Coleman started scuba diving in 1963, exploring Sydney Harbour. Later he joined a scientific study group and in 1969 undertook a project aiming to document entire marine life of Australia, using underwater photography.
His first book, Australian marine fishes in colour was published in 1974, and he subsequently authored more than 50 books.
Coleman discovered many marine creatures new to science. Several species of fish, nudibranchs and other invertebrates have been named after him, including a mantis shrimp Lysiosquilla colemani, a nudibranch Chromodoris colemani, and a pygmy seahorse Hippocampus colemani.
In 2007, Coleman was inducted to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and in 2011, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for "service to conservation and the environment through the photographic documentation of Australian marine species". Coleman died on the 4th of May 2012 at 4:55am, of natural causes in his sleep.Click here to hide this biography