Our Work
Academy researchers are striving to address some of the most important scientific questions of our time—through global expeditions, lab investigations, community outreach, and worldwide collaborations.
Scientific Expeditions
Strange-looking tunicates in Zanzibar
The Hope for Reefs team ventured to the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar to dive its unexplored mesophotic zone.
Science Heroes
Peter Roopnarine, Curator of Geology, is an expert on paleontology, deep time, and the evolution of ecosystems.
Sustaining Life
The Environmental Literacy Initiative provides cutting-edge science education materials to everyone, for free.
Library of Life
Gouldian finches are polymorphic, with three possible head color variations—black, yellow, or red.

The Modern Tree of Life

With each new species discovered, Academy scientists gain a better understanding of the origins and relatedness of all organisms.

Gary Williams is one of the world’s experts on octocorals, deep-sea corals, and coral reefs.
The Modern Tree of Life
The Etendeka round-eared sengi was recently discovered by the Academy's own Jack Dumbacher.

Identifying Patterns

Understanding how organisms are related—and how they interact with their habitats—is critical to protecting species.

Dylan Burge studies the plants that survive and thrive in serpentine soil.
Underwater shot of Academy scientist scuba diving with camera
Identifying Patterns
In March 2014, ichthyologist Luis Rocha traveled to the Cayman Islands to study and collect invasive lionfish.
Identifying Patterns
Looking at viruses from a surprising perspective...

Implementing Change

We're addressing conservation challenges through community outreach, training programs, and local and international partnerships.

Photo of children learning science
The way we communicate science is changing, and it can have a real impact on society.
Implementing Change
How does Central America’s mountainous spine contribute to the rich biodiversity in the region?
Implementing Change
We’re working with volunteers to build a new, comprehensive picture of California's biodiversity.

Academy Voices

Genomics provides evidence for the role of selection in the diversification of fishes.
What can museum specimens tell us about an invasive species—and the population they're threatening?
Page McCargo shares behind-the-scenes details of our efforts to track the origins of the deadly chytrid fungus.
Carissa Shipman explains the role genetic information now plays in the classification of living things.

Creature Closeup

You’ll need sharp eyes to spot the leafy seadragon in the wild—it's virtually indistinguishable from kelp.

Latest Academy News

By taking high resolution images of our collections, the Academy is making our specimens available to the world.
Specimens collected hundreds of years ago benefit from today's technology to aide conservation efforts.
Scientists use advanced rebreather technology for deep dives into unexplored areas of the ocean.
How do animals get their scientific names? Find out as our scientists add 221 new species to the tree of life.

Support Academy Research

Our work is more important today than ever before. Help support our research programs and our efforts to train the next generation of scientists by becoming a member today.

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.