Guido started diving in 1989, as an alternate to surfing when the sea was flat. He learned to dive with the University of Cape Town Underwater Club (UCTUC), and quickly progressed from beginner to instructor. Although he has since stopped instructing, in those early days it provided welcome income, usually converted quickly into dive gear. Early on he also became fascinated with the marine environment, and not being able to explain to his friends and parents what was down there, he quickly acquired a Nikonos V to photograph it all. After university he joined False Bay Underwater Club (FBUC), a club he is still a member of.
Guido enjoys dive travel and has dived in many places in the world. He does not just head to warm tropical waters, where most Cape Town divers aim for due to the cold water at home, but has also visited other temperate waters dive areas, having done some interesting diving in New Zealand, for example.
Through his photography Guido also started publishing articles in Divestyle - a few on dive travel and exotic locations, but also some on Cape Town's unique marine environment. He also started contributing to marine identification guides, including those by Helmut Debelius and Rudie Kuiter.
Guido's interest in the marine environment really intensified when he started photographing klipfishes using the Nikonos extension tubes and framers. In the process he discovered a new species, the bluespotted klipfish Pavoclinus caeruleopunctatus. Encouraged and helped by Dr. Phil Heemstra and his wife, Elaine, as well as Dr. Kim Prochazka, he wrote and published the description of the species. With his appetite fuelled, he then proceeded to photographing the coastal fishes of Cape Town. This resulted in his first marine guide. Once that was done he switched over to sea slugs, and published his second guide two years later. At more or less the same time as the first book came out he and Peter Southwood decided to form SURG.
He is currently researching his first interest, klipfishes, with an aim of creating an identification guide of all species in southern Africa, a task he is discovering is not that easy...
In 2012 "Southern African Sea Life - A Guide for Young Explorers" was published by Struik Nature, and is the collaboration of Dr. Sophie v.d. Heyden (who came up with the concept and wrote the text), and Guido (who took most of the photos), and the great team at Struik.
In 2014 Guido was honoured to have a small mysid shrimp he discovered named after him, and now Mysidopsis zsilaveczi will frustrate scientists everywhere as they try to pronounce it.
For a living Guido is a partner in a small company providing OSS/BSS expertise to telecommunications companies. He holds a MSc. in computer science from the University of Cape Town. Guido is married to Helene, and lives in Hout Bay in a very nice house with two very nice cats - the latest addition being Bintang, joining Tukula, with 7 having passed away in 2014.
To see some of Guido's photography, visit his flikr page here.
Areas of interest and specialised knowledge:
Areas dived within South Africa:
Paternoster, Langebaan Lagoon, Maalgat (Cederberg), Cape Town: from Robben Eiland to Hangklip, Bot Rivier Vlei, Hermanus, Gans Bay, Knysna Lagoon and Heads, Aliwal Shoal, Durban, Sodwana Bay, various inland dams, rivers and assorted holes containing water deep enough to dive in, and the Faure covered dam in Somerset West.
Areas dived internationally
Mozambique (Ponta Malongane, Guinjata Bay, Bazaruto), Bassas Da India, Egypt (Sinai: Sharm el Sheikh area; offshore from Hurghada; Brothers Islands; Elphinstone; and others), Maldives, Seychelles, Australia (Darwin, Perth, Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, off Townsville and off Airlie Beach), New Zealand (Bay of Islands, Matauri Bay, Poor Knights, McGregor, Goat Island, White Island), Fiji (Viti Levu and Leleuvia islands), Argentina (Peninsula Valdez), Malaysia (Penang Island), Indonesia (Sulawesi: Bunaken, Lembeh Straits; Donggala; Papua: Raja Ampat; Bali (all around); Halmahera: Weda Bay; Ambon)
v.d. Heyden, S. & G. Zsilavecz. 2012. Southern African Sea Life - A Guide for Young Explorers. Struik Nature.
Holleman, W., v.d. Heyden, S. & G. Zsilavecz. 2012. Delineating the fishes of the Clinus superciliosus species complex in southern African waters (Blennioidei: Clinidae: Clinini), with the validation of Clinus arborescens Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908 and Clinus ornatus Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908, and with description of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 166, 827-853
Zsilavecz, G. 2007. Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. Southern Underwater Research Group press.
Zsilavecz, G. 2005. Coastal Fishes of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay. Southern Underwater Research Group press.
Zsilavecz, G. 2001. Pavoclinus caeruleopunctatus, A new Species of Clinid Fish (Perciformes: Clinidae) from South Africa. Special Publication No. 66. JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown.
Zsilavecz, G. 1996. Night Diving Manual. South African Underwater Union.
Publications - Articles in Magazines
Zsilavecz, G, 2014. Contribution to "Cape Divers' Top 10". Issue 16, 2014, Divesite Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G, 2013. It's a small world. Issue 12, Autumn 2013, Divesite Magazine.
