Artist Statement by Dr. Ilya Raskin

I learned photography from my parents while growing up in Russia. Now I am a professor of biology at Rutgers University and president of the Global Institute for BioExploration (GIBEX). My work enables me to travel to many remote locations and help local communities conserve biodiversity, preserve traditional knowledge, and improve health and quality of life. My camera allows me to share these places with the world.

My major passion is nature and wildlife photography, but I often search for beauty, color, composition and emotions in urban settings and in people's faces. My professional interests in biology and ecology enable me to locate my subjects and find the best moment to capture the shot, and long-time interests in art and art history help me to compose interesting scenes. My focus on nature is driven by the desire to preserve the memory of its rapidly disappearing wild splendor. I am grateful and honored that major magazines regularly publish my photographs and that people hang them on their walls. All profits from the sale of my photography are donated to GIBEX to support global conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources.