Aquariums and museums such as ours can explain the likely consequences of our actions. Your children and theirs will inherit the outcomes.

The Department of Aquatic Biology has no collections of preserved specimens but rather coordinates with other Academy Research Departments (particularly Ichthyology and Invertebrate Zoology) and the Steinhart Aquarium in its investigations of the biology of aquatic organisms. The library of genetic material that exists in those departments, be it a fish scale or a tissue sample, can provide evidence for studies of the ancestry, biology, and conservation of aquatic species, populations, and ecosystems.

Department research has combined field and laboratory studies of aquatic animal evolution and behavior, ranging from microscopic bioluminescent bacteria to macroscopic man-eating sharks. Using the facilities and skills of the Steinhart Aquarium and its staff, Department staff and colleagues have maintained populations of endangered Winter-run Sacramento River Chinook salmon and other threatened and endangered species.


Advice Concerning Sharks

Advice to Swimmers, Surfers, Kayakers & Divers Concerning Sharks in California Waters by John E. McCosker, PhD


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Mercury Contamination of Seafood

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Contact Aquatic Biology

Dr. John E. McCosker
Aquatic Biology
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Aquatic Biology Associates

Research Associates

  • William J. Bennetta
  • Leonard Compagno
  • Michael D. Lagios
  • David McGuire Sea Stewards
  • Richard H. Rosenblatt
  • John S. Stephens, Jr.
  • Norbert Wu

Field Associates

  • Al Giddings
  • Paul Humann
  • Isabella Kirkland
  • Gary Larson