The Johansen lab is stationed on the beautiful Coconut Island (http://www.himb.hawaii.edu) and lab research is dedicated to understanding how endemic and invasive coral reef fishes react and adapt to natural and anthropogenic environmental stressors. A primary focus of research is the consequences of catchment run-off (sedimentation, turbidity, industrial effluent) and rising ocean temperatures on near-shore reef fishes, utilizing the state of the art facilities at HIMB as well as the amazing coral reefs at our doorstep and throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago.
Sediment tolerance thresholds:
Tropical coral reef are a source of vital ecosystem services to over 600 million people worldwide, providing fisheries, tourism and shoreline protection. Yet, along with global climate change, coral reef organisms are exposed to multiple local stressors related to human activities, including coastal developments and land-use practices that result in nutrient and sediment discharge to near-shore reefs Sediment and nutrient run-off is now classified as one of the primary and most damaging threats to coral reefs worldwide, but this is also a threat that can be dealt with effectively at the local scale. To retain ecosystem health and minimize the risk of decline, there is a need for well-informed scientific information on which to base management relating to threshold limits of sediment discharge. We are planning several multidisciplinary projects to provide such thresholds for critically important reef fish species in Hawaii and elsewhere, by combining our in-house specialized expertise in field ecology, behavioral ecology, and stress physiology of reef fishes. Our ultimate goal is to assist management and communities is restoring and retaining the health and productivity of these important socio-ecological systems.
The coral reefs of the southern Arabian Gulf are exposed to the most extreme temperatures of any coral reef ecosystem on Earth, with summer temperatures regularly exceeding 36C (97F). One of the big mysteries of these coral reefs is the fact that many reef fish species seem to disappear from visual censuses during seasonal extremes. Prevailing theory suggests that reef fishes may be migrating away from the reefs to deeper, cooler water to survive. Alternatively, they may become dormant within the reef matrix, only to emerge again once conditions improve. Over the next couple of years (2020-2022) we are putting this question to the test, after successfully securing a highly competitive UAE Research and Innovation Grant. Using the Arabian Gulf reefs as a natural laboratory for how many other coral reefs around the globe will fare under climate change and ocean warming, the outcome of this study will be informative to fisheries and environmental managers alike.
The Johansen Lab is also presently working closely with Professors John Burt and Holly Shiels via New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE, to spearhead coral reef research in the Arabian Gulf. The primary research focus in UAE is to investigate ecological and physiological trade-offs (costs and consequences) associated with survival under the extreme conditions of the Arabian Gulf (the warmest coral reef on Earth).
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in behavioral and physiological stress responses of coral reef fishes
WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THIS POSITION
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Fellowship description and duties:
The Johansen laboratory (www.JohansenLab.com) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (https://www.hawaii.edu/himb/) is seeking to recruit a quantitative postdoctoral fellow to conduct laboratory and field work in coral reef ecosystems. The successful candidate will design and lead research investigating behavioral and eco-physiological responses of coral reef fishes to the major anthropogenic stressors currently facing coral reef ecosystems in Hawaii and globally (e.g. terrigenous run-off, pollutants, ocean warming, habitat loss).
Research context and specific focus:
Coral reefs are in decline globally, largely due to a combination of global (climate change) and localized (e.g. terrestrial sediment run-off, turbidity, pollution, dredging) pressures from human activity. To effectively conserve and mitigate impacts, there is a need to quantify the responses of key species, particularly those important to ecosystem functions and productivity/fisheries. The Johansen Lab is dedicated to understanding how critical species, including endemic and invasive coral reef fishes, react and adapt to environmental stressors and determine threshold tolerance levels beyond which deleterious consequences arise. We work throughout the Hawaiian archipelago and globally, drawing on examples from naturally extreme systems.
The postdoc will develop novel research questions focused on the behavioral and physiological stress responses associated with single or combined stressors within an ecologically relevant context. The postdoc need not have prior experience with coral reef fishes, but will have a broad perspective and be able compare findings across ecological relevant scales.
The postdoc will be based in the lab of Dr. Jacob Johansen at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB). HIMB is within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST; http://www.soest.hawaii.edu) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. HIMB provides unparalleled research opportunities, and is located in a unique location on Moku o Lo‘e Island (Coconut Island) surrounded by coral reefs in Kane‘ohe Bay of O‘ahu (~ 24 km from the main university campus in Manoa).
Research in the Johansen Lab focuses on how tropical coral reef organisms react and adapt to natural and human-induced environmental stress. Topics of particular interest include species habitat selection, species range-shifts, habitat invasions, and the capacity of species to mitigate ongoing stressors. We use a combination of field and state-of-the-art laboratory techniques to quantify impacts of disturbances on ecosystem health and resilience, and provide practical solutions to policymakers, communities and industries. As such, research that inform questions of fundamental importance to coral reef conservation are encouraged.
The Johansen Lab and HIMB is a supportive and stimulating research environment with a group of highly collegial scientists who are committed to scientific exploration, open science, and enhancing diversity in STEM. We offer a unique work environment providing access to diving/boating as well as flow-through aquarium facilities with capacity to hold a range of species and manipulate multiple environmental parameters including temperature, oxygen, salinity, suspended sediment loads/turbidity. We also offer access to a range of specialized equipment, including swimming and resting respirometry, video, flumes, surgery, tagging/tracking, and ocean water quality data logging and monitoring.
Appointment and application:
The postdoc stipend fellowship is initially for one year, renewable for up to three years based on performance and funding availability. Fellowship stipend is commensurate with experience. The start date is flexible but may begin as early as February 2020.
Candidates should submit the following materials via email to Dr. Johansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) in a single PDF document, with the subject heading “Johansen Lab postdoc application”. Screening of applicants will begin immediately. Interviews will be conducted among applications received no later than Jan. 31, 2019 (Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time):
Quality and originality of the research proposal, individual qualifications and background, academic excellence, and collegiality will be the primary criteria in selecting the successful candidate.
In addition to the advertised position, there are a number of postdoctoral funding opportunities available for US and international applicants to work in our lab for up to 3 years (e.g. NSF postdoctoral fellowships, European Marie-Curie, EMBO, Fulbright etc), and we will be happy to work closely with you to prepare the proposal.
We are not presently accepting any further MSc/PhD applications for 2020. We will accept new applications for the 2021 cohort from students interested in applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (https://www.nsfgrfp.org/) or other similar funding sources to join exciting research opportunities with the Johansen Fish Lab at HIMB. Please feel free to present yourself and your research interests via email. If there is strong synergy, we will gladly work with you on your proposal. Next deadline is October 2020. Get in touch if you believe this may be suited to you.
Please keep an eye on this webpage for additional exciting upcoming opportunities in our lab.