When Nathan was a child, he had a passion for tropical fish so strong that he spent afternoons and weekends volunteering to clean the aquaria of a fish store in his south Nashville neighborhood. In exchange, the owner generously subsidized Nathan’s growing aquarium room, beginning a close relationship that continues to this day. Nathan’s scientific research focuses on the diversity, ecology, and evolution of loricariid catfishes (aka, plecos or suckermouth armored catfishes), one of Earth’s most diverse vertebrate radiations and a group that is highly popular in the aquarium trade. In addition to speaking appearances at local tropical fish clubs and regional conferences, Nathan continues to support his work with material contributions from the aquarium hobby. As a small token of his appreciation, one of the 22 new species that Nathan has discovered and described – Baryancistrus beggini – is named after Chris Beggin, the fish store owner who patiently fostered Nathan’s early enthusiasm. Although much of Nathan’s research has been museum-based taxonomy, he has conducted 12 expeditions throughout tropical South America that have each yielded valuable insights into the historical biogeography of Neotropical fishes, the feeding ecology of wood-eating catfishes, the diversification of the Loricariidae, and human impacts on the ecological function of Amazonian headwaters. Nathan completed a PhD at Auburn University in 2009, has spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at Texas A&M University, and will soon begin a NSF-funded post-doc at the University of Toronto. Despite his frequent travels, Nathan has continued to maintain a 30 gal aquarium with live plants and a variety of South American tetras and cichlids.