John Hooper is an international authority on sponges (Phylum Porifera), with specific research interest in their taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, biodiversity and conservation biology, along with biodiversity and marine conservation in general. He is an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, associated with the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, collaborating with marine natural products chemists and pharmacologists searching for new therapeutic pharmaceutical compounds from marine invertebrates. These collaborations have enabled Queensland Museum to build a collection of over 30,000 specimens in nearly 5,000 species of sponges – most new to science – with molecular barcoding now being a strategic application to resolve their species-level taxonomy and higher systematics relationships. During his career he has described and revised over 600 species, 10 new genera and two new families and suborders of sponges. Dr Hooper has published over 220 peer-reviewed papers and around 100 other technical and popular publications.