Meet the colossal squid team

Dr Kathrin Bolstad

Kat Bolstad is a research assistant at Auckland University of Technology, where she recently graduated with her PhD thesis on cephalopod systematics.

Her previous marine experience includes a semester at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in the United States studying isopods, three years at the New England Aquarium working on lobster and jellyfish husbandry, and a behavioural field study on Hector's dolphin in Akaroa, New Zealand.

Dr Steve O'Shea

Steve O'Shea is New Zealand's leading expert on squid and has been interested in colossal squid for many years. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Earth & Oceanic Sciences Research Institute, at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and a Discovery Channel Quest.

As a marine biologist, he is a recognised authority on the taxonomy and systematics of cephalopods (octopus and squid). He also has considerable experience in environmental impact assessments, conservation, fisheries surveys, biodiversity studies, documentaries, marine invertebrate fixation and preservation techniques, and museum curation.

Dr Tsunemi Kubodera

Dr Tsunemi Kubodera is a Japanese zoologist with the National Science Museum of Japan, in Tokyo.

On 30 September 2004, he was the first person to successfully photograph a living giant squid (Architeuthis dux) in its natural habitat.

Professor Eric J Warrant

Eric Warrant is a professor in zoology at the University of Lund in Sweden. His research interests include how nocturnal and deep-sea animals manage to see well in very dim light.

Professor Dan-Eric Nilsson

Dan-Eric Nilsson is Chair of Zoology at the University of Lund in Sweden, where he created the Lund Vision Group. His research interests are vision, eye design, and evolution.

Chris Paulin

Chris Paulin (Special Projects Officer, Natural Environment) is a marine biologist with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. He has published four books on New Zealand fish, and is co-author of Fiordland Underwater: New Zealand's hidden wilderness (1998).

His current research is on pre-European contact Mäori fish hooks made of wood, bone, stone, and shell.

Mark Fenwick

During his time at Te Papa, Mark Fenwick processed many animals, some of them rare, ranging from whales to squid, big and small.

Mark now works as a technician at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). There he is investigating the ecological impacts of fishing through analysis of video generated by a deep-sea imaging unit.

Bruce Marshall

Bruce Marshall is Collection Manager of Molluscs at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

He has published extensively on marine and terrestrial gastropods, freshwater bivalves, and monoplacophorans. He is particularly interested in deep-sea molluscs associated with decaying plant and animal remains, hydrothermal vents, and cold seeps. He is also interested in fossil land snails.

Dr Olaf Blaauw

Olaf Blaauw has been fascinated by deep-sea squid since he was very young, although his science career has meandered away from marine zoology proper.

He works at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research in the fields of toxicology and systems biology. Olaf is an active member of the web-based community

Dr. Carol E Diebel

Carol Diebel is the Director Natural Environment/Papatuanuku at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Her background is in biological oceanography, including the sensory biology and behaviour of open-ocean and deep-sea animals.

Behind the scenes

Preparing the colossal squid for examination and public display takes more than just scientists. A big team of people at Te Papa has been involved in developing the exhibition and the website, doing everything from making the tank and writing text, to liaising with the media.

To find out more about how the exhibition was put together, visit the Exhibition page.

Image 01
Dr Steve 0'Shea (right) in the tank with the colossal squid.
Image 02
Dr Kat Bolstad holds up a tentacle club of the colossal squid.
Image 03
Dr Tsunemi Kubodera with the beak removed from the smaller, dissected colossal squid.
Image 04
Professor Dan-Eric Nilsson (left) and Professor Eric J Warrant (right) examining the eye of the smaller colossal squid.
Image 05
Mark Fenwick in the tank with the colossal squid.
Image 06
Dr Olaf Blaauw.
Image 07
Bruce Marshall (right) looks at the thawed colossal squid with Dr Olaf Blaauw (left).
Image 08
Chris Paulin (right) and Mark Fenwick (left) prepare to remove the frozen colossal squid from the container.
Image 09
Dr Carol Diebel (right) examines the giant squid dissection with Dr Kubodera
Image 10
Professor Dan-Eric Nilsson holds the lens removed from the colossal squid