Maggie Johnson

Assistant Professor, Marine Science

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division
Center membership :
Red Sea Research Center

Education Profile

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2019-2021
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Institution, 2016-2019
  • Ph.D. in Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2011-2016
  • M.S. in Biology, California State University, Northridge, 2008-2011
  • Prof. M.S. in Marine Biology, Northeastern University Three Seas Program, 2005-2007
  • B.A. in Biology, Colby College 2001-2005

Research Interests

Professor Johnson's research interests are centered on the impacts of environmental change on coral reef ecosystems. She uses a combination of field and laboratory based approaches to 1) evaluate and monitor the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems, 2) quantify inherent natural heterogeneity in key environmental parameters including temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH , 3) explore the implications of environmental variability for ecophysiology of coral reef primary producers, 4) and determine the implications of local and global environmental change for these foundational coral reef taxa. Professor Johnson's research includes taxa ranging from fleshy algae to corals, but she primarily focuses on calcifying algae - particularly crustose coralline algae. She uses calcifying reef algae as model taxa to identify and monitor coral reef ecosystem responses in an era of rapid environmental change.

Selected Publications

  • Johnson MD, JS Scott, M Leray, N Lucey, LM Rodriguez Bravo, W Wied, AH Altieri (2021) Rapid ecosystem-scale consequences of acute deoxygenation on a Caribbean coral reef. Nature Communications. 12(4522). DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-24777-3.
  • Johnson MD, SD Swaminathan, EN Nixon, V Paul, AH Altieri. (2021) Differential susceptibility of reef-building corals to deoxygenation reveals remarkable hypoxia tolerance. Scientific Reports.
  • Johnson MD, MD Fox, ELA Kelly, B Zgliczynski, Stuart A Sandin, JE Smith (2020) Ecophysiology of coral reef primary producers across an upwelling gradient in the tropical central Pacific. PLOSOne. 15(2): e0228448.
  • Johnson MD, RC Carpenter (2018) Nitrogen enrichment offsets the direct negative effects of ocean acidification on a reef-building crustose coralline alga. Biology Letters DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0371.
  • Johnson MD, S Comeau, C Lantz, JE Smith (2017) Complex and interactive effects of ocean acidification and temperature on epilithic and endolithic coral reef turf algal assemblages. Coral Reefs DOI 10.1007/s00338-017-1597-2.