The Scuba News Australia

Dr Nathan Hart is an expert in comparative neurobiology and specialises in animal sensory systems. He completed his PhD on colour vision in birds at the University of Bristol, UK, before moving Australia in 1999. He’s since worked on the visual systems of various animals, and more recently has been working with sharks. We interviewed him about his very interesting career history.

I’ve been lucky enough to dive 13 different countries so far on my endless laps of the map! And it’s nigh impossible to say which country has been my favourite to dive. Australia, goes without saying. Micronesia, if you’re a wreck enthusiast then absolutely. Iceland definitely. But one of the most exhilarating experiences in my diving career which is touching now on 1000 logged dives, took place in the superb waters off Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, Beqa Lagoon.

“Where is your favourite place in the world to dive?” Is a question I get asked on almost a daily basis. “Brisbane”. My answer generally surprises people. “Brisbane??” But yes, scuba diving in Brisbane has been the absolute best scuba diving of my life. I have dived in Thailand, Finland, Philippines, Vanuatu, Cambodia and all around Australia, but the dive sites around North Stradbroke Island surpass anything else.

Being only five hours away on a direct flight from Auckland, I am surprised more people don’t or haven’t visited Cairns and the surrounding Tropical north Queensland across the ditch. Having lived in Queensland for four years in my early 20’s, I fell in love with the place and realised how lucky we were as Kiwis to have such easy access to the warmth, sunshine and more importantly – the Great Barrier reef. It’s been over a few years since I lived and worked there, and I felt it was time to go back and visit my old haunts (particularly the Reef of course) after hearing how El Nino, flooding and the dreaded Crown of thorns seastar (COTS) had started to decimate the coral.