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Explore Science offers a window into our scientific collections and highlights the people, issues, and scientific breakthroughs that are redefining how we understand—and protect—life on Earth.
Science News
This week's space headlines include the Moon's tilt, Phobos becomes a ring, and swarming comets.
Our Work
Gouldian finches are polymorphic, with three possible head color variations—black, yellow, or red.
DIY Science
Spot every detail on the 19 species of sharks, rays, and bony fishes living in our Shark Lagoon.

This is my first posting on this Academy blog. I am Dr.

Life on a Microscopic Scale

Tiny microbes—which include bacteria, viruses, and fungi—can have a major impact on organisms, environments, and systems.

A diverse combination of microbes in the guts of baleen whales allow them to get nutrients.
Life on a Microscopic Scale
Just like Pig-Pen, we all carry our own personal microbial cloud around us.
Life on a Microscopic Scale
Just how crucial are soil microbes to an ecosystem?

Seismic Science

October marks the anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake—and serves as a reminder of the power of seismic faults and plates.

Not all earthquakes are alike—they can occur at one of three types of plate boundaries.
Seismic Science
We're focusing on earthquake preparedness this week. Here's a list of 10 items to start your earthquake kit.
Seismic Science
A team of scientists is imaging plate tectonics at great depths.

Celebrate Cephalopods

Learn more about this intelligent class of invertebrates, which includes octopuses, squids, nautiluses, and cuttlefish.

How do you keep intelligent octopuses from getting bored? Find out from Steinhart Aquarium biologists.
Celebrate Cephalopods
The chambered nautilus is a living feat of engineering: It literally builds itself a home as it grows.
Celebrate Cephalopods
Among octopuses, researchers are finding that the larger Pacific striped octopus is a bit of an oddball.

Color in Nature

More than purely pretty, color plays an invaluable role in sending signals between living organisms.

Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Learn how and why octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish change colors.
Color in Nature
Some octopuses can sense light with their skin.
Color in Nature
Discover how monarch butterflies' iconic colors are displayed in their genes.

Academy Voices

Learn more about the symbiosis between cleaner wrasses and their clients
Genomics provides evidence for the role of selection in the diversification of fishes.
Academy researcher John McCosker talks about local sharks and efforts to protect them.
Academy scientists describe some of the spectacular organisms that can be discovered in the shallows.

Editor's Choice

With the drought in California, salmon smolts are hitching a ride to get to the open ocean.

Latest News

A newly discovered frog can change textures from smooth to "punk rocker" in a matter of minutes!
By taking high resolution images of our collections, the Academy is making our specimens available to the world.
The dottyback, a small reef fish, can use mimicry to fool multiple species of prey.
Spring equinox myths and truths...

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Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability

The Academy’s Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is home to more than 60 research scientists and aquarium biologists, as well as nearly 46 million scientific specimens from around the world—nearly 40,000 of which are alive and on display in the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium.

The Foundations of Biological Science

The Academy's mission is built upon sound scientific principles. Read our official position statements on evolution and sustainability.

Vast Network of Experts

In addition to our in-house scientists, the Academy benefits from the expertise and efforts of more than 100 international research and field associates and 300 distinguished Fellows.