Brent Stephenson was born in New Zealand and has been a birder since childhood, and in 2005 completed his Ph.D., studying the breeding biology of Australasian gannets in New Zealand. In 2003, along with Sav Saville, co-owner of their bird-guiding business, he rediscovered the “extinct” New Zealand storm-petrel, a bird known previously from only three museum specimens collected during the 1800s. With support from National Geographic, he led a team conducting further research on this enigmatic seabird.
His passion for travel, birds, and the ocean has led him to many corners of the world working on small ‘Expedition’ ships. It’s a great way of seeing remote and inaccessible places and their wildlife. Brent has travelled to many parts of the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, working and birding in all seven Continents. The polar regions hold a special attraction, from the Arctic with its large mammals and breeding seabirds and rugged landscape, to the grandeur of Antarctica and spectacular wildlife of the sub-Antarctic islands. However, the incredible diversity of the Tropics also has its attractions!
His passion and knack for wildlife photography has led to increasing publication of photos and articles in books and magazines, both within New Zealand and overseas, and more recently submissions with image libraries. The recent publication of Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide with co-author Paul Scofield is the culmination of an eight-year project. In his “spare time” Brent conducts ecological research, conservation work, and co-owns and runs Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ. He lives between the East Coast of the United States and the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.