Dana completed her M.S. research at Rutgers University under Dr. Ken Able, examining fish habitat use and migration dynamics in 2006.  She completed her Ph.D. in fish ecology with a minor in ecotoxicology at North Carolina State University under Drs. Derek Aday and Jim Rice in June, 2011.  Dana is currently a postdoctoral researcher examining the efficacy of Bottomfish Restricted Fishing Areas (BRFAs) on the recovery of bottomfish populations in the main Hawaiian Islands.  Her other current projects include using chemical tissue analysis to better understand foraging ecology and food web dynamics of several bottomfish species.

Visit Dana's Google Scholar Page

Cliff is a benthic ecologist interested in both the faunal makeup of soft deep-sea sediments and the biogeochemical processes that control carbon and nutrient turnover. In the Drazen lab he is responsible for the development of a new respirometer capable of working at full ocean depths.  This respirometer will be used to answer questions that relate to pressure adaptations and food supply of hadal fauna.  He will also evaluate the nematode community as part of the Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES) project with the intent of describing the community make-up and its relation to the trench food web.  In the future, he would like to address the impact of nematodes on the immediate cycling of carbon upon arrival at the sea floor using principles of ecological stoichiometry paired with biogeochemical tracer experiments. 

Dr. Cliff Nunnally



Dr. Dana Scakett


Post-doctoral Fellows



Mackenzie is working toward a doctoral degree in Marine Biology. She developed a passion for deep-sea biology while working at Whitman College on adaptations to high pressure. She has participated in research cruises to the Kermadec and New Hebrides Trenches in the Southern Pacific Ocean. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and German Studies in 2012, Mackenzie taught eighth and ninth grade English as a Fulbright Scholar in Bremen, Germany. Her current research interests center on the age, growth, and adaptations of the planet’s deepest-living fishes.

Dr. Dana Sackett



Jason Friedman







Astrid Leitner is currently pursuing a PhD in biological oceanography and graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a BS in Earth and Planetary Sciences with an Ocean Sciences Concentration and a BS in Marine Biology. In her undergraduate studies she worked on coastal ecology in the kelp forests and the rocky intertidal at her home institution as well as deep sea biology through a submarine canyon project at Hatfield Marine Science Center. At UH manoa she is working on the ABYSSLINE project, developing an ecological baseline for the abyssal ecosystem in the Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone in light of recent mining claims. Additionally, she is continuing her work on abrupt topographies especially seamount ecosystems. She has just started the oceanography program in August and has already been on two research cruises with many more to come.

Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats is a Ph.D. student examining the potential impacts of climate change on North Pacific fisheries.  Prior to her studies at UH, she earned a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and a M.S. in meteorology and physical oceanography from the University of Miami.  She then went on to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), first as an officer in their Commissioned Corps and now as a civilian research oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu.  Phoebe’s research interests include investigating how organisms make use of their environment and using food web models to predict the impacts of both climate change and fishing on North Pacific ecosystems.

Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats




Astrid Leitner





Chris Demarke



Data Manager


Virginia has been involved in deep-water snapper research as a member of the Bottomfish Project since 1997 when she assisted in the population genetic study of ehu and onaga. In 2000, she joined the hatchery team in researching methods to culture snappers, primarily opakapaka, for stock enhancement. Since 2006, Virginia has analyzed underwater video and maintained the database for the project.


Virginia Moriwake



Chris was raised in Hawaii and has been involved with boats and all types fishing from an early age. He received his B.A in Zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1986.  He then spent the next 20 years at the Oceanic Institute at Makapu'u.  His focus was on the larval rearing of various saltwater species.  In 2007 he joined the Bottomfish project at the University of Hawaii.  He began with the culture of Opakapaka and moved into BotCam operations.  His duties include BotCam logistics, fieldwork, and video annotation.

Past Lab Members


Cordelia Moore - postdoc (2011-2012)


Anela Choy - grad student (MS 2008, PhD 2013) visit Anela's website

William Misa - undergrad (BS 2009) and grad student (MS 2012)

Nicole Condon - grad student (MS 2011)

Jason  Friedman - grad student (MS 2011)

John Yeh - grad student (MS 2008) and tech (2008-2011)

Lisa DeForest - grad student (MS 2008)



Matthew Waterhouse - tech (2011-2013)

Elan Portner - tech (2011-2013)

Bo Alexander - tech (2007- 2010)



Aharon Fleury - undergrad (BS 2013)

Erica Aus - undergrad (BS 2012)

Suzi Wilson - undergrad exchange student (2010-2011 from U. of Glasgow) 

Jessica Sun - undergrad (BS 2011)

Bryant Dugan - undergrad (BS 2011)

Krystle Turkington - undergrad (HPU BS 2007)

Molly-Jean Martin - undergrad (BS 2006)

Mackenzie Gerringer




Dr. Jeffrey Drazen




Jason received a BS from Cornell University in 2008 majoring in Evolutionary Biology and Ocean Sciences.  During undergrad, he spent summers at Cornell's Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine, as a student, researcher, and teaching assistant.  After Cornell, he came to University of Hawaii and received an MS in Biological Oceanography (2011), studying the adaptations of slope fishes off California to a persistently low-oxygen environment.  He now works primarily as a researcher on the Bottomfish project while assisting with other project design and construction, such as the Hadal Respirometer. 


Last updated 03/14/14
Last updated 10/02/14

Jeff received his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2000 working under Dr. Ken Smith on the feeding ecology of bathyal and abyssal fishes. After graduation he backpacked around the world with his wife for a year hitting all the continents including Antarctica.  Afterwards, he took a postdoctoral position at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute under Drs. Jim Barry and Bruce Robison working on a diversity of projects most involving the use or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).  Jeff joined the Oceanography faculty at University of Hawaii, Manoa in 2004 where he continues to pursue many aspects of deep-sea fish ecology.

Kristen Gloeckler




Kristen is pursuing a M.S. in biological oceanography.  She graduated with a B.S. in Aquatics and Fisheries Science from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where she studied the feeding behavior of Caribbean corals using bulk stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis for her undergraduate thesis.  Kristen has ample field experience working on coral reefs on several Caribbean islands including Dominica, Bocas del Toro, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.  After her undergrad, she lived for a year in the Dominican Republic working on restoration of the endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis.  Here at UH Kristen is returning to work with stable isotopes.  For her Master’s thesis she will be using compound specific nitrogen isotope analysis of amino acids to study the relative importance of micronekton, such as the world’s most abundant vertebrates, Cyclothone, or bristlemouth fishes, to the mesopelagic food-web.