Sirachai (Shin) Arunrugstichai is a Thai photojournalist, based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Formally trained as a marine biologist, Shin studied community-based coral reef restoration and shark fisheries. But after witnessing detrimental changes in the marine environment that he loves, he shifted his career toward conservation photojournalism. It becomes his purpose to tell the stories of our intertwining relationships with the oceans, so as the natural wonders that remain and need protection.
Shin mainly works with conservation organisations, including IUCN, Save Our Seas Foundation, WildAid, Ocean Conservancy and others. and also photographs news for Getty Images as a stringer. His images have been published by National Geographic, the Smithsonian, TIME, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian, amongst others.
Shin is a National Geographic Explorer, an Associated Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, one of the 6x6 Global Talent Program by World Press Photo, and listed among the PDN’s 30 2019. He gave TEDx talks on marine conservation photography for Bangkok in 2017, and Hong Kong in 2021. His photographs were awarded in multiple international competitions.
Although his focus is now on conservation photojournalism, he is still active within the scientific community, where he regularly collaborates on sharks and rays research in the Southeast Asia region, which he calls home.
Master of Science: Ecology: Prince of Songkla University
Bachelor of Science: Environment (Ecology): Mahidol University International College
2023: Ocean Photographer of the Year: Winner / Portfolio
2023: Ocean Photographer of the Year: 3rd place / Conservation (Impact)
2023: Ocean Photographer of the Year: Finalist / Human Connection
2023: Ocean Photographer of the Year: Finalist / Conservation (Impact)
2023: FPA2 Environmental Photography Award: Finalist / Ocean Worlds
2023: FPA2 Environmental Photography Award: Finalist / Humanity vs Nature
2023: Underwater Photographer of the Year: Commended / Marine Conservation
2022: Asociación Española de Fotógrafos de Naturaleza: Honorable Mention / Man & Nature
2022: Asociación Española de Fotógrafos de Naturaleza: 3rd place / Underwater
2022: Asociación Española de Fotógrafos de Naturaleza: 3rd place / Other Animals
2021 : Nature's Best Photography International Awards 2020: Highly Honored / Conservation Story
2021 : Underwater Photographer of the Year: Commended / Marine Conservation
2020 : Oceans Photography Awards: Finalist / Exploration Photographer of the Year
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
2022 : "Tangled" with Love Wildlife Foundation and Environmental Justice Foundation at Bangkok Art and Cultural Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2021 : "Deep VI Photo Exhibition" with Deep VI at Woofpack, Bangkok, Thailand
2020 : "The Truth from Two Seas" at Alliance Française, Bangkok, Thailand
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
2015 : "Save Koh Tao Festival" with Save Koh Tao Community Group, Suratthani, Thailand
2014 : "Marine Conference Photo Exhibition" 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
Klangnurak, W., Arunrugstichai, S., Manopawitr, P., & Krajangdara, T. (2023). DNA-based species identification of shark fins traded in thai markets. Conservation Genetics, 1-10.
Clark‐Shen, N., Chin, A., Arunrugstichai, S., Labaja, J., Mizrahi, M., Simeon, B., & Hutchinson, N. (2022). Status of Southeast Asia's marine sharks and rays. Conservation Biology.
Magson, K., Monacella, E., Scott, C., Buffat, N., Arunrugstichai, S., Chuangcharoendee, M., Pierce, J., Holmberg, J. & Araujo, G. (2022). Citizen science reveals the population structure and seasonal presence of whale sharks in the Gulf of Thailand. Journal of Fish Biology.
Lim, K. C., White, W. T., Then, A. Y., Naylor, G. J., Arunrugstichai, S., & Loh, K. H. (2022). Integrated Taxonomy Revealed Genetic Differences in Morphologically Similar and Non-Sympatric Scoliodon macrorhynchos and S. laticaudus. Animals, 12(6), 681.
White, W. T., Arunrugstichai, S., & Naylor, G. J. (2021). Revision of the genus Mustelus (Carcharhiniformes: Triakidae) in the northern Indian Ocean, with description of a new species and a discussion on the validity of M. walkeri and M. ravidus. Marine Biodiversity, 51(3), 1-24.
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. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13605
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.