Ben Speers-Roesch: A Brief Bio

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, I now call Vancouver home because I'm a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia. My research focus is the regulation of energy metabolism during hypoxia (low oxygen) in fishes. I completed a M.Sc. at the University of Guelph (in Ontario) in 2005, in which I investigated the metabolic organization of marine and freshwater elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) as well as holocephalans (ratfishes/chimaeras) in order to better understand the evolution of metabolism in these and other fishes. I have worked on many other aspects of fish physiology and biochemistry and I have been involved with behavioural studies of white sharks in South Africa. Back in the day, I even did preparatory work for the Royal Ontario Museum vertebrate palaeontology department. I am presently on the board of directors of the Shark Research Institute (Canada).

As my thesis subject matter suggests, I am most interested in the evolutionary and environmental physiology and biochemistry of animals, especially elasmobranchs and other fishes. However, broadly speaking, I am interested in pretty much anything marine-, biology-, and science-related.

Besides science, my great love in life is music. I've been playing guitar for over 10 years. I am of the school of rock, and I like punk rock and metal best. Other things I love include books and reading, scuba diving, mountain biking, surfing, ice hockey, travelling, airplanes, the ocean, and big waves.

I enjoy writing, and, besides my refereed scientific papers, I've published on a number of topics, including paleontology, marine biology, cryptozoology (my guilty pleasure), and music, in magazines such as Fortean Times, Animals & Men, The Cryptozoology Review, Dinosaur Discoveries, Exotic Zoology, and Strange Magazine. From 1996 to 2004 I co-edited (with John Moore) and published the journal The Cryptozoology Review, which was dedicated to a skeptical and scientific treatment of cryptozoology, even if this often involved being highly critical of the status quo. Due in part to my work on The Cryptozoology Review, I have even had the dubious honor of being interviewed for a Discovery Channel/Animal Planet Animal X episode dealing with the giant extinct shark Carcharocles megalodon, in which I criticized suggestions that this shark still exists.

To e-mail me: bensr (at) zoology (dot) ubc (dot) ca.

Also, check out my research page .

cheers

Ben

Selected publications:

Roesch, B.S. 1996. "The Thing": a cryptic polychaete of St. Lucia. The Cryptozoology Review 1 (1): 12-19.

Roesch, B.S. 1997. The African Hunter: Afrovenator abakensis raises new ideas on dinosaur evolution and distribution. Dinosaur Discoveries 4: 1-2.

Roesch, B.S. 1997. A review of alleged sea serpent carcasses worldwide (Part one -- 1648-1880). The Cryptozoology Review 2 (2): 6-27.

Roesch, B.S. 1998. A review of alleged sea serpent carcasses worldwide (Part two -- 1881-1891). The Cryptozoology Review 2 (3): 25-35.

Roesch, B.S. 1998. A review of alleged sea serpent carcasses worldwide (Part three -- 1897-1906). The Cryptozoology Review 3 (1): 27-31.

Roesch, B.S. 1998. A critical evaluation of the supposed contemporary existence of Carcharodon megalodon. The Cryptozoology Review 3 (2): 14-24.

Roesch, B.S. 1999. A review of alleged sea serpent carcasses worldwide (Part four -- 1907-1924). The Cryptozoology Review 3 (3): 15-22.

Roesch, B.S. 2001. On the nature of cryptozoology and science. www.forteantimes.com, January 3.

Roesch, B.S., and Moore, J.L. 2002. Cryptozoology. In Skeptic's Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, ed. Michael Shermer. ABC-Clio, New York.

See my CV for my refereed scientific papers.