Dr. Dana Scakett




Jesse van der Grient works on the potential effects of deep-sea mining on midwater communities, with a focus on the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone while at UH Manoa. She investigates how these communities might respond to an increase in suspended sediments with the aim of developing a model to study these effects across space and time. Furthermore, she works on how deep-sea mining industries might intersect in space with high-seas fisheries. She studied Biological Sciences during her undergraduate at the University of Oxford (UK). She obtained her PhD (DPhil) in 2017 at the same university, studying biodiversity, body size and fishing in deep-sea soft-sediment communities. During her previous postdoc she focused on shallower waters, co-developing and applying a new model framework to investigate multiple interactive stressors in the California Current System and the Chukchi Sea. 



Past Lab Members


Dr. Jeffrey Drazen




Jeff is a professor in the department of Oceanography at University of Hawaii, Manoa. He earned his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (under Dr. Ken Smith) and he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (under Drs. Jim Barry and Bruce Robison). His research interests are the trophic ecology and energetics of fishes in open ocean and deep sea ecosystems. Recently his research has evaluated the use of spatial management strategies for deep water bottomfishes, examined mesoscale variability in micronektonic communities, explored the structure of deep sea and pelagic food webs using stable isotopes and other biomarker techniques, evaluated abyssal fish and scavenger populations in areas that will be mined for metal resources, and examined the structure and function of trench communities including the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. Much of his research has been in collaboration with NMFS scientists and he is a senior fellow of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research.


Jesse van der Grient





Liz Miller



Jessie Perelman is working towards a PhD in biological oceanography. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 with a B.S. in biological sciences, and spent a year in Brisbane, Australia where she studied the feeding dynamics of Indo-Pacific wahoo. After graduation, she worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution focusing on acoustic behaviors in marine invertebrates and coral reef soundscape ecology. In the oceanography program at UH, Jessie is studying midwater ecology and focusing on the potential impacts of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining on deep pelagic ecosystems.


Jessie Perelman





Andrew Tokuda



Andrew is an undergraduate in the Global Environmental Science program. Since his childhood years, Andrew had a constant passion for the ocean and its inhabitants, which drove him to take part in a variety of outreach programs pertaining to the sea, and two international exchange programs involving Japanese longline fishing vessels during his junior and senior year in high school. His research in the lab involves an isotopic analysis of hadal food webs. By exploring one of the most mysterious habitats on the planet, he hopes to foster his research interests in deep-sea fisheries and their role in today's internationally complex modern society. 



Victoria Assad


Victoria Assad is a PhD student in biological oceanography. She graduated from California State University, Monterey Bay in Spring 2020 with a B.S. in Marine Science, B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences - Archaeology, and a minor in Statistics. In undergrad, she was funded by CSUMB's UROC Scholars program and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship to work in the Smith Lab at MBARI studying the impacts of changing food supply on Tergivelum baldwinae. At UH, Victoria’s focus is the impacts of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining on the ecology of deep midwater communities.

Liz Miller is a PhD student in biological oceanography. Originally from Seattle, she graduated from Bard College where she studied grassland plant ecology and soil microbiology. At UH, Liz uses stable isotope chemistry to study food webs in the deep sea off of Hawai'i and California. She is interested in how microbes influence food supply and trophic interactions in the abyssal realm.


Sonia Romero (2018-2020), Astrid Leitner (2018-2019), Clifton Nunnally (2012-2015), Dana Sackett (2012-2015) visit Dana's Google Scholar Page, Cordelia Moore (2011-2012)


Graduate students

Jesse Black (MS 2020), Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats (PhD 2019), Astrid Leitner (PhD 2018), Mackenzie Gerringer (PhD 2017) visit Mackenzie's website, Kristen Gloeckler (MS 2016), Anela Choy (MS 2008, PhD 2013) visit Anela's website, William Misa (BS 2009, MS 2012), Nicole Condon (MS 2011), Jason  Friedman (MS 2011), John Yeh (MS 2008), Lisa DeForest (MS 2008)




Chris Demarke (2007-2015), John Yeh (2011-2015), Matthew Waterhouse (2011-2013), Elan Portner (2011-2013), Bo Alexander (2007- 2010)



Yuuki Niimi (2018), Jen Wong-Ala (2017), Jana Phipps (2017), Erica Donlon (2016), Whitney Ko (2014), William Truong (2014), Aharon Fleury (2013), Erica Aus (2012), Jessica Sun (2011), Bryant Dugan (2011), Molly-Jean Martin (2006)



Exchange students

Sonia Romero (2016; PhD student, University of Oviedo, Spain), Kazia Mermel (2014-2015, undergraduate, Carleton College), Suzi Wilson (2010-2011, undergraduate, U. of Glasgow), Krystle Turkington (2007, undergraduate, Hawaii Pacific University), Katrina Loewy (2006, undergraduate, Colorado College)



Tyler is an undergraduate in the marine biology program. He spent two years assisting in a project which involved cataloging juvenile fishes from NOAA trawls. Now he has started his own project aimed at understanding the systematics of mesopelagic lanternfishesops of Africa, basically.

Tyler Iyomasa

Gina Selig is a PhD student in biological oceanography. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2020 with a B.S. in Marine Science and a minor in chemistry. As an undergraduate, Gina was a class of 2018 NOAA Educational Partnership Program Undergraduate Scholar where she interned with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research as well as the NOAA Office of Coast Survey. Gina’s areas of interest include deep-sea mining, hadal ecosystem studies, and food-web ecology.

Gina Selig

Last updated 12/2/20