Zsilavecz. G. 2000. Coral Gardens - Cape Town's Atlantic Jewel. November. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz. G. 2000. Seychelles - Diving in the Garden of Eden. Volume 11 Number 5. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz. G. 1999. The Canyon. Volume 10 Number 6. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz. G. 1999. The Kelp Jungles of the Cape. Volume 10 Number 5. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. & C Mostert. 1999. Shark Diving in False Bay. Volume 10 Number 1. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1998. The Wrecks of the Cape Peninsula. Volume 9 Number 5. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1998. Women and Children First - Diving the HMS Birkenhead. Volume 9 Number 4. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1998. Maalgat - a dive in the Cederberg. Volume 9 Number 3. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1998. The Cages of Fear. June. Directions Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1997. Great White Diving at Dyer Island. Volume 9 Number 1. Divestyle Magazine.
Zsilavecz, G. 1996. Sharm El Sheikh. Volume 7 Number 5. Divestyle Magazine.
Photographic Contributions - Marine Guides
King, D. & Fraser, V. 2014. The Reef Guide
Reyes L., P & Huehne B., M. 2013. Peces del Sur de Chile. Ocho Libros.
Kuiter, RH. & H. Debelius. 2009. World Atlas of Marine Fauna. Ikan-Unterwasserarchiv.
Kuiter, RH. 2009. Seahorses and their Relatives. Aquatic Photographics.
Jones, G. 2008. A Field Guide to the Marine Animals of the Cape Peninsula. Southern Underwater Research Group press.
Debelius, H. & RH. Kuiter. 2007. Nudibranchs of the World. Ikan-Unterwasserarchiv.
Debelius, H. & RH. Kuiter. 2006. World Atlas of Marine Fishes. Ikan-Unterwasserarchiv.
Heemstra, P. & E. Heemstra. 2004. Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. NISC/SAIAB.
Kuiter, RH. 2004. Basslets, Hamlets and their Relatives - A Guide to Selected Serranidae and Plesiopidae. TMC Publishing.
Kuiter, RH. 2003. Seahorses. Pipefishes and their Relatives - A Comprehensive Guide to Syngnathiformes. TMC Publishing.
Kuiter, RH. 2002. Butterflyfishes. Bannerfishes and their Relatives - A Comprehensive Guide to Chaetodontidae & Microcanthidae. TMC Publishing.
Wittmann, K. & C. Griffiths. 2014. Description of the 'stargazer mysid' Mysidopsis zsilaveczi Sp. Nov. (Mysida, Mysidae, Leptomysinae) from the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Crustaceana, 87 (11-12)
von der Heyden, S., Prochazka, K. & R. Bowie. 2008. Significant population structure and asymmetric gene flow patterns amidst expanding population of Clinus cottoides (Perciformes, Clinidae): application of molecular data to marine conservation planning in South Africa. Molecular Ecology November 17(22):4812-26
Hempson, T. & C. Griffiths. 2008. Symbionts of comatulid crinoids in False Bay, South Africa. African Zoology 43(2), October 2008.
Lanterbecq, D., Hempson, T., Griffiths C. & I. Eeckhaut. 2008. Myzostoma fuscomaculatum (Myzostomida), a new myzostome species from False Bay, South Africa. Hydrobiologia.
d'Udekem d'Acoz, C. 2007. New records of Atlantic Hippolyte, with the description of two new species, and a key to all Atlantic Mediterranean species. 29(1). Zoosystema.
Hempson, T. 2006. Symbionts of comatulid crinoids in False Bay. University of Cape Town.
King, D & V. Fraser. 2002. More Reef Fishes & Nudibranchs. Struik Publishers.
Photographic Contributions - Magazines and Books
South African Coasts - A celebration of our seas and shores. Ribbink, T. & A. Ribbink, eds. Struik Publishing, 2014. Envirokids. Volume 34(3), 2013
Wild Magazine. Summer 2011-2012.
Atlas of Dive Sites of South Africa & Mozambique. McIntosh, F. & G. Jones. 2010.
Envirokids. Volume 31(3), August 2010.
Africa Geographic. October 2010.
Divestyle. May/June 2008. (Review of "Nudibranchs" book)
Sawubona In Flight Magazine. January 2008.
Divestyle. March/April 2006. (Review of "Coastal Fishes" book)
The Best of Getaway Gallery. 2004. Getaway Publishing.
Getaway Magazine. October 2000.
The Best of the Agfa Wildlife Awards. 2000. Struik Publishing.
Getaway Magazine. January 2000.
Getaway Magazine. June 1999.
Divestyle Magazine, Volume 10 Number 6. June/July 1999.
Divestyle Magazine, Volume 10 Number 2. December 1998.
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