Dr. Steve O'Shea Interview

What follows is TONMO.com's exclusive interview conducted 5/10/02
with marine biologist Dr. Steve O'Shea. Subsequent to this, for several years, Dr. O'Shea was a member of the TONMO.com Staff.

TONMO.com: How did you get into this field?

Steve O'Shea: By a series of complete accidents. My first experiences with octopus involved catching them and turning them inside out to impress some young lass that I was mad keen on back in the dark ages. This never really got me anywhere mind you, so as a form of youthful courtship you can take it from me, don't waste your time with this one (in retrospect it was also awfully cruel, but I was only about five). I often wonder what happened to Louise.

To cut a long story short, I had developed this rather sensational shell collection from years of diving, dredging and deep-sea trawling around our coast, and had intended to research the systematics of a group of gastropods for a Masters thesis. However, a friend at the National Museum in Wellington, Bruce Marshall, had other ideas (he was also interested in that particular group of gastropods) and he gave me no option and 'pushed' me into working on the poorly known octopus fauna as a thesis topic. It took me years to forgive him! However, somewhere along the way I began to see some patterns in diversity, became hooked, and ended up working on them for a PhD also. I was now quite captivated with octopus, but didn't understand squid one bit (and this was quite recently - only a few years ago).

Well, one evening, winding down from a hard day, I had a chat with someone over a beer, let the fertile imagination run wild, just having a little fun you know and certainly not intending for it to go...
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About the Author
Tony converted TONMO.com into an octopus and cephalopod interest site in May 2000. (Find out more about how TONMO started by reading this blog entry.) He began his career in the online services industry in 1992, working for companies such as Prodigy, iVillage.com, Reuters and Comcast. Tony and his wife Tania are the owners of Deep Intuition, LLC, which is an entity they created to support their entrepreneurial hobbies and pursuits. He graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a B.A. in Mass Communication and lives in Pennsylvania.


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