable development, Mallika founded the independent publication Gaia Discovery in March 2008 to promote sustainable living and travel. She is fascinated by birds and marine life, gets involved in coral reef restoration, and may be seen stalking a manta ray in the deep blue.
mal AT gaiadiscovery DOT com
Jeremy James Torr, features editor of Gaia Discovery, is a lifelong cyclist, traveller, Royal Geographical Society Fellow, and keen greenie now residing in Tasmania. He has written for and edited international publications like PC Magazine, SilverKris and Discovery Channel Magazine. His first touch with the alternative energy world was at Pantperthog Machynlleth in Wales, UK, back in 1980. Bemused by the Centre for Alternative Technology's insulated houses, self-powering pumps and composting toilets he has been searching for terrestrial efficiency ever since. As well as writing about Gaia, and eating pure food.
jeremy AT gaiadiscovery DOT com
Fiona Childs left the UK in 2004 and has made Asia her home ever since; she has lived in the Maldives, Cambodia, Bali and Singapore. Through her work as a community artist, primary school teacher and teacher trainer she has been a keen advocate for environmental education. Taking up scuba diving led to a passion for marine conservation, which includes the building of new coral reef structures. As a project manager for Shark Savers Singapore, she helped to raise awareness through presentations, public events and art projects, including the design and construction of a 9-metre whale shark.
fionachilds AT yahoo DOT com
Henrylito D. Tacio is a Filipino journalist based in southern Philippines. He specialises on writing science, environment, agriculture, and population. He loves to travel around the world, which is why he also writes travel features. A multi-awarded journalist, he received several journalism awards, including the Hall of Fame in science reporting and Journalist of the Year, both in 1999.
Henry writes for local dailies (Sunstar Davao, The Daily Guardian, Mabuhay) and national publications (Panorama, Health and Lifestyle, and Agriculture, among others). He also writes for the Asian edition of Reader’s Digest and online version of People and the Planet.
henrytacio AT gmail DOT com
A writer who travels, Kayti Denham has been involved with community, environment and education events for many years. Born in England and now based in Bali, Kayti is studying for a Masters in Linguistics. She enjoys discovering the diversities, differences and common threads that bind us as a world community. She also enjoys travelling with a purpose throughout Southeast Asia.
kaytype AT gmail DOT com
Simon Pridmore writes scuba diving books, travel books and, as you might expect, scuba diving travel books. His book Scuba Confidential – An Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Better Diver was the second-best-selling scuba diving book in the UK in 2016. Originally from the UK, Simon has lived in Asia for over 30 years and has spent a considerable portion of that time on the move, both overland and underwater. As well as his books, Simon has written hundreds of articles and features on diver training and travel for magazines such as Gaia Discovery, Diver, Sport Diver, Action Asia, EZDive and X Ray. He has also spoken at dive and travel conferences all over the world. Simon and his wife Sofie currently live in Bali, Indonesia but spend a lot of time exploring other places trying to find a cure for their itchy feet. Find out more on http://www.simonpridmore.com/
Prerna Shah is a trained mountaineer, an adrenaline junkie and a sustainability champion who believes that for people to conserve nature, they must really engage with it. Only then will they know why it is important, and love it! That’s because people only preserve something that you love! Born in a small hill town called Nainital in Uttarakhand, India, Prerna holds an MSc. Environmental Management from the National University of Singapore. Deeply concerned by the environmental externalities afflicting the Himalayan region and driven by a desire to effect meaningful change, she left her executive job in India to pursue her passion in the field. She funded her life-altering journey to Antarctica as part of the Inspire International Antarctic Expedition 2015. In her words, “the journey to the southernmost continent has ended but the nature and spirit behind the program will continue to inspire my work in future”.
shahprerna121 AT gmail DOT com
Tan Hui Zhen read Environmental Geography at the National University of Singapore. She is interested in environmental conservation, natural resource management and sustainability issues. She enjoys reading, nature photography and exploring the outdoors during her free time. She has yet to delve into the colourful underwater world of our blue planet, but is looking forward to learning scuba-diving and engaging in exciting marine work in the future!
Admin AT gaiadiscovery DOT com
Shermaine Wong read Environmental Geography and minored in Aquatic Ecology at the National University of Singapore. She is interested in finding out how people interact with their environments. Both the built and natural environments fascinate her. In her free time, she writes, paints and photographs; drawing inspiration from books she reads and her travels. One of her life goals is to produce an environmental documentary.
