Charlie Veron was born in Sydney and now lives near Townsville. He has three higher degrees in different fields of science and was the first full-time researcher on the Great Barrier Reef. He was the first scientist to be employed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, becoming Chief Scientist of that organisation in 1997. He has published a hundred pieces on all aspects of corals, from palaeontology, taxonomy and biogeography to physiology and molecular science, and has also published widely on other subjects, notably evolution and mass extinctions. He has also established a major website at coralsoftheworld.org. His many awards include the Darwin Medal, the Australian Marine Sciences Association Jubilee Pin, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Underwater Science. His work has underpinned most major reef conservation initiatives over the past two decades, inside the Coral Triangle and beyond. Charlie has been diving since the age of eighteen, logging six thousand hours underwater, and has participated in sixty-seven expeditions to most of the world’s key reef regions.