Mark Smith, from Temecula, California, has kept freshwater tropical fish since 1978. His fascination with cichlids began in 1980 which quickly focused on rift lake cichlids, eventually maintaining and spawning a variety of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyikan cichlids. A professional aquatic wildlife photographer, explorer, and discoverer of freshwater temperate and tropical fishes, he contributed to the discovery of a new genus of Lake Malawi cichlid, Pallidochromis, a new Lethrinops from the east coast of the lake, Christyi Fort Maguire in 1990, and Lamprologus teugelsi from the lower Congo River in the early 1990s. In 1994 on a collecting trip to Uganda, he discovered several new species of Haplochromines at Katwe Bay, northeast Lake Edward. His ichthyological interests have led him to Japan, Mexico, Uruguay, Malawi, England, Canada, Zambia, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Sweden, Hawaii, the Carribean, and the Philippines. He currently writes for and contributes photographs to all the major US aquarium magazines. Lastly, Mark has had four books published on African Cichlids: Lake Tanganyian Cichlids (two editions), Lake Malawi Cichlids, and Lake Victoria Basin Cichlids, as well as one on characins, all through Barron's Educational Series book publisher.