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Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D. - Florida Tech. Melbourne, FL, US

Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D. Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor | Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences | Florida Tech


Dr. Johnson's research program revolves around plankton ecology, invasive species, harmful algae and estuarine restoration.


Areas of Expertise (6)

Estuarine Restoration

Seagrass Ecology

Marine Invertebrate Recruitment

Plankton Ecology

Invasive Species

Harmful Algae Blooms


Kevin Johnson is co-director of Florida Tech’s Indian River Lagoon Research Institute and the university’s representative on the Technical Advisory Committee to the Indian River Lagoon’s National Estuary Program.

He is director of Marine and Environmental Field Projects at Florida Tech, an innovative program exposing undergraduates to graduate-level research. His research program at Florida Tech revolves around plankton ecology, marine invertebrate recruitment, invasive species, seagrass ecology, harmful algae and estuarine restoration.

Prior to coming to Florida Tech, Dr. Johnson was appointed Postdoctoral Fellow of the Smithsonian Institution, where he worked on problems of growth and navigation in meroplanktonic invertebrate larvae. During his time with the Smithsonian, he was involved in deep-sea submersible research offshore of the Bahamas, part of a team studying the ecology of new deep-sea species.

In 1999, Dr. Johnson was recruited by the National Science Foundation as a Postdoctoral Fellow at NSF’s Center for Environmental Analysis – Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CEA-CREST) at California State University, Los Angeles. During his tenure at CEA-CREST, he conducted field research on mussel recruitment and benthic ecology at the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies (University of Southern California) based on Santa Catalina Island. Dr. Johnson also conducted research on similar topics at Bamfield Marine Station in Barkley Sound, British Columbia, Canada.

Following his time with the NSF, Dr. Johnson was a Lecturer in Zoology at Ohio Wesleyan University (2000), a liberal arts college.

In his career, Dr. Johnson has spent nearly 6 months at sea, teaching and conducting research, and has lived and worked at seven coastal marine laboratories.

In addition to over 20 peer-reviewed articles on marine ecology and restoration, including studies of oyster settlement, copepod grazing and harmful algae, Dr. Johnson is also the author the second edition of “A Guide to Marine Coastal Plankton and Marine Invertebrate Larvae” (1977, 1996), a reference manual in print for almost 50 years and used on every continent.

Media Assets


Kevin B. Johnson, Ph.D. Publication





Media Appearances (2)

Florida Tech building $1.25M marine research center on Crane Creek at Melbourne Harbor

Florida Today  


"The anchorage is right here on the water. The university's back on Babcock — that's not conducive for teaching if you want to get your feet muddy and your hands wet," said Kevin Johnson, professor of oceanography and environmental science.

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Dress As Your Favorite Zooplankter Day

Florida Tech News  


Per tradition, students in professor Kevin B. Johnson‘s Marine and Estuarine Zooplankton course celebrated halloween in a very “Florida Tech” way. For the 20th year, Johnson’s students dressed as various zooplankton—marine and freshwater animal drifters that are vitally important to global issues, like fisheries, climate and the economy.

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Education (2)

University of Oregon: Ph.D. 1998

Brigham Young University: B.S. 1992


Selected Articles (5)

Mesozooplankton Community Dynamics and Grazing Potential Across Algal Bloom Cycles in a Subtropical Estuary

Frontiers in Marine Science


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High Densities of a Prochlorophyte (Unresolved Species) Inhibit Grazing by the Herbivorous Copepod Parvocalanus crassirostris

Frontiers in Marine Science


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Grazing by the Copepod Parvocalanus crassirostris on Picochlorum sp. at Harmful Bloom Densities and the Role of Particle Size

Frontiers in Marine Science


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Environmental Factors Influencing Benthic Polychaete Distributions in a Subtropical Lagoon

Marine Technology Society Journal


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Comparative phototaxis of calanoid and harpacticoid copepods

Marine Biology


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Affiliations (1)

  • Science Technology Engineering Modeling Advisory Committee, IRL National Estuary Program : Member

Accomplishments (5)

Andrew W. Revay, Jr. Award for Service Excellence (professional)

2013 – Florida Institute of Technology

Presidential Award for University Excellence (professional)

2013, 2014, & 2015 – Florida Tech

Most Valuable Panther (professional)

September 2012 – Florida Institute of Technology

Kerry Bruce Clark Award for Teaching Excellence (professional)

2010 – Florida Institute of Technology

Walter Munn, Jr. Award for Teaching Excellence (professional)

2009 – College of Engineering, Florida Tech