Simon Pierce grew up besotted with wildlife and not even a terrifying one-on-one encounter with a great white shark on his first solo dive could deter him from his passion of underwater photography.
The 35-year-old ‘scientist with a camera’ is leading a global whale shark research project, showcasing nature’s beauty in his spectacular underwater photography and documenting his mission to save some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet.
Pierce learned to scuba dive at university and instantly fell in love with what lies beneath the ocean, travelling the world to encounter remarkable species and highlighting their plight in his series of impressive snapshots.
By the age of five, the New Zealand native was planning to become a marine biologist and after completing a a BSc in ecology and a PhD in marine biology, he is now living out his dream as the Principal Scientist at the Marine Megafauna Foundation.
‘I was trying to decide whether to focus my postgraduate research on land animals or marine creatures, and then my mother got me a dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef for my birthday,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It was spectacular: beautiful reefs, fantastic scenery and amazing animals like sharks and whales.