Catherine Johnson

Research Scientist
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

I am a biological oceanographer specializing in the ecology of zooplankton, small drifting animals, many of which feed on phytoplankton and are in turn prey for larger animals such as invertebrates, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. My research addresses the biological and physical factors that control zooplankton distribution, abundance, community structure, and seasonal timing.

I am particularly interested in how life history traits such as dormancy influence zooplankton populations and communities and their responses to climate variability. My research approaches have included sampling at sea, statistical analysis, zooplankton and phytoplankton culturing, physiological measurements, and numerical modeling of plankton transport and population dynamics.

Education and awards

PhD, University of California, San Diego, 2003

Key publications

  1. Johnson, CL, JA Runge, KA Curtis, EG Durbin, JA Hare, LS Incze, JS Link, GD Melvin, TD O'Brien, L Van Guelpen. 2011. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in the Gulf of Maine: Pattern and Role of Zooplankton and Pelagic Nekton. PLoS ONE 6(1): e16491. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016491
  2. Gilbert, CS, WC Gentleman, CL Johnson, C DiBacco, JM Pringle, CS Chen (2010) Modeling transport of Sea Scallop (Placopecten magellanicus) larvae on Georges Bank: Influence of behavior and spawning seasonality. Progress in oceanography 87: 37-48.
  3. Lewis, AG, CL Johnson, SE Allen (2010) Calanoid copepod thoracic legs - surface are vs. body size and potential swimming ability, a comparison of eight species. Crustaceana 83(6): 695-713.
  4. Neuheimer, AB, WC Gentleman, CL Galloway, CL Johnson (2009) Modeling larval Calanus finmarchicus on Georges Bank: Time-varying mortality rates and a cannibalism hypothesis. Fisheries Oceanography 18 (3): 147-160.
  5. Tarrant, AM, MF Baumgartner, T Verslycke, CL Johnson (2008) Differential gene expression in diapausing and active Calanus finmarchicus (Copepoda). Marine Ecology Progress Series 355: 193-207.
  6. Johnson, CL, AW Leising, JA Runge, EJH Head, P Pepin, S Plourde, EG Durbin (2008) Characteristics of Calanus finmarchicus dormancy patterns in the Northwest Atlantic, ICES Journal of Marine Science 65: 339-350.
  7. Johnson, CL (2007) Retention of dormant copepods in deep basins of the Southern California Bight. Marine Ecology Progress Series 336:203-210.
  8. Johnson, CL, JM Pringle, CS Chen (2006) Transport and retention of dormant copepods in the deep Gulf of Maine. Deep-Sea Research II 53 (23-24): 2520.
  9. Johnson, CL and DM Checkley, Jr. (2004) Vertical distribution of diapausing Calanus pacificus (Copepoda) and implications for transport in the California Undercurrent. Progress in Oceanography 62(1): 1-13.
  10. Johnson, CL (2004) Seasonal variation in the molt status of an oceanic copepod. Progress in Oceanography 62(1): 15-32.
  11. Johnson, CL (2003) Ecdysteroids in an oceanic copepod, Calanus pacificus: variation through the molt cycle and change associated with diapause: Marine Ecology Progress Series 257: 159-165.