Specialties: Coral Reefs, Ecosystem Health, Environmental Law and Policy, Pacific Nations, Tropical Ecosystems
Robert "Bob" Richmond is the director of the University of Hawai`i at Manoa's Kewalo Marine Marine Laboratory. He also serves as a professor and a Pew Fellow in marine conservation. Richmond works to strike a balance between basic and applied research. He uses research results to inform the management and preservation of tropical marine ecosystems and marine biodiversity. He is also the former President of the International Society for Reef Studies, the Science Advisor to the All-Islands Committee of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, a science advisor for the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and a member of the Science and Policy Advisory Committee for the Palau International Coral Reef Center. He received awards from the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force in 2003 for “Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge” and in 2014 for his scientific mentoring and support for communities on coral reef issues. Richmond recieved an Aldo Leopold Fellowship in Environmental Leadership in 2004 and a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation in 2006. He works closely with community-based organizations, elected and traditional leaders, and stakeholders. He has trained over 60 Pacific Islanders in his laboratory over the years. Richmond has been the P.I. or Co-P.I. on over $18 million in research grants from NSF, NIH and NOAA. He also served as Director of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory from 1989 - 1991.
His research interests include coral reef ecology, marine conservation biology, ecotoxicology, bridging science to management and policy, and the integration of traditional ecological knowledge with modern approaches to resource use and protection. His childhood fascination with “Dr. Doolittle” helped inspire his approach to studying coral reefs by “listening” to corals and other reef creatures through the use of ecological indicators and molecular biomarkers.
Richmond received a B.S. in Biology/Geology with High Distinction from the University of Rochester in 1976, an M.S. in Marine Environmental Sciences from the Marine Sciences Research Center, SUNY at Stony Brook, in 1982, a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Dept. of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY at Stony Brook in 1983 and a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Since then, he has spent most of his professional career studying coral reef ecosystems in both the Caribbean and the Pacific, including the Virgin Islands, the Grenadines, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Japan and throughout Micronesia.