As many CORAL readers are aware, 2023 has been a year of change for our publication following the loss of James M. Lawrence (1946–2023), the publisher and editor-in-chief of CORAL Magazine’s English edition since 2009.

The team at Aquatic Media Press, LLC (AMP) is in the process of assuming stewardship of CORAL Magazine. Freshwater aquarists may already be familiar with AMP as the publishers of AMAZONAS, which underwent a similar transition in 2018.

For the past five years, CORAL and AMAZONAS have continued to share many of the same team members, and that will continue going forward. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all our readers, advertisers, partners, and fans, during this period of transition and growth. AMP is pleased to welcome three new members to CORAL‘s editorial staff.

Please join us in welcoming Marc "melev" Levenson as the new Executive Editor of CORAL Magazine.
Please join us in welcoming Marc “melev” Levenson as the new executive editor of CORAL Magazine.

CORAL Executive Editor Marc Levenson

We are delighted to announce that Marc Levenson has accepted AMP’s invitation to join CORAL as its new executive editor. Levenson’s tenure begins with the November/December 2023 issue (Volume 20, Issue 6).

Marc Levenson has been an active participant in the saltwater aquarium hobby since 1997. He attended his first saltwater conference (MACNA) in 2002, and quickly gained a volume of knowledge in those three days that thrust him into the reef keeping of the marine aquarium hobby. From there, he spent about eight years on Reef Central as “melev”, helping others with their aquariums.

Levenson has been running the website, Melev’s Reef, since 2003-2004. While it started as an informational website, Melev’s Reef grew to become Levenson’s full-time business in 2009, selling all sorts of aquarium dry goods along with custom acrylic products fabricated in-house. Levenson’s prominence in the reef aquarium hobby and trade continued to grow with the expansion of Melev’s Reef on the YouTube platform.

Matt Pedersen, who functioned as the interim executive editor for the July/August and September/October issues, remains in his role as a senior editor in support of Levenson, along with Pedersen’s ongoing role as a publishing partner at AMP with lead partner Dr. Stephan M. Tanner.

“Many aquarists are familiar with Marc as the founder of Melev’s Reef and the Melev’s Reef YouTube Channel,” said Pedersen. “However, aquarists who are newer to the hobby may be unaware of Marc’s extensive history and experience with content generation and publication for the aquarium world, including his role as the editor of Reef Central’s former online publication Reefkeeping Magazine. Marc is highly knowledgeable, imminently approachable, good-humored, incredibly easy to get along with, and humble enough to seek out answers to questions rather than conjure up something that sounds good. He also remains in touch with all stages of a hobbyist’s tenure in the aquarium hobby, never hesitating to address the needs of the beginning reef keeper while also staying up to date on what’s coming next as the aquarium hobby advances. Marc is a team player who will leverage all the resources we make available to him for CORAL‘s benefit. It also helps that Marc is a true fan of CORAL, understanding and appreciating the value that the publication brings to the aquarium world. CORAL‘s readers, and the legacy and high standards of James Lawrence, are being placed in very capable hands.”

Quite literally, CORAL is in Levenson's capable hands.
Quite literally, CORAL is in Levenson’s capable hands.

Levenson couldn’t agree more. “As an avid reader of CORAL Magazine for the past decade, I’ve come across articles written by many of my friends. Each issue contained great stories, beautiful imagery, cutting-edge aquaculture solutions, newly captive-bred fish; the list goes on and on. I’ve always said everyone should be subscribed. Now, as the magazine’s executive editor, I care even more. Thank you to the CORAL team, past and present, for putting your trust in me. I guess all my years of blogging have finally paid off…now subscribe, or else!”

New Associate Editors

The CORAL team is growing even more with new Associate Editors Alex Rose and Amanda Meckely, who both joined the CORAL transition team with the September/October 2023 issue.

CORAL Associate Editor Amanda Meckley

Amanda Meckley

Readers are likely most familiar with Amanda Meckley as a routine contributor to the Reef Visions column. Some will make the connection, as Amanda Meckley is the co-founder and vice president of ACI Aquaculture in Plant City, Florida. There, along with her husband Chris, she has grown and refined their business into a highly-respected coral wholesaler that specializes in coral importing and ex-situ coral aquaculture.

Pedersen believes Meckley will play a vital supportive role in the new CORAL editorial team. “Amanda has been a trusted contributor to CORAL for years now and she has always expressed an interest in becoming more involved,” said Pedersen. “Her opportunity came at the tail end of the July/August 2023 issue, and she has proven to be extremely helpful during this transition period. Amanda demonstrated her value by catching errors that others missed, and we can always benefit from another set of eyes on our end product. Furthermore, Amanda has proven to be a tremendous asset going forward, bringing her advanced knowledge of coral husbandry, coral taxonomy, and the aquarium trade into the editorial process. As aquarists, we all have our particular special interests, and welcoming Amanda into an expanded role with CORAL makes the team ever more robust.”

We asked Meckley to reflect on this new role: “Coral farming is literally a very large percentage of my life, 24/7. I think CORAL Magazine is the best resource for accurate information in the hobby today. I’m thrilled to be part of the team!”

CORAL Associate Editor Alex Rose

Alex Rose

Alex Rose serves many roles within the Aquatic Media Press organization. Some will recognize Rose as the face of the AMAZONAS YouTube channel, and advertisers with AMAZONAS already know her as their point of contact for each issue. Rose also serves as an editor on the AMAZONAS team, drawing from her extensive background as an aquarist keeping both freshwater and marine aquariums.

“At this point, I think many CORAL readers might already be familiar with Alex. Some may recognize her going back to her early days as a member of the Rod’s Reef/Rod’s Food team, and she has represented both CORAL and AMAZONAS at some recent in-person events. What many may not know is that Alex holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Aquatic Biology; she’s an accomplished professional violinist, an award-winning underwater photographer, a PADI Divemaster, the founder of the ocean-conservation benefit company Blue Ring, and also serves as the science editor for the journal Ocean Geographic from the Ocean Geographic Society. Alex brings an expansive perspective to Aquatic Media Press and our publications. She has been a wonderful person to work with over the years, and Stephan and I are very pleased that Alex will bring her deep skillset to the work we do with CORAL,” said Pedersen.

Talking with Rose about her expanded role at Aquatic Media Press, she relayed that “a big part of my work life is spent underwater where I have the privilege of seeing and photographing some of the incredible sea life that is regularly featured in CORAL Magazine. To now get to be part of an editorial staff that puts such a high priority on valuing and sharing the marine world is really a pleasure. I’m excited for this opportunity!”

Continuing The Mission

Aquatic Media Press and the newly expanded CORAL staff are excited to carry on the legacy of CORAL, being a force for good, educating others, and helping protect coral reef ecosystems and resources through what we publish. We invite you to join us and subscribe.

Matthew W. Pedersen and Stephan M. Tanner, Ph.D.
on behalf of the team at Aquatic Media Press, LLC

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