Speaker Spotlight: Karen Randall

Karen Randall grew up with aquariums as a child. While experienced in many facets of the aquarium hobby, as an adult her focus turned to a concentration in planted display aquariums and the study and propagation of aquatic plants. Her articles and photography have been published in multiple languages and publications around the world. For many years she authored the monthly column, “Sunken Gardens” in Aquarium Fish Magazine. She is an international speaker on aquarium subjects. Karen is past president of the Boston Aquarium Society, and serves on the board of the Aquatic Gardeners Association. She was editor of the AGA magazine, The Aquatic Gardener for 5 years and is now technical editor of the magazine. She serves as a judge for both the AGA International Aquascaping Contest and the Aqua Design Amano International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest as well as serving on the jury of a number of live aquascaping contests. She has also served as a consultant on several major projects at public aquaria.

Karen travels frequently to study aquatic plants in the wild. She has traveled extensively in South and Central America and South East Asia as well as the southern parts of the U.S. She has assisted with Project Piaba, a conservation program in the Brazilian Amazon, centered on the aquarium fish trade. She regularly does programs on these topics as well as aquatic gardening for groups ranging from aquarium clubs, school children, garden clubs and church organizations.

Karen started a program a number of years ago to put aquariums in many classrooms in the local public elementary schools. In 2003 she was awarded the Northeast Council of Aquarium Society’s Betty Mueller Award; a life-time award for her outreach work and other contributions to the aquarium hobby.

Her book, “Sunken Gardens, A Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Freshwater Aquariums” was published in 2016.

Karen Randall’s educational session at the Aquatic Experience is “Sunken Gardens.”  Sunken Gardens will tell you how to set-up and maintain a planted aquarium. It covers low tech, simple methods as well as high-tech methods for fast growth set-ups.  This talk also touches on the basics of formal aquascaping.