He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology from the University of Oregon in 1986. In 2005 he opened Liquid Sunshine Tropical Fish, a specialty retail store in Eugene. In 2010 he became the Curator of Living Collections, Aquarist, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
He has been a member of the boards of the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association, the Greater Portland Aquarium Society, the Cascade Cichlid Club, the Dry Wash Cichlid Club, the Lane County Aquarium Society, and the American Cichlid Association, where he has served as Secretary of the BOT, as a member of the Jordan Endowment Fund and Membership Committees, chaired the Nominations Committee, edited the Trading Post, and served as Managing Editor of the Buntbarsche Bulletin
Over the years he has spoken for numerous aquarium clubs in the United States, including Greater Portland A.S., Kitsap A.S., Seattle A.S., Southern Colorado A.S., Sacramento A.S., Ohio Cichlid Association, Texas Cichlid Association, Louisville Tropical Fish Fanciers, as well as the clubs to which he has belonged.
The lectures that Eric currently presents include:
- Collecting Cichlids in Mexico: Illustrating three trips to Mexico, this lecture describes the habitats of cichlids from the Panuco basin in the north, along the Gulf coast near Veracruz, down into the jungles of Chiapas, and over to the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan. Also included is some video taken during the trips. Some of the other beautiful fishes of Mexico are included. A trip was described in BB 197. Approximately 90 minutes.
- Keeping and Breeding Central American Cichlids: This lecture covers the cichlids found from Northern Mexico to Panama (but not all of them!). Includes some tips for constructing the fish room, managing aggression, raising fry, disease treatment, and many photos of fish breeding and raising fry, from common to rare. Approximately one hour.
- Hitchhiking in Zambia: Includes above ground and underwater photos and video of a recent adventure to Lake Tanganyika. Includes travel, Kalambo Falls lodge and collecting station. An account of this trip can be seen in BB 215 and BB 216. Approximately one hour.
- Keeping and Breeding Tanganyikan Cichlids: This lecture covers all of the basic groups of Tanganyikan cichlids, aimed at an audience that is just beginning to appreciate this large group of diverse cichlids. Covers water quality issues, evolution of the cichlids, breeding tips, and some photos taken at the Lake. Approximately one hour.
- The Nervous System of Zebrafish: Culled from his years as a graduate student, this talk illustrates in a basic way, how a fishes nervous system develops using the zebrafish, Brachydanio rerio, as a model. To keep your eyes from glazing over, it includes photos of the new multi-million dollar Zebrafish Stock Center at the University of Oregon. Approximately 30 minutes.
- The Cichlids of the Maya: Based upon many trips to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, this talk covers many of the major Maya ruins and the fscainating cichlids and other fish foud i this region. Approximately 60 minutes.