Principal Investigator


Graduate Students

Zooplankton ecology & genetics

Postdoctoral Fellows

Kim Andrews - 2012, 1-year appointment.  Kim developed microsatellite markers for Haloptilus longicornis and Pleuromamma xiphias, and completed a very nice study on genetic structure across ocean gyres in H. longicornis.  She completed a Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship in the U.K., and is now at the University of Idaho.


Kate Hanson - 2013-2015.  Kate worked on naupliar ecology at our coastal study site in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.  Specifically, she expanded our qPCR-based approach to tracking naupliar abundances in environmental samples, in order to study the population dynamics of the dominant copepod species. 


Carolyn Faithfull-Mathisen - 2014-2016.  Carolyn was funded by the Swedish Research Council for a 2-year postdoc working on copepod naupliar trophic ecology.  Carolyn is interested in food web interactions in pelagic ecosystems and how the balance of algal to bacterial food for zooplankton affects zooplankton growth and food web efficiency.  She has  returned to Umea University for the last/3rd year of her postdoctoral fellowship.  



Graduate Students 

Kristin Halbert - MS 2013, Zoology.  Kristin worked on cryptic diversity and speciation in Pleuromamma piseki and P. gracilis.  Kristin was formally advised by D. Carlon (Biology Dept), and conducted her thesis research in the Goetze lab. 


Emily Norton - MS 2013, Oceanography.  Emily worked on spatial genetic patterns in the mesopelagic copepod Haloptilus longicornis.  She conducted both empirical and modeling studies on dispersal and connectivity among populations in this species.  She is now a research scientist/modeler at JISAO at the University of Washington.


​Michelle Jungbluth - MS 2013, PhD 2016, Oceanography.  Michelle's dissertation research focused on the role of copepod nauplii in marine pelagic food webs.  Her masters work focused on development of a novel qPCR-based method to enumerate nauplii in mixed field samples. During the PhD, she applied this new method in a range of studies investigating the trophic ecology of nauplii, and their population responses to environmental perturbations in the coastal zone (e.g., storms).  She is now a Delta Science Postdoctoral Fellow with Wim Kimmerer at SFSU.


Lauren Van Woudenburg - MS 2016, Marine Biology.   Lauren conducted a very cutting-edge population genomic study on the planktonic copepod Pleuromamma xiphias, in order to investigate adaptation to distinct ocean habitats across the distributional range of the species.  She is now an instructor at UNC Wilmington.



Lab Technicians 

Elan Portner - 2011 - 2013.  Did everything !  Now at graduate school in Biology at Stanford.



Undergraduate Students

Stephanie Sommer - BSc summa cum laude, honors in Biology, 2016.  Thesis research published under Sommer et al. 2017 Molecular Ecology.  Currently a PhD student in the Ohman lab at SIO/UCSD, with support from a NSF graduate research fellowship.


Elizabeth Butcher - BS, Marine Biology, 2014.  Thesis research published under Iacchei et al. 2017 Limnology and Oceanography. Completed a MS in Oceanography at the University of Southampton, 2015.


Stephanie Chang

Meg Moeller

William Truong

Michelle Uchida

Grant Batzel

John Lee

Jenny Bernier

Lani Johnson

Victoria Flynn

Jessica Ayau

Sarah Chang

Da Woon Jung


Lab Alumni

Matt Iacchei - Is developing population genomic techniques in our copepod system, with the goal of examining spatial patterns in both neutral and adaptive regions of the genome in relation to large-scale ocean gradients.  Matt completed his PhD in the ToBo lab (HIMB), working on connectivity in lobsters (as well as ecological work on opihi).  He was funded through an NSF Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2017), and is just starting as an Assistant Professor at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).

Erica Goetze - I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  I am a zooplankton ecologist, and have broad interests in the ecology, evolution and genomics of planktonic organisms.  You can find a bit of an overview of my research and teaching interests here, and a list of publications here

Undergraduate students

Goetze lab

We are recruiting !

We are looking for talented new students to join the Goetze lab working towards either a MS or PhD.  

Application deadlines in Dec 2017 - Marine Biology, or Jan 2018 - Oceanography. 


