The mission of the Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) is to gather new knowledge about life's diversity and the process of evolution—and to rapidly apply that understanding to our efforts to sustain life on Earth.
The Academy's Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability is home to more than 100 dedicated scientists, researchers, and support staff. Together, we travel the world in our efforts to discover new knowledge about Earth's biodiversity, and to rapidly apply that knowledge to a wide range of protections.
From specific initiatives such as our in-house Scientific Diving department—dedicated to surveying and protecting Earth's largely unexplored oceans—to priorities that include the rapid sharing and application of the data we collect, we're committed to being a visible and active force in efforts to sustain life on Earth.
Thriving California: Caples Creek
Deep in the Sierras, Academy scientists on the Thriving California team are engaged in a multi-year partnership with the US Forest Service to investigate the relationship between intentional fire and enhanced biodiversity—and how both can boost forest resilience in the future.
Hope for Reefs: Roatán
The Hope for Reefs team recently made its first scientific expedition to Roatán, a Honduran island in the Caribbean that's part of the second-largest barrier reef on Earth. The scientific dive team surveyed the island's mesophotic reefs and met with Roatán Marine Park staff and the local dive community.
Islands 2030: St. Martin
For the official launch of our Islands 2030 initiative in the Lesser Antilles, Academy staff traveled to St. Martin to research its unique terrestrial biodiversity and embark on exciting collaborations with local communities.
Hope for Reefs: Maldives
In early-2022, deep-diving Academy Hope for Reefs researchers, along with local partners, conducted the first-ever biodiversity surveys of the Maldives' twilight, or mesophotic, zone—and formally identified a number of new-to-science species, including the stunning Rose-Veiled Fairy Wrasse, pictured here.
Photo © Yi-Kai Tea
44 lizards. 14 sea slugs. Seven fishes. Four beetles. Four sharks. And that's just half of them! See what Academy scientists added to the tree of life in 2022. Photo © Yi-Kai Tea