If you have attended any of the iNaturalist events you will have heard of Georgina Jones. I have shared a dive boat with Georgina a couple of times and her sharp wit and enthusiasm for all things underwater is infectious.
Georgina Jones is a Senior Naturalist of the Southern Underwater Research Group. For almost 20 years, Georgina has been a passionate scuba diver with a lasting and ever-increasing passion for the underwater life of False Bay and the Cape Peninsula.
She started diving in Cape Town in 1990 despite being a claustrophobe with an abject fear of being trapped underwater. She fell in love with the marine world the first time she saw a False Bay reef underwater. The biodiverse water of the Cape are her home turf but she finds the entire southern Africa underwater world fascinating.
She has a Business Science degree in Economics from UCT, as well a B. Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry. Neither of these have been particularly useful in her current (and probably lasting) occupation of writing marine guides but at least both have equipped her with the valuable skill of working out where to find information.
Around 2003 she found herself without employment and decided to embark on writing a field guide that would help local Cape divers identify the animals they saw underwater, A Field Guide to the Marine Animals of the Cape Pennisula. And she has become convinced that motivated and informed recreational divers can significantly add to the sum total of scientific knowledge regarding the underwater world.
Since then Georgina has published several more field guides used by divers and marine scientists to identify species found below the waves, including Atlas of Dive Sites of South Africa and Mozambique and A Guide to Sea Slugs of Maputaland Coast with Jenny Stromvoll mentioned in out last post. Georgina designed and runs a Nudi Fundi course and is always on the lookout for undescribed species and new information about the lives of marine animals. We can think of few people with as much first-hand experience with South Africa’s underwater ocean heritage.