PhD/MS Research Assistantship

Industrial interest in deep-sea mineral extraction is at an all-time high, accelerated by global demand for minerals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and rare-earth elements that are enriched in deep-sea manganese nodules and seamount crusts. The abyssal Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) is a region of particular interest for polymetallic nodule mining, with 15 active exploration contracts totaling >1,200,000 km2.  The research focus of this project is to explore the biodiversity, community structure, and connectivity of seafloor ecosystems on three deep seamounts in the western CCZ.  The biodiversity and ecosystem structure of these seamounts will be contrasted to benthic habitats on the surrounding abyssal seafloor to explore the characteristic biodiversity of CCZ seamounts, and to elucidate their potential as refugia and larval sources for abyssal-plain biota that will be devastated by mining. As part of a larger research effort across several deep sea assemblages, the Goetze lab will focus on evaluating the demersal zooplankton, including both holoplankton and meroplanktonic larvae, at abyssal plain and seamount sites.  The primary questions we seek to address include:

(1) How do biodiversity, abundance, and species composition vary between seamount summits and adjacent abyssal plains?

(2) What is the connectivity at the species and population levels for key demersal zooplankton between seamount summits and adjacent abyssal plains?

The graduate student researcher will be involved in all aspects of the research, and collaborate with the larger consortium of investigators that are involved.  J. C. Drazen and C. R. Smith (UH Manoa) are leading the broader project, with funding from the GB Moore Foundation and NOAA Ocean Exploration. Graduate research assistantships include 12-month stipend and full tuition remission. 


How to apply: Interested students are encouraged to contact Erica Goetze (, including a brief description of your scientific interests and motivation for pursuing graduate studies (include a CV). Students may apply to graduate study in either the Oceanography or Marine Biology graduate programs at UH Manoa (,, depending on their interests and longer-term career goals.  


We are recruiting !

We are looking for a talented early career researcher to collaborate on eDNA research in the abyssal Pacific.  Please see the job advert below and apply by Oct 15, 2o17 for full consideration.  


Postdoctoral Researcher

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position at the Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, to conduct eDNA biodiversity surveys in abyssal habitats.  The postdoctoral scientist will work on a project to evaluate the utility of the eDNA approach for biodiversity surveys in the deep sea, and assemble databases of relevant DNA sequences from diverse deep CCZ habitats and communities in advance of polymetallic nodule mining.  Specific project objectives include (1) surveying all metazoans, including both invertebrates and vertebrates, in the western CCZ using eDNA methods, (2) assessing seawater, sediment and manganese nodules as source material for eDNA surveys, and (3) conducting comparative studies of eDNA results to conventional megafaunal surveys (using whole-animal collection, morphological identifications, and DNA barcoding) to evaluate the strengths and limitations of the eDNA approach to quantifying species richness in the abyss.  Field work is planned for March/April 2018; the candidate is expected to primarily focus on laboratory benchwork, bioinformatic analyses of the data, and preparation of manuscript(s). The candidate will work in collaboration with Drs. Erica Goetze and Craig R. Smith, with research funded by Pew Charitable Trusts.  The research leverages against a larger program of research in the CCZ, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, being led by C. R. Smith. Initial appointment is for 1 year.  


The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to promote excellence in interdisciplinary research and graduate education in marine, atmospheric, and geological sciences.  This postdoctoral position is within the Department of Oceanography at SOEST, and is located on the main Manoa campus.  Additional information about the Biological Oceanography Division and the Department of Oceanography can be found at:


Qualifications:  The successful candidate will have a PhD in oceanography, marine biology or a related biological discipline, with strong molecular and/or computational skills.  Preferred candidates will have experience with environmental DNA, metabarcoding, or metagenomic methods, including both wet-lab and bioinformatic skills. Demonstrated productivity and an ability to conduct independent research are important. 


How to apply: Electronically submit (1) Coverletter describing the candidate’s motivation, skills, and relevant experience, (2) Curriculum vitae, and (3) Contact information for three references to  Review of applications will begin on October 15, 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Skype interviews for this position will be conducted in early-mid November.  The expected start date for the position is March – June 2018, but this may be negotiated. Feel free to contact Dr. Goetze with questions about the research or position, however, please note that she is at sea between Sep 21 – Nov 5 and responses may be a bit delayed.  


We are recruiting !

I'd like to recruit 1-2 strong undergraduate students to conduct laboratory research starting in Jan 2018.  Contact me if you are interested (


Students can work on a range of topics, broadly in the area of marine molecular ecology or plankton ecology. 


Examples of possible projects include: 

(1) Seasonality in the zooplankton assemblage at station ALOHA, metabarcoding and morphological studies.

(2) Diversity, community structure, and abundance/biomass of demersal zooplankton across the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone. 

(3) Micronekton diet studies (collaboration with Drazen lab), understanding trophic links across depth and the importance of gelatinous prey in the deep sea.

(4) Latitudinal gradients in zooplankton diversity, understanding pattern and process.  Atlantic Ocean material (45 N - 45 S).


As well as several other possible lines of research.  


Contact me if you are interested in the general research area, and we can identify a research project of joint interest.