John received a B.S. in Marine Science/Biology from Long Island University in New York before moving to UC Davis where he completed his Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from one of the world’s top ecology programs. After the completion of his Ph.D., John followed God’s calling into full-time pastoral ministry in Davis, CA and completed a M.A. in Ministry and Leadership at Sacramento’s Western Seminary. Dr. Richert joined WJU Biology four years ago as an adjunct professor and has developed and taught several courses in our Biology, Environmental Science and online programs.


John’s passion is in marine biology. During his undergrad years, he had opportunities to survey coral reefs in the Caribbean and South Pacific Ocean, as well as conduct and publish research on the behavior of white sharks off the central California coast. His Ph.D. research analyzed the movements and feeding habits of large migratory marine fish – tunas, billfish, and sharks – in the southern Gulf of California. He also examined the socio-economic impacts of small-scale fisheries in Baja California, Mexico. His experience in marine ecology and fisheries has led him to combine scientific research with missions work in Haiti, and he is currently developing a program to survey biodiversity of reef fishes and impacts on fisheries management in the developing nation.

Why Jessup

God has given me a mind for teaching and research, but a heart for discipleship. I believe we have the responsibility to train up the next generation of Christ followers, and WJU provides an ideal opportunity to engage, equip and empower the next generation to carry out Christ’s work. Here at Jessup we have been given a unique privilege to build a truly Christ-centered and Gospel-motivated science program, and I am grateful to be part of building this program.

Favorite Class to Teach

BIOL 100 – I love being able to awaken the wonder of non-science majors and to challenge them to engage our science-minded culture with the truth of the Gospel.

My Inspiration

I am inspired by my own four children (ages 7-13) because I recognize the challenging world that they will have to navigate to fulfill God’s purpose in their own lives. They remind me that every WJU student is someone’s son or daughter, and as a professor I have been entrusted with their training and care by both their parents and our Heavenly Father.

Recent Work/Scholarship

The bulk of John’s research was conducted in the amazing southern Gulf of California.  This dynamic environment hosts an abundance of large migratory fish species, and he has studied the feeding habits of tuna, billfish, dorado and other important sport fish.  In addition, he has worked with the local fishermen and conducted some small fish tagging projects as well.   Klimley at al., 2005 - The Home of Blue Water Fish Richert et al., 2015 - Interpreting nitrogen stable isotopes in the study of migratory fishes ​ John has just returned from a summer trip exploring the potential of a study to survey reef fish biodiversity on the northeast coast of Haiti. He is now developing this research program that will have implications for marine management and the people of Haiti.