Biodiversity & Conservation

The Biodiversity and Conservation Science program focuses on knowledge and understanding of the great biodiversity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and the best ways to conserve it for future generations. One of the first HRI projects, even before moving in to our new building in 2005, was to determine the total biodiversity of the Gulf of Mexico. That project culminated in 2009 after 7 years of effort with the publication of Gulf of Mexico-Origin, Waters, and Biota Volume 1 Biota and placement of the entire dataset of information regarding 15,419 species online in GulfBase. The 40 taxa presented in both venues include the work of 140 authors/taxonomists from 80 institutions in 15 countries. The database of species and all the associated information is now open access for all scientists, managers, and educators to utilize to better understand and manage the Gulf ecosystem. The main work of the Biodiversity and Conservation Science program today is maintenance of GulfBase and a new project (Biodiversity of the Southern Gulf of Mexico) off the northwestern Yucatan Peninsula on the Campeche Bank.