John Veron

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John Veron
Born John Edward Norwood Veron
Sydney, Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of New England (B.A. (Hons) (M.Sc.) (Ph.D.)
Known for
Scientific career
Institutions American Academy of Underwater Sciences
Australian Marine Sciences Association
Australian Institute of Marine Science
International Society for Reef Studies
James Cook University
Author abbrev. (zoology) J. E. N. Veron

John Veron (b. 1945), credited in research as J. E. N. Veron, and in other writing as Charlie Veron, is a wide-ranging specialist in corals and reefs.[1] He is believed to have discovered more than twenty percent of the world's coral species. [2]

Early life[edit]

John Edward Norwood Veron was born in 1945 in Sydney. He was largely self-taught although he attended a private school in Sydney.[1] He won a Commonwealth scholarship as a gifted child and went on to the University of New England.[1] His main interests were in the natural world, especially marine life.[1]

Career and education[edit]

He has three higher degrees in different fields. He was the chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and he has many professional awards including the Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award (American Academy of Underwater Sciences), the Darwin Medal (International Society for Reef Studies) and the Silver Jubilee Pin (Australian Marine Sciences Association).[3] He has named about 20% of reef corals and built a taxonomic framework for corals that is used throughout the world. [2] He founded the Orpheus Island Marine Station. He discovered and delineated the Coral Triangle. He introduced the concept of reticulate evolution to the marine world.[1]

Books written[edit]

Veron has written many books and monographs about corals and coral reefs, including:

  • A Life Underwater (Penguin Random House), (2017)
  • A Reef in Time: the Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End (Harvard University Press), (2008)
  • Corals of the World (three volumes, Australian Institute of Marine Science), (2000)
  • Hermatypic corals of Japan (with Moritaka Nishihira, in Japanese), (1995)
  • Corals in Space and Time (Cornell University Press), (1995)
  • Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific (Hawaii University Press), (1986)
  • Scleractinia of Eastern Australia (five volumes with co-authors, Australian Institute of Marine Science), (1976-1984)

Later life[edit]

Veron was the first full-time researcher on the Great Barrier Reef (1972) and the first scientist employed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (1974). Has participated in 67 expeditions to all the major reef provinces in the world. Since 2008 he together with a number of colleagues have been producing an open access website about coral taxonomy, biogeography and identification: Corals of The World ( This website includes the mapping program Coral Geographic and identification program (CoralID). Has campaigned extensively on climate change, mass bleaching of coral reefs, ocean acidification and related environmental issues.


  1. ^ a b c d e Vernon, Charlie (2017). A Life Underwater. Penguin Random House.
  2. ^ a b McCalman, Iain. (2014). Explorer Pleads to Save the Great Barrier Reef. Scientific American.
  3. ^ Harvard University Press (2017). A Reef in Time The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End - J.E.N. Vernon.

External Links[edit]