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Alfonso Silva Lee is well-known to Caribbean naturalists. Russian-trained for graduate study at Moscow State University, he began his career in biology diving the seas of his native Cuba as an ichthyologist, specializing in ocean life. His work included a stint in the U.S. Hydrolab, living beneath the Caribbean with international scientists to record the creatures and habitat that surrounded them.

Silva�s dedication to the land creatures was initiated some 25 years ago as he began to observe, write about and later photograph the life-forms that abound in the Greater Antilles. He has authored ten books on the subjects�most of them for young people�and over 50 scientific and magazine articles. Silva has served as a biologist with a number of Cuban institutions including the National Museum of Natural History; Institute of Oceanology, Academy of Sciences; National Zoo; and the National Aquarium. Silva was Cuba's 1996 recipient of the National Award for Culture.

Alfonso did post-graduate study in conservation at Chicago�s University of Illinois and Field Museum of Natural History under a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He has lectured on Caribbean biodiversity and herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, New York; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago; Museum of Science, Boston [see Silva article, "Lizard Island: Cuba is a study in saurian richness," Museum of Science magazine, Winter 2000]; and has been a commentator on nature for National Public Radio.

His recent works with PANGAEA include:

And for MacMillan Educational, UK, Alfonso co-authored Coral Reefs of the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

Alfonso works with the University of Puerto Rico's Instituto 2000, training Puerto Rican school teachers on enviromental education and serving as editor for the Instituto's Querequeté, a newspaper for public school science teachers. He resides in the mountains of Puerto Rico near Ponce.

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