View Mode


Jack Randall

Photographer / Artist  


Dr John (Jack) Ernest Randall (b. 1924) is an American icthyologist and leading authority on coral reef fishes. After he obtained a BA honours in Zoology at UCLA he worked as a teaching assistant and did other work to pay off his debts before sailing his ketch, the Nani, to Hawaii in 1950. There he obtained a PhD from the University of Hawaii, afterwards taking up a post as a graduate assistant in zoology. He was Professor of Zoology at the University of Puerto Rico (1961–1965), and then served a year as Director of the Institute of Marine Biology, Puerto Rico. From 1966-1984 he worked as an ichthyologist & Senior Ichthyologist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. His long career has included innumerable field trips, with thousands of hours underwater. He is widely regarded as the undisputed master of Indo-Pacific fishes, and has more than 550 papers to his name. Randall has written several regional taxonomic guide books, authored more than 500 new species of fishes, and has ~40 species named after him. He was the first to explain the origin of ciguatera poisoning, and discovered that the broad band of bare sand around reefs, now known as the Randall Zone, was the result of overgrazing by herbivorous fishes. He developed the technique of taking photographs of fishes posed in specially designed photo tanks. In 2005 he was awarded the first Bleeker Award in Systematic Ichthyology at the Seventh Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Taipei, Taiwan. In his nineties, Randall still lives in Hawaii where he continues to write and describe species.

Text adapted from 'Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean'.

Designed & Developed by Rebin Infotech