About Len Zell

Noted coral reef authority, Len is author of the Lonely Planet Diving and Snorkeling Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Wild Discovery Guides Kimberley Coast, Australian Wildlife- Roadkill, Shark Bay- Ningaloo Coast, Outback Pathways Western Australia (assisted by Susie Bedford) and co-author Great Desert Tracks Atlas and Guide - with HEMA Maps.

He has two species of coral named after him for his contributions to marine science. He regularly travels as a field guide for luxury super yachts and as lecturer on luxury cruise vessels.

Len has also appeared on Ushuaia TFN1-France (with Nicolas Hulot), Discovery Channel, Fox Sports, Channel 9's award winning Inside the Reef series (As talent and researcher) and many news and current affairs programs. He has written/illustrated/edited/published ten books many papers and a chapter in a 'Coral Reef Handbook'.

Len was Chairman of Dive Queensland for two years during which time he represented them overseas as well as domestically, has served on the Council of the Australian College For Seniors and chaired and been on the executive and committee of many other organisations. At the University of Queensland he established AustraLearn and TraveLearn and has lectured to TAFE, university and adult educational groups

Len is currently an adjunct Senior Lecturer in Marine and Tropical Biology at James Cook University.

In the field ...

Len with Nicolas Hulot - Ushuaia Nature television presenter from France - on location at the Horizontal Falls in the Kimberley as part of a documentary shown in France. They met again at Tijou Reef in the Far Northern Great Barrier Reef to dive Mr Walker's Caves for sediment sampling to see if terrestrial remains occur there - 25m underwater - also part of the Ushuaia documentary. Specimens from 3m depth in the sediment have been dated at over 3 000 years and research continues..


Qualifications Summary

BSc (University of New England) - ecology and entomology
Honours year 2/3 complete - biology and behaviour of mudskippers
MSc (James Cook Univ of Nth Qld) - Qualifying year - coral ecology
CDE (Univ of Qld) - Certified Developer of Enterprise
Cert IV - Workplace Assessment and Training
Trained AussieHost Leader

Commercial Diving - Level 2 - restricted
Recreational Diving - PADI Divemaster 111078 Advanced First Aid - Royal Life Saving Society                                                      Advanced Resuscitation 

Honorary Associate of the University of New England in the School of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management - 2000-2005

Adjunct Senior Lecturer James Cook University - Marine and Tropical Biology 2007 to present

Field Guide and Lecturer for :

  • University of Queensland
  • University of New England
  • Australian College for Seniors
  • Elderhostel USA
  • Aurora Expeditions
  • Society Expeditions
  • Zegrahms Expeditions
  • TSMV Spirit of Freedom
  • Elizabeth E II
  • CHOGUM Press Group
  • UNESCO - UNEP Secretariat
  • Orient Lines
  • Undersea Explorer
  • Lady Elliot Is Resort
  • Scuba World
  • Channel 9
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Coral Princess Cruises
  • TSMV Achilles
  • Super Yacht Hyperion
  • Feadship Lionwind
  • Ketch Freedom Boston USA

Contractor to/Employee of :

  • James Cook University
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • Queensland National Parks - Marine Parks
  • University of New England
  • Quicksilver Connections
  • Undersea Explorer Cruises
  • Lady Elliot Island
  • Lonely Planet - Pisces Publications
  • Great Barrier Reef Foundation
  • Queensland Museum
  • Has attended numerous personal and professional development training programs and workshops - details available from full cv.
    Please contact Len for a copy.

Author Review :

Recasting the mould of the eco-tourism book in Australia, Len Zell looks about him and finds the world is absolutely fascinating, then he tells us about it with zest. He also gives us his own photographs, colourful, skilfully shot, and engrossing.

He zooms in and out, and not just with his cameras. His approach is multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary. His Wild Discovery Guides on reefs, coasts, deserts and inland Australia, are written from an informed blend of geology, climate, human history, ecology and biology.

He waxes deeply about safety too, as his readers find as they explore Australia for themselves. He ensures you think and ideally know about safety in outback or underwater experiences, specific dangers to avoid, ways to avoid further harm to the environment or selves. (He believes people travelling in remote areas should use the best in communication systems.)

And he cares passionately about the environment, now and for the future. Not just Zell, but his expertly-informed co-authors and associates in museums, government departments, all committed to expanding eco-tourism opportunities in Australia with minimal or no impact. All this is why Zell is in demand as a guest speaker on cruise ships, outback treks and as a consultant for documentaries. His position as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Marine and Tropical Biology at James Cook University also extends his networks and capacities.

Zell is a prolific writer, illustrator and publisher with more than ten books to his credits and more on the way. If you are travelling to the areas he writes about, in most detail eg. Australian Deserts, Ningaloo Reef, Kimberley Coast, Shark Bay, WA's Outback Pathways, Great Barrier Reef, and want to extract the best from your discoveries, an investment in his books will be repaid with a heightened experience in every respect.

In addition, the well-illustrated Wild Discovery Guides fit neatly into backpacks, glove boxes, or any large pocket as appropriate for their expected use. They are thoughtfully planned, useful and practical productions, a very tasty coverage from his own visits to the areas he loves and shares with us.

Combine all this and his spectacular images with the astute use of helpful maps and diagrams, including satellite photographs, and a sense of humour of the "been-there, learn about it and love-that" variety, and you'll soon see why the Zell recipe for his Wild Discoevry Guides as eco-tourism books is recasting the mould for the genre. This writer's obvious zest is downright infectious.

.. Dan Byrnes







+61 407 456 288 (international)
   0407 456 288 (domestic)