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Tui lived in the Galapagos Islands from the time she was two, when her family moved from Belgium to lead a pioneering life close to nature, long before the islands drew international attention from the scientific community. She acquired her keen interest in natural history from her naturalist parents, whose extensive search for gastropod molluscs, both terrestrial and marine, lead to the discovery of dozens of new Galapagos species. During her formative teenage years, Tui spent much time in the company of scientists in various fields of Galapagos research, both learning from them and sharing her own intimate knowledge of the islands. Later she became the first National Park licensed naturalist to serve the budding tourist industry. She never attended school, being home taught, and is fluent in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German. An interest in photography, coupled with her naturalist's interpretive eye, helped to launch her life's career in nature photography and writing. Tui's photos and writings continue to appear regularly in major magazines in over twenty countries. In addition, she has lectured extensively in various parts of the U.S., Europe and New Zealand, as well as being the feature of a one-hour US TV program on her work in the Galapagos. She is active in international conservation circles, sitting the boards of several organizations in North and South America she makes her home base in New Zealand.
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