Student SIO - PhD

Christian Johnson is a marine geneticist pursing his PhD in Marine Biology PhD advised by Dr. Andrew Allen and Dr. Maria Vernet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD. His research focuses on understanding Antarctic phytoplankton ecology while developing methods for DNA sequencing at sea. He grew up in Westerville, OH before moving to San Diego to work on his Bachelors in Marine Biology in 2017. He first became interested in polar science through the UCSD JT-SURF REU summer experience program working with Allison Cusick and Dr. Maria Vernet on the NASA funded FjordPhyto citizen science program, where he still serves as an active team member. After earning his B.S., he continued working in the Allen Lab at the J. Craig Venter Institute, gaining  research experience and beginning work aboard expedition tourism vessels. Since 2022, Christian has worked as an expedition polar guide in Antarctica and Chile, engaging travelers in active ocean literacy. Most recently he has been accepted in the SIO-Rady Management startBlue Accelerator program to reimagine a sustainable convergence between polar science and public engagement. When he is not in the lab or in the field, you can most likely find him snowboarding in the mountains or scuba diving off the coast of San Diego.