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Zeb Hogan may be best known by people around the world for his show “Monster Fish” on National Geographic, but his work to find, study, and protect giant freshwater fish spans much further than the popular television show.
Zeb began his journey at the University of Arizona, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. Looking to continue his journey into higher education, Zeb then attended Thailand’s Chaing Mai University to study environmental risk assessment. It was during this endeavor that Zeb’s interest in rare and unique fish began to take hold. As he continued his research, Zeb began to focus his efforts on the different types of migratory catfish. One of these catfish, dubbed the “Mekong giant catfish,” was the first giant freshwater fish he had seen in person, sparking his love of these massive creatures and how important it is to understand their relevance to the planet and its ecosystems.
Zeb returned to the United States after his time in Thailand and, in 1997, went on to complete his PhD in ecology at the University of California, Davis. In 2011, Zeb became a National Geographic Fellow and Explorer, eventually leading a multi-year scientific investigation focusing on the world’s largest freshwater fish.
Outside of his work with Monster Fish and National Geographic, Zeb is currently the Principal Investigator of the Wonders of the Mekong Project. This USAID-funded project operates with the goal of documenting the internationally significant natural and human capital assets of the Mekong, communicate to regional and world audiences the value of these assets, and create new models of effective stewardship for Mekong basin ecosystems. Zeb is also a research biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, and regularly lectures at different universities, museums, aquariums, and science centers around the world.
Zeb’s work has greatly benefitted the world of academia and can be seen on display in Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants, the current featured exhibition at The Discovery until January 7, 2024! If you’d like to learn more about Zeb Hogan, check out his eye-opening new book “Chasing Giants,” available in The Discovery’s Museum Store.