About Chris Cook

I am a Naturalist who has always been drawn to animals, wildlife, the ocean and generally being immersed in nature.

I moved a lot growing up along the east coast of Australia with a lot of changes in my life, but the love of animals and the ocean was the one constant. Personal interest led me to completing an environmental and marine science degree on the Sunshine Coast in 2005, this part of the world will forever hold a piece of my heart. After leaving the beach town of Mooloolaba 15 years ago, to start an adventure in Canada, it feels like I have barely stopped moving. After five years in Canada, I did slow down again for a short time, returning to south east Queensland to do postgraduate studies in documentary screen production. Staying still only lasted a short while as I started working in natural history film production. Along the way a dream job as the resident naturalist on a remote island became available, it was paradise, my bags were packed and I was off again.

My mother immigrated to Australia from England, her mother, my Nan, has always told me I had gypsy blood, maybe she is right. I have a passion for being immersed in nature, and facilitating others to do the same, to do this I have worked in various roles over the past 15 years including Resident Naturalist, Marine Biologist, an underwater photographer & videographer, a Guest Lecturer and an Expedition Naturalist. I have worked hard and sacrificed many things to live this life of adventure, but I never knew “what” to call myself, when I landed my first role as a Naturalist and learned it was simply an “expert or student in natural history,” I was sold, after all I plan to be a student of nature forever.  My work has taken me throughout the Great Barrier Reef, along the Kimberley coast, I have circumnavigated Australia and New Zealand several times, to Papua New Guinea, Africa, the Maldives, Easter Island, throughout Asia including Borneo, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Raja Ampat. In more recent years I have been spending a lot of each year throughout the islands of the South Pacific primarily in French Polynesia. Through all of these travels my passion for storytelling and image making has shone through.

 So with all of this travel, where do I live? To many of my friends shock, I didn’t settle on a remote island or a boat; I have found an amazing life balance by being based in and living in Melbourne, Australia. It is here where I have recently started a young family with my partner, we have two beautiful twin daughters, Stevie and Ruby. 

When I am home in Melbourne I am fortunate enough to work for a world leading zoo based conservation organisation, Zoos Victoria. I work for them as a presenter and I take people behind the scenes to meet animals at Melbourne Zoo. I also have had incredible opportunities here such as curating the zoos first conservation film festival and emceeing the National Geographic Photo Ark speaker series. I invite you to look into the conservation work being done by the organisation, I hope it inspires you like it does me every time I walk through the front gate.

I am often asked what my favourite animal is and I honestly can’t pick one. If I had to try,  I am obsessed with dogs, I just love them, I am mesmerized by octopus, I think frogs are beyond beautiful, I am drawn to horses on a spiritual level and I regularly find myself in awe of the diversity of insects. Conservation and the attainment of a healthy balance for humans as an active part of the greater ecosystem drives everything that I do.

“In the name of the preservation of earth’s biodiversity, I like to open doors and broaden minds with a little bit of humour along the way. Sometimes it happens where I’m not someone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok, because I’m a coffee drinker.”

Did you know…

…that I give fun, nature-based presentations to schools and other organisations?

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