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Zeb Hogan, College of Science

Monster Fish Exhibit | Now on display at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga
Check out Zeb's latest TEDx talk | The World's Largest Freshwater Fish

Zeb Hogan: Host of National Geographic's Monster Fish show

The travels of Zeb Hogan, research assistant professor in the College of Science, has taken him from Mongolia to the Pacific Northwest, Thailand to Australia. The purpose? A singular focus for finding, studying and protecting the world’s largest freshwater fish, an effort to bring attention to the growingly fragile freshwater ecosystems and their endangered inhabitants. These megafish are defined as being six feet long and 200 pounds—or larger. Partnering with National Geographic, Hogan documents his travels on the Nat Geo television show, Monster Fish, now in a sixth year of production.

Zeb's Vision

Zeb's vision is to help preserve the delicate balance and thoughtful coexistence between humans and their environments, especially as it relates to endangered freshwater fish.  Through his research and outreach he focuses on the most threatened and endangered of those- the largely forgotten and misunderstood megafish- fish longer than six feet and larger than 200 pounds. The need for healthy freshwater ecosystems is ever increasing while the threats to those very structures accelerates. Hogan is driven to use education to incite world-wide recognition of the urgency of his cause.

Zeb Hogan’s Research

He has crisscrossed six continents—North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia for his research. He has come face-to-face with some of the biggest freshwater fish in existence, such as Thailand’s 14-foot-long freshwater stingray or Mongolia’s six-foot trout. Hogan’s dogged conservation efforts have led to treks up the Amazon and Nile Rivers, through the Lake Baikal watershed in Russia, and projects on tributaries of the Danube and the Yangtze River in China. Some of the behemoths he studies are included in Zeb's Fishpedia.

"Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants"

In 2015, National Geographic Museum launched a traveling exhibit based on Hogan's research efforts. titled "Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants," the exhibition highlights some of the world's largest freshwater giants, such as the 20-foot long Sawfish or the 12-foot Goonch. Visitors to the exhibit, now at the Tennessee Aquarium located in Chattanooga, will learn about the relationship between fish and freshwater ecosystems, the importance of Hogan's research and conservation mission, as well as stories about his quests to track down and study these increasingly rare megafish.

About Zeb Hogan

Zeb Hogan

Zeb Hogan joined the Department of Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2014. For eight years prior to that he was a research biologist with the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

Hogan holds a doctoral degree in ecology from the University of California, Davis and has had a decades-long research focus on migratory fish ecology, multi-species fisheries management, the status and conservation of giant freshwater fish, endangered species issues and conservation genetics. His research has been published in Nature, Science, Conservation Biology and the Environmental Biology of Fishes, as well as popular publications including Time Magazine and National Geographic Magazine.

Widely cited as an expert in his field, Hogan has been quoted by The New York Times and other top-tier news outlets. For a complete list of Zeb's media coverage visit his media page.


  • Research Biologist, University of Nevada
  • United Nations Councilor for Fish
  • National Geographic Society Fellow
  • Host of National Geographic's Television Series, Monster Fish
  • Lead on National Geographic Society's Megafishes Project
  • World Wildlife Fund Senior Freshwater Fellow (2002-2004)
  • Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Thailand's Chiang Mai University (1996-1997)

Geographic Areas of Impact

Zeb's passion for conservation of megafish and their environments has fueled his travels all around the world, over six continents, and has had him encounter the most complex fresh water ecosystem challenges on the planet. Zeb's areas of impact include the following:

  • World Heritage sites
  • Ramsar Wetlands of international importance
  • United Nations environment program biodiversity hotspots
  • The Amazon River
  • The Mekong River
  • The Mississippi River
  • The Nile River
  • Lake Baikal watershed in Russia
  • Murray-Darling River in Australia
  • Tributaries of the Danube and Yangtze River in China.

Contact Us

Mike Wolterbeek ( Mail Stop: 0314)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557

Phone (775) 784-4547

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