Lev was born in St. Petersburg, Russia but has spent most of his life in Ontario. He has always had a keen interest in many forms of wildlife, which started at a young age from scouring the forest floor in search of insects and other creatures – he knew that this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life! In 2010 he began working as a naturalist in one of the province’s largest and most well known parks – Algonquin. Here, he learned that flipping over logs to look for bugs is not just for kids, and is able to share his passion for the natural world with countless park visitors, as well as contribute to the park’s extensive insect and bird records.
His interest in birding was sparked at the age of 13, during a passage of warblers in a local park just outside of Toronto. In Algonquin, he rekindled his childhood love of insects – especially dragonflies and butterflies. Since then, he has pursued winged quarry in many parts of the world, including the Falkland Islands, the Gambia, Spain, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and much of the USA and Central America.
During the winter months, when Algonquin Park is decidedly colder and quieter, he spent his time guiding for birding lodges in Ecuador and Costa Rica. In 2011 he took his first pelagic birding trip – a chilly February day in search of Great Skua. Despite the cold and rough conditions – or perhaps due to the same – he fell in love with seabirds and the ocean, and has since been back on the Stormy Petrel II many times, helping Brian and Kate show people the wildlife of the Gulf Stream, meeting new people and constantly learning – all of his favourite things!
More recently he has combined his love of wildlife and sharing knowledge with photography. He enjoys photographing obscure and less-known subjects in hopes of drawing positive attention towards them.