Steve de C. Cook was born, raised and educated in New Zealand, and has always had a strong interest in marine natural history; from exploring rock pools while still very young, to doctoral research in sponge taxonomy, which led him to become a world expert in his chosen field. Steve is a freelance taxonomist and ecologist, with wide-ranging experience in New Zealand marine invertebrate biodiversity. He still explores rock pools. The book has 36 other specialist contributors, from Australia, Japan, the US and Britain, as well as New Zealand, and includes the work of more than 85 underwater photographers. The line drawings are by artist Danielle Archer.