Richard C. Brusca


Welcome to Richard C. Brusca’s web site.   Rick is an invertebrate zoologist, marine biologist, conservation ecologist, Southwestern naturalist, and desert rat.  He is Executive Director, Emeritus, of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (and currently a Research Associate).  He is also a Research Scientist at the University of Arizona and the Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo (CIAD), Mexico.  Rick is the author of over 200 research publications and 15 books, including the largest-selling text on invertebrate zoology (Invertebrates 3rd ed., Sinauer Associates; available in four languages) and the popular field guides Common Intertidal Invertebrates of the Gulf of California (UofA Press), A Seashore Guide to the Northern Gulf of California (ASDM Press), and A Natural History the Santa Catalina Mountains, with an Introduction to the Madrean Sky Islands (ASDM Press).   Rick's books have won numerous awards, including the Southwest Book of the Year and the New England Book Show's Best College Text.  Books that Rick developed for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press also have won many awards, including three IPPY’s, the AAAS Children’s Science “Highest Rating” award, the Arizona State Libraries One Book Award (one book that every Arizona child should read), Américas Award for Latin American Studies, Moonbeam Gold Medal for Spanish Language Children's Books, and the Tabasco Regional Cookbook Award. 

Rick has been the recipient of more than 100 research grants from the National Science Foundation, NOAA, National Geographic Society, Charles Lindberg Foundation, National Park Service, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and many other agencies and foundations.  Rick’s area of greatest interest is the Sea of Cortez and the Sonoran Desert.  He has served on panels and boards for many foundations and agencies, including the National Science Board, National Science Foundation, Smithsonian Institution, NOAA, PEW Program in Conservation and the Environment, Public Broadcasting Service, IUCN Species Survival Commission, U.S. Department of the Interior, and others.  He has served on more than a dozen non-profit boards and was co-founder of the Western Flyer Foundation ( and the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center (SABCC).  Although he has organized and conducted field expeditions throughout the world, in over 50 countries and on every continent, he has maintained his research programs in the Sonoran Desert and the Gulf of California for more than 40 years.  He is an elected  Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Linnean Society of London (FLS), and the California Academy of Sciences.  He is also the recipient of a  U.S. Department of Defense Service Medal and the Luminaria Award from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  Contact me.

• Daughter Carlene Brusca with grandson Giovanni Ricardo Brusca; RCB with wife Wendy Moore.

• Rick Brusca’s primary region of interest.

For information on the novel, In the Land of the Feathered Serpent, please visit