Dr W. D. Emmerson read for his BSc and BSc (Hons) at Rhodes University, South Africa, before starting his career with the Fisheries Development Corporation (FDC) at the Port Elizabeth Museum and Aquarium. He moved to KwaZulu-Natal to continue prawn culture research and receive his MSc, before returning to Port Elizabeth to complete his PhD while working on a marine pollution monitoring project. He then moved to the University of Transkei (now the Walter Sisulu University), South Africa, where he worked as a Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology. During this time, he conducted National Research Foundation and European Union funded research on mangrove crabs, as well as other projects such as Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) funded work on the subsistence use of spiny lobsters along the Transkei coast, and coral reef decapods at Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently teaching at St Leonard’s College in St Andrews, Scotland.