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Up Close with Edanz Experts – Dr Steve O'Shea

Up Close with Edanz Experts – Dr Steve O'Shea

Edanz expert editors bring so much more to us than their meticulous editing skills and insight. They have a fascinating wealth of life and study experience that we seldom get the chance to see. In this series we get to know the experts on the other side of your manuscript.


Edanz Expert Editor Dr Steve O'SheaSteve O'Shea, PhD, has been working with Edanz since 2014. Pictured here in a submersible around the Ogasawara Islands in Japan, Dr O'Shea is a world-renowned expert in the giant squid. Known as “the squid man,” Dr O’Shea has appeared in several documentaries, led squid-searching expeditions above and underwater, and was featured in a New Yorker article documenting the dramatic search for a live giant squid in the wild. A photographer, teacher, and now second-time PhD student, Dr O’Shea is still searching to expand his understanding of the natural world.

How did you get into editing? What sparked your interest in becoming an editor for Edanz?

It began many years ago in a former role as a university professor. Because English was a second language for many of my postgraduate students, I spent an inordinate amount of time with them discussing their research and reviewing their thesis and manuscript drafts. Though deemed a supervisor, I guess much of what I did for them, grooming their English, could be construed as editing. Years later, when a colleague referred me as an editor to Edanz, I thought “why not,” for I’d always enjoyed doing this, and I guess that’s when I officially became an editor.

What do you most like about being an editor?

I’ve always enjoyed working with people, and helping polish their writing in preparation for formal scientific review. The most satisfying moment is when I see their manuscript finally published, for I know I played a small part in the process.

What work, research, and other activities do you do apart from editing?

I’ve returned to university to do a second PhD, following a break of several years away from academia. It was necessary for me to demonstrate proficiency in a new discipline, ecology, given that career prospects in my former area of expertise, cephalopod systematics, were nil. On a positive note, I can now increase the disciplines in which I am competent to review and edit manuscripts.

When not editing or studying, I spend my leisure time photographing wildlife, such as birds, spiders, insects, reptiles and amphibians, and nature’s landscapes. My interest in natural history now extends beyond life in the oceans these days (examples can be found on this site). Weather permitting, most weekends will find me camping or trekking somewhere, cooking beneath the stars over an open fire, unwinding, and writing.

My career has taken me from the depths of the ocean in submersibles off Japan, to the Sea of Cortez, and many times around New Zealand, in my quest to find and film giant squid. When an escape from my hectic lifestyle was needed, I abandoned society to live many months in a tent off western Australia, dodged lava bombs at the rim of active volcanoes in Indonesia, trekked through jungles in Malaysia and the Philippines, and hiked to medieval castles high in the mountain ranges of France. One day I’ll write of my exploits.

Look for more Q&A with Dr O'Shea as well as other editors in the future.

View Dr O'Shea's full profile.