Assistant Research Professor
University Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB)

Jacob Johansen, an ecophysiologist, is originally from Denmark where he completed a B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Copenhagen before moving to Queensland, Australia, for his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at James Cook University. His Ph.D. research focused on the ecological and physiological response of tropical coral reef fishes to environmental stressors including extreme flow conditions, increasing ocean temperatures and sedimentation/dredging.

Since completing his Ph.D. in November 2012, Jacob has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australia (2012-2014) and University of Florida, USA (2014-2015) studying how ecologically and commercially important species react and adapt to environmental conditions beyond that for which they have evolved.

Since 2011, Jacob also has been working for University of Washington teaching a biennial course in “fish swimming energetics and biomechanics”, and as an environmental consultant, conducting fish diversity surveys and environmental impact assessments for government and private industry.

Jacob often employs a combined field and laboratory approach to his research, which has led to >2000 research dives around the globe conducting in-situ behavioral observations, fish distribution surveys and specimen collections.

Jacob now joins RECOVER Consortium through the Esbaugh lab at the University of Texas at Austin. His work aims to characterize the immediate and prolonged effects of oil pollution on aerobic performance (swimming energetics) and behavior of critical fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, including mahi-mahi and red drum. Aerobic performance is critical for the ability of fishes to interact with their environment, and their resilience to environmental stressors such as oil spills may allow us to more effectively manage sensitive populations and maintain sustainable fisheries.