Bruce H. Robison

Present Position

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Senior Scientist, 1987 - present
Science Department Chair, 1991 - 1996
Research Division Chair, 2012 - present


B.S., Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 1965
M.A., Marine Science, College of William & Mary:
-- Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 1968
Ph.D., Biological Oceanography, Stanford University:
-- Hopkins Marine Station, 1973
Certification: Scientific Research Pilot for ADS submersibles, 1982; 2000

Previous Positions

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
- Postdoctoral Fellow, 1973
- Postdoctoral Investigator, 1974
Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Assistant Research Oceanographer 1974 - 1982
- Associate Research Oceanographer 1982 - 1988.


Professional Activities

Professional Activities (Local)


Wulff, B.L., E.M. Wulff, B.H. Robison, J.K. Lowry, and H.H. Humm. 1968. Summer marine algae of the jetty at Ocean City, Maryland. Chesapeake Science, 9(1):56-60.

Robison, B.H. 1972. Distribution and ecology of the midwater fishes of the Gulf of California. Copeia, 1972 (3):448-461.

Robison, B.H. 1973. Distribution and ecology of the midwater fishes of the eastern North Pacific Ocean. Ph.D. Thesis, Stanford University, 187 pp.

Robison, B.H. 1973. A system for maintaining midwater fishes in captivity. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 30(1):126-128.

Robison, B.H. 1975. Observations on living juvenile specimens of the slender mola, Ranzania laevis (Pisces, Molidae). Pacific Science, 29(1):27-29.

Robison, B.H. 1976. Deep-Sea Fishes. Natural History. American Museum of Natural History, 85(7):38-46.

Robison, B.H. 1977. A method for easing the launch and recovery of mouth-closing midwater trawls. Deep-Sea Research, 24:301-302.

Siegel, J.A., T.W. Pietsch, B.H. Robison, and T. Abe. 1977. Squaliolus sarmenti and S. alii, synonyms of the dwarf deep-sea shark, Squaliolus laticaudus. Copeia, 1977 (4):788-791.

Backus, R.H., J.E. Craddock, R.L. Haedrich, and B.H. Robison. 1977. Atlantic mesopelagic zoogeography. In: Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir, Sears Foundation for Marine Research, 1(7):266-287.

Nafpaktitis, B.G., R.H. Backus, J.E. Craddock, R.L. Haedrich, B.H. Robison, and C. Karnella. 1977. Family Myctophidae. In: Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Memoir, Sears Foundation for Marine Research, 1(7):13-265.

Robison, B.H. 1978. Lurkers of the deep: life within the ocean depths. David McKay Co., Inc., New York. 90 pp.

Childress, J.J., A.T. Barnes, L.B. Quetin, and B.H. Robison. 1978. Thermally protecting cod ends for the recovery of living deep-sea animals. Deep-Sea Research, 25:419-422.

Robison, B.H. 1978. Reconnaissance survey of Santa Cruz Island. California State Water Resources Control Board, Water Quality Monitoring Report, 79-8, 109 pp.

Robison, B.H. 1979. Reconnaissance survey of Anacapa Island. California State Water Resources Control Board, Water Quality Monitoring Report, 79-7, 39 pp.

Lancraft, T.M. and B.H. Robison. 1980. Evidence of post-capture ingestion by midwater fishes in trawl nets. Fishery Bulletin, 77(2):713-715.

Cox, J.L. and B.H. Robison. 1981. Reconnaissance survey of San Rosa Island. California State Water Resources Control Board, Water Quality Monitoring Report, 96 pp.

Robison, B.H. and J.L. Cox 1981. Reconnaissance survey of San Miguel Island. California State Water Resources Control Board, Water Quality Monitoring Report, 102 pp.

Robison, B.H. and R.E. Young. 1981. Bioluminescence in pelagic octopods. Pacific Science, 35:39-44.

Robison, B.H. and T.G. Bailey. 1981. Sinking rates and dissolution of midwater fish fecal matter. Marine Biology, 65:135-142.

Carey, F.G. and B.H. Robison. 1981. Acoustically monitored diel behavior patterns of the swordfish Xiphias gladius. Fishery Bulletin, 79:227-292.

Robison, B.H. and T.G. Bailey. 1982. Nutrient energy flux in midwater fishes. Proceedings, Third Pacific Workshop on fish food habits studies. University of Washington Press, pp. 80-87.

Robison, B.H. and J.E. Craddock. 1983. Mesopelagic fishes eaten by Fraser's dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei. Fishery Bulletin, 81:283-289.

Robison, B.H. 1983. Midwater biological research with the WASP ADS. Marine Technology Society Journal, 17:21-27.

Robison, B.H. and T.M. Lancraft. 1984. Gorgasia barnesi (Congridae, Heterocongrinae), a new garden eel from the Banda Sea. Copeia, 1984 (2):404-409.

