Interview With Zeb Hogan

Zeb Hogan, NG Explorer, studies megafishes around the world and is an aquatic ecologist.

Aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan travels around the world, striving to save critically endangered fish and the livelihood of people who share their habitats. Get to know the man behind the megafishes.

When he was a child:

"My brothers and I grew up in a city (Tempe, Arizona), but we had a big backyard with lots of trees. We spent our free time climbing trees and catching lizards. We each had our favorite place in the biggest tree and we worked out ways to climb from tree to tree to tree without ever touching the ground.

My family went camping in the summer and we'd usually visit zoos and aquariums on our family vacations. My clearest memories as a child all have to do with animals and the outdoors. As I got older, I became fascinated with animal shows on public television and I'd wake up early to watch Wild, Wild World of Animals before the rest of the family got up," he says.

JOB: Aquatic ecologist and NG Emerging Explorer

WHAT HE DOES: He travels around the world, striving to save critically endangered fish

GREW UP IN: Tempe, Arizona

FAVORITE PASTIME AS A KID: Climbing trees and catching lizards.

HEROES: Jacques Cousteau (ocean explorer) and Ransom Myers, a biologist and conservationist.

TYPICAL DAY: In the field, all of my time is on or near the water tagging and releasing fish. When in my university office, I read, write emails, buy equipment, prepare scientific manuscripts, and submit grants.

FOR FUN: Biking, hiking, swimming, gardening, or just sitting on the river bank and watching the world go by.

FAVORITE PLACE TO EXPLORE: The Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the slot canyons of northern Arizona and southern Utah, the freshwater springs of central Florida, the Yuba River in California, the swimming holes around Eugene, Oregon, and the Hudson River in New York State.

BEST ADVICE: It's okay to take risks, it's okay to fail.

HOW CAN KIDS HELP: We really need more non-biologists who take an interest in protecting our natural world. Kids are great in the sense that they have a love and a curiosity about animals and the outdoors that somehow we lose as adults.