Admin AT gaiadiscovery DOT com
Michael Switow - born and bred in Louisville, Kentucky - is an anti-poverty campaigner, freelance writer and new media professional. Michael moved to Asia as journalist in 1996 and has covered stories like Hong Kong's return to China and the Asian Economic Crisis. His articles, radio and multimedia reports have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Global Post, Harper's Bazaar, LA Times, NPR's Morning Edition, Singapore's Straits Times and PRI's The World, among others. Michael has made Singapore his home since 2000. Among the non-profit groups in which he plays an active role are ONE (SINGAPORE), SUPERSEED and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).
switow AT gmail DOT com
Sam Tyers is a scuba diver, coffee lover and a bit of a greenie who aims to inspire people to make smarter choices in life and business. Originally from the UK, she’s lived and worked on sustainability projects in China, Thailand and Indonesia, and is now based in Bali. Having completed an MSc in Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies at CAT, Sam has since been working with businesses to help them make smarter, more sustainable choices. More recently she has followed her passion for the oceans and travel and set up Reallysavvy Tourism. Here she specifically supports businesses in the travel, tourism and diving industry to make more responsible choices. She’s also been published in KeepItReal Wales, a toolkit to promote businesses' green credentials.
me AT samtyers DOT com
Benita Yue has been involved in various research and conservation projects since discovering her passion for the environment during Geography, Marine and Environmental studies. Venturing overseas from England, Benita discovered the underwater world. Becoming a dive instructor gave Benita an outlet to share knowledge and opportunities to work with marine conservation organisations in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Seychelles. She wishes to be able to bring research and conservation together to help with the better understanding and preservation of our environment.
divewiththefishees AT hotmail DOT com
George H Croy was born in Glasgow, Scotland. After a stint in the Merchant Navy sailing crude oil tankers around the oceans of the world, he worked for an oil industry major player, where he began to understand what black gold was doing to the human race. He saw both sides of the coin - the unbelievable wealth that it could bring as well as the abject poverty it produced.
Moving to Singapore, he became editor of several magazines including two internationally renowned oil and gas magazines. He now works as a private consultant and writes extensively on a variety of topics for various magazines. George has published several books including "The Energy Trail - Where It Is Leading" in 2008.
gesak AT starhub DOT net DOT sg
Imran Ahmad is a self -taught photographer and owner of ESCAPEINC Dive & Photography. Based in Singapore, he travels, everywhere with his camera in hand and has braved extreme conditions, from the deepest of ocean to highest peaks in Europe, blizzards and sandstorms in the desert. He's been capturing the world through his viewfinder for the past 12 years.
Being a Nikon Professional Photographer and Film Lecturer, he shares his works and ideas to his students at a private university and anybody who loves photography. His photos can be viewed at Flickr.
imp AT escapeinc DOT com DOT sg
Bob Halstead, born in England now based in Queensland, Australia, put Papua New Guinea on the map of world-class diving destinations and set the standard for scuba-diving operations with the liveaboard Telita. He also created the genre of "muck diving". For those achievements, his many contributions to sport diving, documentation of marine life, as well as diving safety through thoughtful, original and humorous articles, Bob was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2008. The works of Bob and his wife Dinah have been published in numerous books and magazines. www.halsteaddiving.com
bob AT halsteaddiving DOT com
Professional photographer Daniel J Groshong, a native of Oregon, first began his career with Greenpeace, then proceeded to cover major news events like the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France; the OJ Simpson trial, and three Academy Awards. Daniel is known for his acute depiction of conflicts in Somalia, Chiapas, Jakarta, the referendum for independence in East Timor, Kashmir, Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines and the US-led war in Afghanistan. He owns Tayo Photo Group and is the founder of The Hummingfish Foundation to promote sustainable community-based nature and cultural tourism.
groshong AT tayophoto DOT com
Melissa Low holds a B. Soc. Science in Geography and minor in Urban Studies from the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is currently an Energy Analyst at the Energy Studies Institute at NUS. Before joining ESI, Melissa was part of a 12-member youth delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) 15 talks in Copenhagen in December of 2009. There, she gained invaluable insight into the workings and negotiating process towards a fair, ambitious and legally-binding climate deal. Melissa continues to support ECO Singapore in raising awareness about climate change and environmental stewardship. Her research interests include embodied emissions in trade, maritime energy consumption and emissions, energy policy scenario and greenhouse gas inventory methodologies.
mel_struc AT hotmail DOT com
A musician, amateur writer and film-maker, Amanda Tee hopes one day to be able to know that she has made a difference in this world - a naive sentiment, but you can't really blame her for that; she's still young.
