Zoe Richards

Curator (Marine Invertebrate Zoology)

Aquatic Zoology

BSc (Hons), PhD


(08) 9212 3872 zoe.richards@museum.wa.gov.au


  • Conservation of coral biodiversity
  • Molecular systematics
  • Biogeography and phylogeography
  • Conservation genetics
  • Population ecology
  • Optimizing monitoring of coral biodiversity 



Conducts and facilitates research on scleractinian corals, focussing on corals from the Kimberley and neighbouring bioregions. 

Services (to other bodies):

Represents the Western Australian Museum at meetings, workshops and provides expert advice about the status, management and conservation of hard corals and coral reef ecosystems. 


Marine Life of the Kimberley Region - museum.wa.gov.au/kimberley

Exhibitions and Public Programs

Provide identifications and expert advice to the public, students, government departments and researchers on all aspects of coral biodiversity and coral reef science. 

Selected Publications

Richards, ZT., Shen C.C., Hobbs, J-P.A, Wu C.C, Jiang, X., Beardsley, F. (2015) Sacred 14th century coral tombs in the ancient capital of the Pacific - Kosrae, Micronesia. Science Advances 1(2), 1-5.

Richards, Z.T., Wallace, C.C., Garcia, R., Rosser, N., Muir, P. (2015) A diverse assemblage of reef corals thriving in a dynamic intertidal reef setting (Bonaparte Archipelago, Kimberley, Australia). Plos One 10(2), 1-17

Richards, Z.T., and Hobbs, J-P.A. (2015) Hybridization on coral reefs and the conservation of evolutionary novelty. Current Zoology 61(1): 132-145

Richards, Z.T., Sampey, A., Marsh, L. (2014) Kimberley Marine Biota. Historical Data: Scleractinian corals. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 84. 111-132.

Richards, Z.T., and Hobbs, J-P.A. (2014) The status of hard coral biodiversity at Christmas Island. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 30, 376-398 Arrigoni, R.,

Richards, Z.T., Chen, C.A., Baird, A.H., Benzoni, F. (2014) Taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the coral genera Australomussa and Parascolymia (Scleractinia, Lobophylliidae). Contributions to Zoology 83(3) 195-215 Thomas, L., Kendrick G.A., Kennington W.J.,

Richards Z.T., and Stat. M. (2014) Symbiodinium diversity and host specificity in Acropora corals from geographical extremes of Western Australia using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing. Molecular Ecology, Vol.23(12): 3113-3126.

Richards, Z.T, Huisman, J. (2014) Coral-mimicking alga Eucheuma arnoldii found at Ashmore Reef. Coral Reefs 33: 441.

Richards, Z.T., Wallace, C.C., Miller, D.J. (2013) Molecular Phylogenetics of geographically restricted Acropora species: Implications for threatened species conservation. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69:837-851.

Richards, Z.T. and Rosser, N.L. (2012) New records of scleractinian coral fauna for the Pilbara Offshore Bioregion. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 95(3): 155-165.

Richards, Z.T. and van Oppen, M.J. (2012) Rarity and genetic diversity in Indo-Pacific Acropora corals. Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.1002/ece3.304. Ceccarelli, D.,

Richards, Z.T., Pratchett, M., and Citanovic, C. (2011) Rapid increases in coral cover on an isolated coral reef, the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve, north-western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 62, 1-7

Richards, Z.T., Beger, M., Pinca, S., and Wallace, C.C. (2008) Bikini Atoll coral biodiversity resilience revealed; five decades after nuclear testing. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 56, 503-515

The Coral Compactus: Western Australia Hard Coral Genus Identification Guide Version 1.1

This guide has been put together by Western Australian Museum Aquatic Zoology Research Scientist Zoe Richards.

Abstract: The intention of this identification guide is to provide coral identification material to support teaching, research, monitoring and biodiversity conservation in Western Australia. This coral identification manual provides an introduction to the characteristics required to identify to genus level shallow-water, reef building corals. It provides summary descriptions of the most useful characters used to distinguish all coral genera known to occur in Western Australia. This manual should be used in conjunction with other taxonomic sources (see reference list).

WA Coral Compactus

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