Being an Academy scientist isn't a desk job—we believe constant, scientifically rigorous exploration is key to documenting, understanding, and better protecting Earth's rich biodiversity.

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. 

Academy divers on boat preparing to dive Roatán, with dive equipment in foreground

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.

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Portrait of Anolis pogus, or the blue-eyed, bearded, or St. Martin anole

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.

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 Rose-Veiled Fairy Wrasse, the first Maldivian fish to be described by a local researcher. Photo © Yi-Kai Tea

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

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Bright yellow Cadlinella ornatissima nudibranch with white and red rhinophores, in Zanzibar

2018 Zanzibar expedition

The Hope for Reefs team made its Indian Ocean debut in October 2018, beginning with biotic surveys of marine invertebrates in the shallows and concluding with a descent into the mesophotic zone in December—likely to be Zanzibar's first scientific exploration of this mysterious realm.

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About IBSS

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.