Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

New Fish Species Discovered in Overlooked Coral Reefs

As much as coral reefs have captured the interest of scientists and the public, little is known about reefs that occur more than 200 feet below the surface.  These mesophotic, or “middle light,” reefs are the interest of Carole Baldwin, curator of fishes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Baldwin has been studying such reefs in the Caribbean Sea and searching for new fish species.  While marine life in the Caribbean has been well surveyed, mesophotic reefs have not.  Much of this knowledge gap is a result of the difficulty of visiting such ocean depths, which are generally too deep for scuba diving.  Discovering multiple new species in the Caribbean was “a huge surprise,” Baldwin said.  “Everyone thought, ‘Been there, done that.’ ”

Baldwin’s efforts were chronicled in an article published by the Washington Post on 31 October 2011.  Read the article at

New Fish Species Discovered in Overlooked Coral Reefs
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