JoomlaWatch Stats 1.2.7 by Matej Koval



Born in 1963 in Paris-France, I began snorkeling at the age of seven. The first of my exhibitions as a child, involved catching the marvelous ” Marmara Sea Prawns’ using plastic yogurt boxes. When I was fifteen, I began collecting seashells from all over the Turkish seacoast to bring them to my home city of Ankara, 300 miles inland from the seacoast. These shells became pleasant mementos of my summer diving activity.  These holidays allowed me freedom to witness to the awe of the diversity of sea life (see, Exvivo Reflections).

In my mid-twenties, as a medical student, I worked long, exhausting hours.  Diving was such a stress reliever that I maintained my physical fitness sufficiently enough, to be able to, “free dive”, down to 30 meters.

The year 1990 was a turning point for me when I began scuba diving. I soon realized that, ”hands free diving”, was of little purpose. I felt a need to produce something from that activity that I enjoyed so much. I acquired a cheap point-and-shoot analog camera so that I could show others what fantastic scenes were revealed to me. In a short time, I realized that taking pictures in a marine environment was an excellent way to express my vision and thoughts. Beginning in 1996, I published articles and images in popular underwater magazines. To date, I performed over 2500 dives at various spots in the Mediterranean Sea and Indo-Pacific Ocean. I have opened six exhibitions and have presented more than 140 slide shows.

I am a university professor of Molecular Cell Biology and Human Embryology at Ankara University in Turkey, and fascinated by life in its many manifestations. Through photography, I hope to share the ability to appreciate the diversity of marine organisms and the mechanisms by which they adapt to their circumstances. While I endeavor to bring an understanding of the magnetic draw of these underwater beauties, I also continue to emphasize that many of these species are in danger of extinction in the near future. Between 1997-2003, I conducted a scientific project funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and by Ankara University.  The combined purpose was to build a visual database of benthic marine fishes along the Turkish coastal areas. More than 120 species have been photographed in their habitats, and the accumulated data were published as the “Atlas of the Benthic Marine Fishes of Turkey”. I have been working as a scientific advisory board member of Turkish Underwater Sports Federation since 2002. My devotion to medical research and underwater photography has always been supported by being happily married, for over 30 years, to Dr. Ufuk Can. Our children, 28-year old daughter, “Selin”, and 20-year old son, “Barış”, have been the biggest fans of their father. Their father also enjoys very much diving with his children.