Based in Singapore, she appreciates the beauty of flora in a quirky manner, and loves basking in the magnificence of animals in free range. She secretly dreams of being able to open the cages of zoos and free the animals that have been imprisoned for solely for commercial purposes.
teeamanda AT gmail DOT com
Greg Waldron is a Singapore-based freelance writer specialising in business and finance. He has contributed articles to The Singapore Business Times, The Straits Times, Discovery Channel Magazine and more. Greg previously covered the Pacific Rim stock markets for Dow Jones Newswires. He spent the nineties in Hong Kong, New York, and Singapore working as a stockbroker and in corporate sales. He holds a bachelors degree in American Literature from Florida State University.
In the coming decades Greg feels the world will be in grave danger if it fails to find a balance between economic growth and sustainability. A keen cyclist, Greg advocates eliminating the automobile in favour of bicycles.
gregorywaldron AT gmail DOT com
Matt Crook left England in 2004 with a degree in biblical studies and a head full of ideas. He arrived in Thailand and spent the next three years working for newspapers, magazines and websites. He was there when the coup happened, he was on the scene when the Bangkok bombs exploded and he was also the first person to interview Thailand’s all-ladyboy pop group, Venus Flytrap, for an English-language publication.
Timor-Leste beckoned at the end of 2008 and Matt has since been writing news and travel stories about the tiny developing nation he now calls home. He is also the publisher of the Lost Boy and Phuket Vogue blogs. Matt’s goal for 2009 is to marry a rich Japanese lady and retire to Tokyo. We wish him luck.
mattcrookukc AT gmail DOT com
Thin Lei Win is a Yangon-born, Bangkok-based news agency reporter plus a travel and food enthusiast who delights in sharing her latest finds with others, whether they be shopping tips or NGO trips.
Educated in Singapore and Britain, Thin is a self-confessed workaholic who loves to write and read pretty much anything - including hotel brochures and airline manuals - and loathes people who refuse to use spell check, format their documents or follow style guides.
Her ultimate wish is to become a professional traveller.
mithynn AT gmail DOT com
Nantiya Tangwisutijit is a senior editor with Thailand's The Nation group of publications, and is a familiar name in Asian environmental reporting scene. She started Thai Climate www.thaiclimate.org with a few partners to focus on Thailand's climate change issues and policies to reach out to the layman with a wave of journalistic approach. When she isn't digging out the dirt on environmental abuse and hammering out a thousand words an hour in Bangkok, Nantiya dreams of lazing on paradisal beach of Khao Lak without a care for spindly crabs and spying chimps.
tnantiya AT yahoo DOT com
Erin O'Dwyer is an award-winning Australian freelance journalist and travel writer. Her work appears in a range of newspapers and magazines including The Sydney Morning Herald, The South China Morning Post, Luxury Travel Magazine and Australian Geographic. In 2006, she was awarded an Australian United Nations Media Peace Award for an investigation into cousin-to-cousin marriages in Sydney's immigrant community.
Erin teaches feature writing and media law and ethics at The University of Sydney. She lives by the sea, on the NSW South Coast. She tries to practice Vipassana meditation and vegetarianism daily. Her dream is to have a thriving vegetable garden.
odwyerem AT yahoo DOT com
Gunver Bennekou has been actively involved with nature and environment conservation since the sixties. Holding a masters in biology, she has been a member of several NGOs, has worked in universities and been employed with the Danish Ministry of Environment. Gunver has participated in international negotiations on a UN convention regulating trade with hazardous chemicals (Rotterdam Convention) and joined the UN summit on sustainable development in South Africa in 2002.
Based in Roskilde, Denmark, Gunver enjoys travelling both for work and leisure. Gunver looks forward to becoming a grandmother soon and hopes her future generations will bask in the beauty of our fantastic world.
gbennekou AT gmail DOT com
Ian Crawshaw is a born again hippie vegetarian surfer who survived 20 years of corporate publishing in London, Bangkok and Sydney. Previous winner of Time Out (London)-STA Travel Writer award, Ian is Publisher of Contact Guides, winner of the PATA Gold Award for International Travel Guide of the Year.
