New study by SIO alum, Dr. Maggie Johnson, reveals how turf algae fare in the face of global change

Dr. Maggie Johnson, a recent Smith Lab PhD grad, recently published a study in the journal Coral Reefs revealing how epilithic and endolithic algae (that is, algae that grows on top of and beneath the surface of “rocks”, respectively) respond to increasing ocean temperature and acidification (lower pH). Samples were collected from turf-covered substrate in Moorea, and were exposed for … Read More

These Three Reefs Are Not Like Each Other

By Maggie Johnson My field work entails a combination of field and laboratory experiments. Field work is utterly exhausting; working in and on the water for all daylight hours and then in the lab for what remains of the day. But one of the things I love the most about being a marine biologist with field based research is the … Read More

PhD student Maggie Johnson attends inspiring Gordon Research Conference

Gordon Research Conference: Global Ocean Change Biology I recently had the opportunity to participate in a Gordon Research Conference. If you haven’t heard of the Gordon conferences, you should take a minute and check them out ( They are based on a different format than the larger scientific conferences I have been too, like Ocean Sciences or the International Coral … Read More

Coralline Algae: The Unsung Architects of Coral Reefs

Maggie Johnson is a third-year PhD student in the Smith Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This is a blog she wrote for the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Portal describing her recent cruise to the Southern Line Islands, along with other researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Scripps Ladies Return from Research Trip in Palmyra

Nickednamed the “Scripps Ladies,” Smith Lab members Amanda Carter and Maggie Johnson, along with Sandin Lab member Kate Furby spent 3 weeks of their summer in Palmyra, a uninhabited atoll part of the Line Islands in the Northern Pacific.  The Sandin and Smith Lab of UCSD/SIO have had ongoing research in the Line Islands for years, studying “baseline” coral reefs … Read More

Smith Lab is in Full Swing for Summer

Master’s student Samantha Clements summarizes the ongoing summer activities of the Smith Lab. From research travels around the world to data processing right here at home, there’s no such thing as summer break from science… and it’s awesome!

An Adventure to the Arabian Peninsula

2nd Year PhD student Maggie Johnson shares with us her amazing experience traveling to Saudi Arabia to help teach students about different ecological adaptations found in the unique environments of the Red Sea regions.

Smith lab takes on the Western Society of Naturalists

Smith & Sandin Lab at the WSN conference

PhD student Maggie Johnson shares how the Smith & Sandin Lab continue to proudly represent Scripps Institution of Oceanography by participating in the Western Society of Naturalists annual conference in Seaside, California.

Communicating Ocean Acidification in Bodega Bay

What happens to all of the carbon dioxide that is released into the air from our cars and factories?  This is a question that concerns many people these days, particularly scientists like myself that are interested in studying the effects of increased CO2 on our marine animals.