My research focuses on the diversity and conservation of life in the ocean in general and on coral reefs in particular. Over the last decade I have worked on cryptic species, the phylogenies of corals and shrimps, rates of molecular evolution across the Isthmus of Panama, the diversity and ecological significance of microbial symbionts of corals, alternate stable states, and the ecology of pristine coral reef ecosystems. For many of these projects, evidence from ecology, reproductive biology, morphology and genetics was combined to give a broader understanding of marine biodiversity. Currently, I help lead a project to combine next-gen sequencing with standardized sampling to estimate how human activities and other factors influence patterns of marine biodiversity across the globe. I also lead a variety of outreach efforts, including the Ocean Portal and the Beyond the Obituaries initiative, and am interested in how the arts and social media can support ocean conservation.