The first studies on the biodiversity in the Azores started with expeditions of European naturalists in the 18th century, notably J. Gustav Hebb, John W. Webster, H. Drouet, A. Morelet and Frederick Godman. Famous expeditions to the Azores also included those of the L´Hirondelle and of the Prince of Monaco. Dalberto Teixeira Pombo was the most notable investigator of Azorean natural history during the last decades of the 20th century, collaborating with most of the scientists visiting these islands and contributing to the discovery of many new species of endemic arthropods.
However, in the last 20 years several research groups from the University of the Azores contributed decisively to the knowledge of the evolutionary history and biodiversity of Azores. We now have available the first list of Azorean terrestrial biodiversity and a Web Portal dedicated to Azorean biodiversity and its distribution across the islands.
The most important research in marine biodiversity is conducted by Azorean scientists at the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries (Horta, Faial) and the Department of Biology (Ponta Delgada, São Miguel). The leading groups in the study of terrestrial biodiversity are the Azorean Biodiversity Group and the Group for the study of the Ecology and Vegetation of the Azores – GEVA (both at the Department of Agrarian Sciences – CITA-A, Terceira) and the CIBIO-Azores group at Department of Biology (Ponta Delgada, São Miguel).