Work of world-renowned coral taxonomist on display at the UNE Natural History Museum

Image: Two first-year UNE Zoology students taking a look at the new exhibition on display at the UNE Natural History Museum.

A new exhibition showcasing the work of world-renowned coral taxonomist and University of New England (UNE) alumnus, Professor Charlie Veron, is now on display at the UNE Natural History Museum.

The community is invited to view the exhibit, which features a rare collection of corals from the Solitary Islands found by Dr Veron in the 1960s.

“When Charlie was a Zoology student at UNE in the 1960s, he went off and surveyed the corals of the Solitary Islands, just off the coast of NSW, and was actually the first person to realise there were corals growing on reefs in NSW,” says Collections Manager of the UNE Natural History Museum, Professor Karl Vernes.

“Charlie recently won the UNE Distinguished Alumni Award in 2022, so we thought it was really fitting to show students what can be achieved in a career when you have a passion for something.”


Since leaving UNE in the 1960s, Professor Veron has become known as the ‘godfather of corals’ due to his expertise and life-long dedication to their conservation.

Professor Veron was one of the first scientists to connect heat stress with coral bleaching, and is now creating a unique biobank containing one of every species of coral on the Great Barrier Reef to ensure they are preserved for generations to come.

The exhibition is open to the public, and can be viewed between 9:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Read the article on the UNE website here.