John “Charlie” Veron

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Homo
Species: Homo sapiens

I want to take the time to talk about the major people that have been involved in the various aspects of marine science. During freshman year of college, my very first class was spent talking about some of the influential people that helped to get us to where we are today, one being Aristotle and his recorded work in marine biology. So many people—naturalists, sailors, and scientists—have done so much for all of the fields in marine science that I didn’t know where to start, but I want them all to be known.

So I went back to why I started this blog, because I’m a coral enthusiast, and I wanted to share my love for them and their world with everyone else, which led me to Charlie Veron, a fellow coral lover.

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1945, Dr. Veron has spent his life dedicated to coral and their reefs, so much so that he has been dubbed the “King of Coral” or the “Godfather of Coral.” How did he earn such a title?

Dr. Veron is credited for formally naming and describing over 100 new species of coral and discovering about 20% of the world’s coral species. He’s worked in Australia, the Caribbean, and every major coral reef area in the world. Many of the species he has found belong to the genus Acropora, the same genus as the Elkhorn coral that I first spoke about!

He’s written several books, including a three volume series called The Coral of the World, and he’s authored more than 100 scientific papers. Even now, he hasn’t put up his hat at over 70 years old!

With the help of many colleagues, Dr. Veron is developing a free website based on his famous three-volume book on coral. The website is updated as information changes and is an amazing resource for students and researchers alike—and I can’t wait to start looking through it myself! He’s also actively campaigning on climate change, ocean acidification, mass bleaching of coral reefs, and so many related issues through interviews and documentaries.

I highly recommend watching some of the documentaries that he’s featured in. I got the chance to see Raising Extinction by Rob Stewart, in which Dr. Veron had had an interview, and he was so interesting to listen to. It’s nice to see that even at such an age, he still has so much love and conviction for the ocean, and I’m thankful for all that he’s done and is still doing. His work is inspiring, whether or not you’re interested in coral!

Sources and cool links:
Ocean: The Definitive Visual Guide made by the American Museum of Natural History
http://www.coralsoftheworld.org/species_factsheets/ (This is the website I was talking about!!!!!)
http://therevolutionmovie.com/index.php/biography/dr-john-charlie-veron/

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