Kaufman, Les

Les Kaufman has been an aquarium hobbyist since 1964, beginning with guppies and progressing rapidly to cichlids and marine fishes.  In 1968 he helped to found and write The Marine Aquarist magazine. Les began field research and ocean eploration in 1974, resulting in a career studyig evolution, ecology, and conservation of coral reefs and the Great Lakes of Africa.  After college, Les moved to Boston, worked for three years on cichlids, damselfishes and wrasses with Professor Karel Liem at Harvard.

In 1983, he joined The New England Aquairum, for eleven years leading the education programs, special exhibit R&D,and finlly serving as Chief Scientist.  He led the Lake Victoria Research Team from 1989 - 1996, co-founded the first Species Survival Plans (SSPs) for the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (incuding one for Lake Victoria cichlids), and worked iwth The World Bank to create LVEMP, a global environmental facility restoration project for Lake Victoria.

Since 1994, Les has been with the Boston University Marine Program where he is Associate Director, teachescourses on marine science and conservation, and develops science to support marine ecosystem-based management.  Since 2005, he has servedas Principa Investigator for Marine Management Area Science with Conservation International, leading a network of large-scale coral reff conservation experiments in Brazil. Belize, Panama, and Fiji (www.conservation.org/mmas).  The MMAS project includes studies of how corals respond to stress, diagostics for coral reef health, and how coral reefs regenerate from pollution and gobal climate change.

Les writes for National Geographic, Ranger Rick, and other popular publications and has worked on a variety of nature films and science education programs for television. He was the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation (www.pewoceanscience.org/fellowssite/ellows.php).


  • Shaping the Aquarium Hobby and Profession into a Force for Conservation
  • East African Cichlids--Conservation and Societal Impact
Speaker Type: 
Speaker Topics: 
Cichids, African
Marine, Reef & Brackish

Past Speaking Events

Event Name Date
ACA-NECA 2019 Convention Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 12:00 to Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 19:00
NEC 2009 Convention - "Starfish Wars: Revenge of the Ick" Friday, March 20, 2009 - 09:00 to Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 18:30