Gerry Allen is beyond question the world’s foremost expert on marine species of the Pacific. He is one of perhaps two people in the world whom you could place in the water on any reef in the world and he would be able to identify on sight virtually every fish you could find. Quite likely he would have been there before and if not, certainly to some place nearby.
Few academics spend more than a few weeks in a year "in the field". For the past 30 years Gerry has spent about half of each year there. He has discovered hundreds of fishes new to science. Between field trips he is a prolific producer of end results in the form of publications. He has authored over thirty books and hundreds of scientific papers. As well as his expertise on coral reef fishes he has extensively surveyed the fresh water fishes of both Australia and New Guinea and authored comprehensive books on the fishes of both.
His explorations in remote areas of PNG and Irian Jaya have sometimes involved days of hiking into remote areas, bouts with malaria and encounters with not always friendly locals. His adventures on such "field trips" often sound more like SpecOps than biology – he’s gone missing on CI trips in the past.