Eldon E Ball

Joined: Mar 18, 2021 Last Active: Jul 4, 2024 iNaturalist Australia

I am a retired academic living in Canberra. My interest in nature started when I was a small boy collecting insects in California and shifted to marine invertebrates as a university undergraduate following several intensive courses in marine biology at Stanford’s marine station. This was the post-Sputnik era with lots of money going into scientific expeditions and in my early post-graduate years I participated in expeditions to South America, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia, all of which involved diving and looking at invertebrates. After completing my PhD I took a post-doctoral position at The Australian National University in Canberra, where I have been ever since, except for sabbaticals at Stanford and UC Berkeley. Professionally I have studied the development of insects (mostly locusts) and many aspects of the biology of corals, especially development and genomics.

Once established in Canberra I quickly started making periodic photographic diving trips to the coast, which continued with decreasing frequency from the mid-1970s until about 2000. Because the visibility is often not great, I took up macrophotography, and most of the photos that I have posted were taken using a framer mounted on a Nikonos III or V and Kodachrome 25 film. My main reason for posting these photos is to document what organisms were present at specific sites along the coast at specific times in the past. I think this is important because it is clear that the fauna is changing, with many species moving southward, while others are affected by human activities, such as collecting for home aquaria or for food. In addition, many species, such as nudibranchs, seem to fluctuate seasonally and from year to year, in ways that aren’t yet understood.

I have not taken species identifications beyond the level of picture matching and would welcome corrections of my guesses.

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