Rudy van der Elst has an MSc degree from the University of Natal. He has lived and worked near, on or under the sea since his student days, and is one of the leading authorities on the marine fishes of southern Africa. Former Director of Durban’s Oceanographic Research Institute, and now retired, Van der Elst conducted research that underpinned marine conservation and wise use of resources along the KwaZulu-Natal coast. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Megladon Award, the SA Association for Marine Biological Research’s highest accolade.