Luiz Rocha is the Follett Chair of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. His major research interests include evolution, conservation, taxonomy, and community ecology of coral reef fishes. He frequently tries to combine these fields, linking ecology to evolution and using molecular tools to answer biogeographic and taxonomic questions.
The overall objective of this interdisciplinary research is to explain what generates and maintains the extremely high biodiversity in tropical coral reefs, both shallow and deep. He has spent more than 5,000 hours underwater and published more than 110 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, and supported conservation efforts across the globe.