Luiz Rocha is the curator of ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes. He frequently tries to combine these fields, invoking ecology to help explain evolutionary patterns and using molecular tools to test biogeographic and systematic hypotheses. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to test existing hypotheses (and propose new ones) about what generates and maintains the extremely high biodiversity in tropical coral reefs. He has spent more than 5,000 hours underwater collecting and observing fish, and published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles. In addition, his work has been featured in many popular media outlets including the New York Times, Scientific American and National Geographic magazine.