Dr. Dana Scakett




Astrid Leitner recently completed her PhD in biological oceanography and previously 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 worked on the ABYSSLINE project, developing an ecological baseline for the abyssal ecosystem in the Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone in light of recent mining claims. She is continuing her work on abrupt topographies especially seamount ecosystems.

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.



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)



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)



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




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. 

Last updated 08/04/17



Sonia Romero





Jesse Black




Sonia Romero's research centers on the use of stable isotope analysis to elucidate the trophic ecology of deep-sea food webs from zooplankton to top predators. She earned her PhD in 2017 from the University of Oviedo (Spain) where she investigated trophic ecology in the Avilés Submarine Canyon ecosystem as well as the pathways of particulate organic matter within the food web. At UH Manoa, Sonia is examining the importance of suspended particles in food resources across pelagic food webs of contrasting ecosystems using amino acid compound-specific nitrogen isotope measurements.

Jesse Black is a PhD student in biological oceanography. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 with a B.S. in biology. As an undergraduate research assistant, Jesse studied the microbial ecology of hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. After graduating, he worked as a research technician at the University of Chicago for a year studying photosynthetic microbes and their viruses in the Great Lakes. Jesse's research at UH is focused on determining the relative influence of environmental drivers on the growth of deep-sea fish.