Hot off the press! My latest photo essay for Nature.

I traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to photograph Dr. Richie Robertson, the renowned expert in Caribbean volcanology. Richie’s research focuses on St. Vincent’s La Soufriere, a massive volcano that creates its own weather and looms over St. Vincent.

It was a great, sweaty shoot that involved hiking to a seismic station.

I was a tad celebrity struck and will get to that later.

During the hours I spent photographing Richie’s research, we climbed about halfway up the volcano to check the station. We lucked out with clear skies and a rain-free morning. Everything was in order and he flew his drone to do some further volcanic examination.

Afterwards, we hiked down and went to his office overlooking La Soufriere a few miles from the volcano’s base.

Many of you know I live mostly in Barbados, about 120-miles east of St. Vincent. In 2021 Soufriere erupted. The eruption sent a plume of ash eastward. The ash inundated Barbados and further paralyzed the COVID-stricken island.

We were already living with COVID restrictions that limited movement and the ability to go outside. Adding the eruption onto that made life so much worse. The world was grey and skies dim. Everything – trees, roads, cars, even our shared pool – was filled with or covered in ash. It took days before it was safe to emerge (wearing an N95 mask to avoid inhaling volcanic particulates).

During this episode, I remember watching Richie on TV calmly explaining the volcanic situation to global news outlets. Here I was a few months later hiking up the volcano that had profoundly disrupted my life with the celebrity scientist who guided me through those challenging weeks.

The images came out great. I hope you thinks so to.

Below is how the story appeared in Nature’s print edition. And here is the photo essay on Nature’s Instagram feed.


A Message From Paradise

Dear John, In dark times like these, it’s easy to forget how beautiful our world really is. I’ve always tried to find the time to watch sunsets and tonight’s effort was no disappointment thanks to the passing hurricane. Hurricane Tammy … Continued


Barbados’s Decaying Cotton Tower Signal Station

Cotton Tower Signal Station peeks above the surrounding sugar cane fields like a pink periscope surveying the lush ocean of Barbadian paradise. Located in St. Joseph parish (near Bathsheba’s world-class surf break Soup Bowl), the tower is named after Lady … Continued


Dr. Damian Cohall and The Power of Barbadian Plant Medicine

Barbados’s rich history of medicinal plants traces its roots to the 1627 arrival of enslaved Africans. Imported to toil in the island’s unforgiving sugarcane fields, their indigenous knowledge kept the island’s population healthy despite adversity. Today, western medicine is the … Continued


Barbados’s Crumbling North Point Surf Resort

Situated on Barbados’s rugged northern coast where crashing waves slam into 50-foot cliffs, an old hotel dies. Abandoned years ago and victim to the Atlantic Ocean’s briny wind, the North Point Surf Resort is literally a shell of its past. … Continued


Barbados’s Sugar Cane Revolution

Barbados’s sugar cane history traces hundreds of years, many cultures (African, European, Brazilian), and ushered in fabulous wealth. For generations, sugar cane fueled Barbadian (and British) prosperity. A shift in global markets and the rise of European sugar beet decimated … Continued


Saharan Dust Gets Tropical, Barbados-Style

Africa’s Saharan Desert winds blow across the Atlantic, carrying dust, ash and biological entities hitching an ocean-spanning ride. Since 1996, Edmund Blades has managed the University of Miami’s Barbados Atmospheric Chemistry Observatory and it’s 17-meter tall tower. Situated on Ragged … Continued


Such Great Barbadian (Saharan) Heights

Africa’s Saharan Desert winds blow across the Atlantic, carrying dust, ash and biological entities hitching an ocean-spanning ride. Since 1996, Edmund Blades has managed the University of Miami’s Barbados Atmospheric Chemistry Observatory and it’s 17-meter tall tower. Situated on Ragged … Continued


Nature’s Protector: Barbados’s Sea Turtle Project (P. 1)

Carla Daniels has led Barbados Sea Turtle Project for 15-years, protecting the island’s migratory and permanent sea turtle population. Seven-days a week, 24-hours a day, Carla (and an army of local and international volunteers) search the island for sea turtles. … Continued


Nature Publishes My Sweetest Images Ever

Jagged stalks of sugar cane cover Barbados’s coral rock landscape. As the island’s cash crop, Barbados produced 92,000 tons of sugar in 2021 despite being covered in volcanic ash from St. Vincent’s La Soufrière’s spring eruption. Another harvest will begin … Continued