de Greef, Jaap-Jan

Jaap-Jan de Greef was born in 1957 on the island os Sumatra in Indonesia as a citizen of the Netherlands. Political unrest and his father’s occupation forced him and his family to move a number of times — from Indonesia to Mozambique to Tanganyika (Tanzania) to Suriname to the Netherlands to Ecuador and then to Curacao. After Curacao, he moved to Florida to study marine biology at Florida State University (FSU). When he was 3-years-old, he collected his first fish, a killifish (Nothobranchius sp.), with his father in Mozambique. He continued his passion for collection and fish keeping throughout all his moves. In Ecuador, at the age of 16, he collected fish for the Ecuadorian National Fish Institute in Guayaquil. In Curacao, he volunteered for a marine biological research station diving, collecting specimens, and assisting with other research projects. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from FSU, he began work managing a tomato packing house (a family business) in Florida. In between tomato seasons, Jaap travels around the world collecting fish for researchers and fish farmers; leads aquarium fish collection eco-tours, primarily in the Amazon, and lectures for aquarium hobbyist organizations. “By traveling around the world, I get to visit places around the U.S.,” Jaap boasts. As an obsessed hobbyist himself, Jaap maintains an 80-aquarium fish house, several ponds, and 25 vats of fish. He keeps aquarium fish and fish for researchers. Jaap and his wife, who has accompanied him on one Guatemalan collecting trip, have two children. His son has accompanied him on several trips. Programs: Cichlids and Livebearers of Guatemala Collecting Livebearers in Guatemala