Alldredge, A.L., B.H. Robison, A. Fleminger, J.J. Torres, J.M. King, and W.M. Hamner. 1984. Direct sampling and in situ observation of a persistent copepod aggregation in the deep-sea. Marine Biology, 80:75-81.

Robison, B.H. and T.M. Lancraft. 1984. An upward transport mechanism from the benthos. Naturwissenschaften, 71:322-323.

Robison, B.H. 1984. Herbivory by the myctophid fish, Ceratoscopelus warmingii. Marine Biology, 84:119-123.

Torres, J.J., T.M. Lancraft, B.C. Weigle, T.L. Hopkins and B.H. Robison. 1984. Distribution and abundance of fishes and salps in relation to the marginal ice-zone of the Scotia Sea. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 19:117-119.

Bailey, T.G. and B.H. Robison. 1986. Food availability as a selective factor on the chemical compositions of midwater fishes in the eastern North Pacific. Marine Biology, 91:131-141.

Robison, B.H. 1989. Depth of occurence and partial chemical composition of a giant squid, Architeuthis, off southern California. Veliger, 32:39-42.

Widder, E.A., S. Bernstein, D.F. Bracher, J.F. Case, P. Hiller-Adams, K.R. Reisenbichler, J.J. Torres and B.H. Robison. 1989. Bioluminescence in Monterey Canyon: image analysis of in situ video recordings from a midwater submersible. Marine Biology, 100: 541-551.

Robison, B.H. and K. Wishner. 1990. Biological research needs for submersible access to the greatest ocean depths. Marine Technology Society Journal, 24: 34-37.

Hamner, W.M. and B.H. Robison. 1992. In situ observations of giant appendicularians in Monterey Bay. Deep-Sea Research, 39: 1299-1313.

Matsumoto, G.I. and B.H. Robison. 1992. Kiyohimea usagi, a new species of lobate ctenophore from the Monterey Submarine Canyon. Bulletin of Marine Science, 51:19-29.

Butler, J.L., W.W. Wakefield, P.B. Adams, B.H. Robison, and C.H. Baxter. 1991. Applications of line transect methods to surveying demersal communities with ROVs and manned submersibles. Proceedings, Oceans '91, Vol 2, pp 689-696.

Reisenbichler, K.R. and B.H. Robison, 1991. Deep sea diving from an armchair: using an ROV for mesopelagic research. Proceedings, AAUS, 11th Annual Symposium, pp. 75-78.

Robison, B.H., 1992. Bioluminescence in the benthopelagic holothurian Enypniastes eximia. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 72:463-472.

Robison, B.H., K.R. Reisenbichler and S.A. Etchemendy, 1992. A scientific perspective on the merits of manned and unmanned vehicles. Proceedings, Intervention/ROV 92, pp. 485-489.

Vecchione, M., B.H. Robison, and C.F.E. Roper, 1992. A tale of two species: tail morphology in paralarval Chiroteuthis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 105: 683-692.

Robison, B. H., 1993. Midwater research methods with MBARI's ROV. Marine Technology Society Journal. 28: 32-39.

Newman, J.B and B.H. Robison, 1993. Development of a dedicated ROV for ocean science. Marine Technology Society Journal, 28: 46-53.

Robison, B.H., 1993. New technologies for sanctuary research. Oceanus, 36:75-80.

Kaufmann, R.S., K.L. Smith, Jr., R.J. Baldwin, R.C., Glatts, B.H. Robison and K.R. Reisenbichler,1995. Epipelagic communities in the northwestern Weddell Sea: results from acoustic, trawl and trapping surveys. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 28:138-141.

Robison, B.H., 1995. Light in the Ocean's Midwaters. Scientific American, 273(1):60-64.

Kaufmann, R.S., K.L. Smith, Jr., R.J. Baldwin, R.C. Glatts, B.H. Robison, and K.R. Reisenbichler, 1995. The effects of seasonal pack ice on the distribution of macrozooplankton and micronekton in the northwestern Weddell Sea. Marine Biology, 124:387-397.

Barry, J.P., H.G. Greene, D.L. Orange, C.H. Baxter, B.H. Robison, R.E. Kochevar, J.W. Nybakken, D.L. Reed, C. M. McHugh, 1996. Biologic and geologic characteristics of cold seeps in Monterey Bay, California, Deep-Sea Research, 43:1739-1762.

Greene, H.G., J.P. Barry,J. Hashimoto, Y. Fujiwara, R.E. Kochevar and B.H. Robison. 1997. A submersible based comparison of cold-seep regions in Sagami and Monterey Bays. JAMSTEC Journal of Deep Sea Research, 13:395-415.

Robison, B.H., K.R. Reisenbichler, R. E. Sherlock, J.M.B. Silguero and F.P. Chavez. 1998. Seasonal abundance of the siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga, in Monterey Bay, Deep-Sea Research. 45:1741-1752.

