Aquatic Biology Highlights

  • great white shark


    Advice on shark encounters.
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  • Expeditions

    Learn about the 2014 Philippines Expedition
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  • Seafood Watch


    The catch to the catch of the day.
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  • Aquatic Biology staff


    Meet the staff of Aquatic Biology.
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  • mercury calculator


    Mercury contamination in seafood.
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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 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 Tidewater gobies, increasing their number and probability for survival.

Mercury Contamination in Seafood

mercury calculatorMercury contamination of seafood is a persistent public health threat.

Seafood Guide

Seafood WatchA guide to sustainable seafood.

Contact the Department

  • John E. McCosker
  • Aquatic Biology
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • San Francisco, CA 94118
  • 415-379-5285 (direct)