Dr Zoe Richards

Research Field: Marine Conservation

Dr Richards is a coral taxonomic expert with a passion for marine conservation. Leading a coral
conservation and research group with the mission of optimizing the way we monitor and protect
coral biodiversity, Zoe conducts innovative research in the areas of ecology, biomonitoring and
phylogenomics. Her research career began at Bikini Atoll where she examined the resilience of coral
biodiversity to nuclear testing. This research contributed towards Bikini Atoll being listed as a World
Heritage Area in 2010. Since then, the datasets Zoe has collected have informed policy and
conservation making at international, national and local levels. For example, her data underpinned
the first global IUCN red-list assessment of the threatened status of corals. By filling ecological data
gaps in remote places such as the Kimberley and undertaking detailed taxonomic descriptions of
corals using classical and modern molecular techniques, Dr Richards’s research continues to advance
knowledge about the diversity and health of reef-building corals. Zoe regularly shares her interest in
corals, coral reefs and the natural world with a wide variety of audiences, and enjoys working in
unison with indigenous rangers and communities.