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 curator Rebecca Albright surfaces during a dive in the Galapagos with penguins on rocks looking on

Hope for Reefs/Islands 2030

A team of Academy researchers returned to the Galápagos Islands in early 2024 to rekindle local partnerships and study climate-tough corals. The warmer ocean temperatures brought on by El Niño provided a unique opportunity to study how the archipelago’s flora and fauna adapt to environmental change.

Academy scientists hike through burned forest in the Caples Creek watershed

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.

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.

 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

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 regenerate life on Earth.