When not publishing Guidebooks to Aboriginal Australia or Eco-Tourism from his attic office overlooking Sydney Harbour or brewing organic Tequila, you'll find him at his south coast beach shack surfing with dreadlocked ferals and cheeky dolphins.
ian AT cactusmedia DOT com DOT au
Allen To is born in Hong Kong, but unlike most Hong Kongers he enjoys swimming and diving with fish rather than squeezing through crowded shopping malls. He has been lucky enough to have dived and travelled in some interesting places such as Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, mainland China, Brazil and Argentina. His most updated wish-list includes even more interesting places such as South Africa, Madagascar, Red Sea, Caribbean and the Galapagos...
As the committee member of the Eco-education & Resources Centre in Hong Kong and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hong Kong, he mainly studies fish biology and fisheries but is also keen on wildlife photography.
allenwlto AT yahoo DOT com
Vivian Lam is currently a Masters in Philosophy student at the University of Hong Kong and her research focuses on shark biology and conservation in the South China Sea. An animal lover since young, she has lived and worked with dogs, cows, dolphins, monkeys among other cheeky creatures. Other passions include music, writing and travelling. Her secret desire is to become a professional food critic and traveller, but her ultimate goal in life is to protect the neglected, less lovable and misunderstood groups of animals.
vivianlamyy AT gmail DOT com
Anushia Kanagasabai based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia loved writing for longer than she cares to admit. The lawyer-turned-broadcaster has been traveling for not as long as she would have wished. Her ideal world is one where everyone has a strong sense of their own identity; and has an immense curiosity and empathy for everyone else’s identities and quirks.
Travel, writing, reading, food and drink are the things she loves the most. Work and watching television unfortunately seem to be the things that she does the most. While travelling, Anushia basks in pristine nature, clean beaches, roaming wildlife, pure air and natural heritage which seem to vanish slowly due to environmental degradation. anu AT mix DOT fm
Joydeep Gupta was moved to specialise on the environment while reporting the December 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, and has been at it ever since. He has alsocovered the 20th century’s worst drought in India in the 1980s and sustainable development issues. In 1992, Joydeep was selected to cover the Rio Earth Summit by the Swedish International Development Agency. In 1993, he pursued a Masters degree in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management in the University of York (UK) under a scholarship. Thereafter he consulted with NGOs and worked on developing India’s National Biodiversity Action Plan before returning to journalism.
The Associate Editor at Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) based in Delhi, India, has been the general secretary of the Forum of Environmental Journalists in India, a member of the Asian Forum of Environmental Journalists. Joydeep has edited books on biodiversity conservation and co-authored books on pollution control.
joydeepgupta1 AT gmail DOT com
John Seed is founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre (RIC) in Australia.
The author, musician and film-maker has been working since 1979 for the protection of the world's rainforests. He has travelled around the world with road shows raising awareness about the plight of the rainforests and raising funds for their protection. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by the Australian Government for services to conservation and the environment. He is a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation and occasional Scholar-in-Residenceat the Esalen Institute.
In 2003 he spearheaded RIC's endangered species campaign and made the film "On The Brink" with David Attenborough, David Suzuki, Olivia Newton-John and Jack Thompson.
johnseed1 AT ozemail DOT com DOT au
Karla Skarda, Consultant, born in Kenya, now living in Singapore. Some of her earliest memories are of snorkelling while hanging onto her Dad’s shoulder, and that’s where she fell in love with creatures under water. She started scuba diving in Australia in 2003, and quickly fell in love with the opportunity to share her fascination with the underwater world through photography. She still considers diving an the opportunity to share in a world that is not naturally where we belong, a privilege, and never ceases to be blown away by this fascinating and delicate world.
karla.skarda AT gmail DOT com
Andrew Porter is an electronics design engineer with EADS Astrium in England, designing electronic circuits for use in Earth orbiting satellites and space loads for use on the International Space Station. He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 1995 with a First Class Degree with Honours in Medical Electronics, BSc despite a near-fatal road accident which resulted in loss of smell and taste, and a ringing in the ear all day.
Based in Hitchin, Andrew tackles English country roads on his racing bike, having been a Hertfordshire Road Racing League Champion in 1982, and continues to race as a way of dealing with chronic fatigue. The Chartered Engineer hopes politicians will rise above hidden priorities such as financial growth and political power to adopt new engineering solutions that may be unconventional but protect our planet. Photo ©Robert Wade
andrewchoras AT supanet DOT com
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