Dr. Dana Scakett




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.

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.

Past Lab Members



Clifton Nunnally (2012-2015), Dana Sackett (2012-2015) visit Dana's Google Scholar Page, Cordelia Moore (2011-2012)


Graduate students

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)



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)



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.



Astrid Leitner





Phoebe Woodworth-Jefcoats





Virginia Moriwake




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 investigating mesopelagic micronekton in the Pacific through gut content analysis of lancetfish. She aims to better understand the life history and biology of these midwater predators, and hopes to expand these methods to other systems as she continues to explore her research interests.


Jessica Perelman





Yuuki Niimi





Andrew Tokuda



Yuuki Niimi is an undergraduate in the Marine Biology program. He has a wide range of interests relating to the deep sea, from the biogeography and the biodiversity of deep sea ecosystems to the conservation of deep sea habitats. Previously, he worked on the escape behaviors of copepods at the Pacific Bioscience Research Center under Dr. Petra Lenz. Under Dr. Drazen, he is working on characterizing of the mesopelagic micronekton community in the Central Equatorial Pacific, which is funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. From his research, Yuuki wants to understand how the ecosystem would change with latitude and give new insight to fishery management..

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. 

Last updated 08/04/17