Sirachai (Shin) Arunrugstichai (b. 1987) is a Thai conservation photographer, specialising in marine conservation issues. Shin originally picked up photography to document marine biodiversity, while working as a field biologist. However, after realising the power of photography for communicating serious conservation issues with the public, Sirachai later shifted his career path toward photojournalism in 2015.
Currently, Shin is a freelance photographer for National Geographic Magazine (Thai edition), starting with his work on the plight of sharks in Thai waters in 2016. He later covered three additional stories for the magazine, the degradation of the Andaman sea in 2016, the development of a large-scale deepwater port in Southern Thailand in 2017, and the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of Thailand in 2018. As freelancer, he has also been working on assignment with several conservation organizations, including IUCN Asia, Save Our Seas Foundation, WildAid and more, while some of his works have been published in National Geographic, the Washington Post, the Guardian and BBC Earth.
He has received a number of awards in major international competitions and gave a talk for TEDx Bangkok in 2017 on the topic of conservation photography. Since 2017, Shin has joined the International League of Conservation Photographers as an Emerging League Photographer and has also been selected as one of the six talents from Southeast Asia and Oceania region of the 6x6 Global Talent Program by World Press Photo Foundation. In 2019, Shin has been selected as one of the PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch by Photo District News and received the Early Career Explorer Grant from National Geographic Society.
Although his focus is in photojournalism, he is still active within the scientific community, working on conservation biology of sharks in Thailand and he is willing to assist on any shark researches or conservation projects in the Andaman Sea region.
Shin is currently based in Bangkok, so without going out in the field to cover conservation stories, he does not know much what to do with his life in the big city.
Master of Science: Ecology: Prince of Songkla University
Bachelor of Science: Environment (Ecology): Mahidol University International College
International League of Conservation Photographers
Ocean Artists Society
Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Nikon Professional Service
National Geographic (Thai Edition)
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Mangrove for the Future
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (Thailand)
Aquaculture Stewardship Council
Global Ghost Gear Initiative
Love Wildlife Foundation
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program
2020 : United Nation World Oceans Day: Winner / Clean Our Ocean
2020 : United Nation World Oceans Day: 3rd Place / Human Interaction
2020 : Pictures of the Year International: Award of Excellence / Science & Natural Histories (Single)
2019 : Fourth IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest: Finalist (Single)
2019 : Fourth IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Photo Contest: Finalist (Photo Series)
2019 : MontPhoto International Nature Photography Contest: Honour / Environmental Report
2019 : Dive Photo Guide SharkCon Photo Competition: Bronze / Shark Behaviour
2019 : Dive Photo Guide SharkCon Photo Competition: Finalist / Shark Portrait
2019 : Sustainable Ocean and Forest Photo Competition: First Runner Up / Seascape, Forest, Conservation
2019 : Thailand Dive Expo Photo Photography Competition: Winner / Marine Conservation
2019 : Underwater Photographers of the Year: Highly Commended / Marine Conservation
2018 : United Nation World Oceans Day: Third Prize Winner / Above Water Landscape
2018 : National Geographic (Thailand): 2018 Thai Explorer Award
2018 : Thailand Dive Expo Photo Competition: Second Runner Up / Open Wide Angle
2017 : Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition: Finalist / Human/Nature
2017 : Thailand Dive Expo Photo Competition: Second Runner Up / Open Wide Angle
2016 : International Union for Conservation of Nature Ocean Photographer of the Year : Special Mention
2016 : Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition: Finalist / Human/Nature
2016 : Save Our Seas Foundation: Marine Conservation Photography Grant Winner
2015 : Thailand Dive Expo Photo Competition: Commendatory Award / DSLR
2014 : 4th Marine Science Conference: Grand Prize / Behaviour & Biodiversity
2014 : 4th Marine Science Conference: Popular Vote / Behaviour & Biodiversity
2014 : 4th Marine Science Conference: 1st Runner Up / Macro
2014 : 4th Marine Science Conference: Popular Vote / Macro
2014 : United Nation World Oceans Day: Finalist / Underwater Life
2013 : National Geographic Thailand: Finalist / 10 Photos Storytelling
2013 : OCEANS 2013: Finalist / Resources Harvest
2013 : OCEANS 2013: Finalist / Fauna and Flora
2013 : La Mer Love the Sea Competition: Grand Prize Winner
2013 : Koh Tao Photo Contest: Grand Prize Winner / Landscape
2013 : Thailand Dive Expo Photo Competition Grand Prize Winner / Compact Camera
2013 : iThink Wildlife Photo Competition: First Runner Up
2012 : Department of National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation National Photo Competition: Honourable Mention / Open Competition
2012 : Love Wildlife Photography Competition: Honourable Mention / Marine Life
2012 : Koh Tao Photo Competition: Grand Prize Winner / Underwater
2017 : Sights of the Seas / with ORIS at Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand
2017 : Yum Talay / with Love Wildlife Foundation at Sirikit National Convention Hall, Bangkok, Thailand
2017 : Arts for the Oceans / with Greenpeace at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
2016 : Finalist / in Big Picture 2016 at California Academy of Science, California, USA
2015 : Save Koh Tao Festival / with Save Koh Tao Communitiy Group, Suratthani, Thailand
2014 : Marine Conference Photo Contest at Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand
2012 : Love Wildlife Photography Exhibition at Foreign Correspondents Club Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand.
2012 : The Elephant / with Taejai at the SYNC, Bangkok, Thailand
Arunrugstichai, S., True, J. D., & White, W. T. (2018). Catch composition and aspects of the biology of sharks caught by Thai commercial fisheries in the Andaman Sea. Journal of Fish Biology 92, 1487-1504.
Scott, C. M., Mehrotra, R., Cabral, M., & Arunrugstichai, S. (2017). Changes in hard coral abundance and composition on Koh Tao, Thailand, 2006-2014. Coastal Ecosystems 4, 26-38.
Chen, X., Shen, X. J., Arunrugstichai, S., Ai, W., & Xiang, D. (2014). Complete mitochondrial genome of the blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae). Mitochondrial DNA 27, 873-874.
Chen, X., Xiang, D., Arunrugstichai, S., Cai, L., & Xu, Y. (2014). Complete mitochondrial genome of the mangrove whipray Himantura granulata (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae). Mitochondrial DNA 27, 1-2.