Robison, B.H. 1999. Shape-change behavior by mesopelagic animals. Marine and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology.

Robison, Bruce and Judith Connor. 1999. The Deep Sea. Monterey Bay Aquarium Natural History Book Series. Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation. 80 pp.

Druffel, E.R.M. and B.H. Robison.  1999. Perspective: Is the deep sea on a diet? Science 284:1139-1140.

Hopcroft, R.R. and B.H. Robison. 1999. A new mesopelagic larvacean, Mesochordaeus erythrocephalus, sp. nov., from Monterey Bay, with a description of its filtering house. Journal of Plankton Research,21:1923-1937.

Robison, B.H. 2000.  The coevolution of undersea vehicles and deep-sea research.  Marine Technology Society Journal, 33:65-73.

Silguero, J.M.B. and B.H. Robison. 2000. Seasonal abundance and vertical distribution of mesopelagic Calycophoran siphonophores in Monterey Bay, CA. Journal of Plankton Research, 22:1139-1153.

Sherlock, R.E. and B.H. Robison. 2000. Effects of temperature on the development and survivorship of Nanomia bijuga (Hydrozoa, Siphonophora). Invertebrate Zoology, 119:379-385.

Tamburri, M.N., M.N. Halt and B.H. Robison. 2000. Chemically regulated feeding by a midwater medusa. Limnology and Oceanography, 45:1661-1666.

Hunt, J.C., L. Ziedberg, W.M. Hamner, and B.H. Robison. 2000. The behavior of Loligo opalescens (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) as observed by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).  Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 80:873-883.

Harbison, G.R., G.I. Matsumoto and B.H. Robison. 2001. Lampocteis sanguiniventer gen. nov., sp. nov.  A new mesopleagic lobate ctenophore, representing the type of a new family (Phylum Ctenophora (Class Tenticulata, Order Lobata, Family Lampoctenidae, fam. nov.). Bulletin of Marine Science 68:299-311.

Haddock, S.H.D., T.J. Rivers and B.H. Robison. 2001. Can coelenterates make coelenterazine? Dietary requirements for luciferin in cnidarian bioluminescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 98:11148-11151.

Case, J.F., P.J. Herring, B.H. Robison, S.H.D. Haddock, L.J. Kricka, and P.E. Stanley, editors; 2001. Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence 2000. World Scientific, Singapore, 517pp.

Robison, B.H. 2001. Essay: Water Column Life, pp. 98-99 in: Earle, S. Atlas of the Ocean: The Deep Frontier. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. 192 pp.

Robison, B.H. 2002. Submersibles in oceanographic research, pp. 387-390 In: Benson, K.R. and P.F. Rehbock (eds) Oceanographic History: the Pacific and Beyond. Proceedings of the Fifth International Congress on the History of Oceanography. University of Washington Press, Seattle, 556 pp.

Robison, B.H. 2003. What drives the diel vertical migrations of Antarctic midwater fish? Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 83:639-642.

Robison, B.H., K.R. Reisenbichler, J.C. Hunt and S.H.D. Haddock. 2003. Light production by the arm tips of the deep-sea cephalopod Vampyroteuthis infernalis. The Biological Bulletin 205:102-109.

Robison, B.H. 2004. Deep pelagic biology. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 300:253-272.

Drazen, J. C. and B. H. Robison 2004. Direct observations of the association between a deep-sea fish and a giant scyphomedusa. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 37(3):209-214.

Lancraft, T.M., K.R. Reisenbichler, B.H. Robison, T.L. Hopkins, and J. Torres 2004. A krill-dominated micronekton and macrozooplankton community in Croker Passage, Antarctica with an estimate of fish predation. Deep-Sea Research II 51:2247-2260.

Gutowska, M.A., J.C. Drazen, and B.H. Robison 2004. Digestive chitinolytic activity in marine fishes of Monterey Bay, California; Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 139:351-358.

Seibel, B.A., S.K. Goffredi, J.J. Childress, E.V. Thuesen, and B.H. Robison 2004. Ammonium content and buoyancy in midwater cephalopods. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 313(2):375-387.

Robison, B.H., K.R. Reisenbichler and R.E. Sherlock (2005). Giant larvacean houses: rapid carbon transport to the deep seafloor. Science 308:1609-1611.

Robison, B.H., K.A. Raskoff and R.E. Sherlock (2005). Ecological substrate in midwater: Doliolula equus, a new mesopelagic tunicate. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85:655-663.

Raskoff, K.A. and B.H. Robison (2005). A novel mutualistic relationship between a doliolid and a cnidarian, Bythotiara dolioeques sp. nov. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85:583-593.

Robison, B.H., K.A. Raskoff and R.E. Sherlock (2005). Adaptations for living deep: a new, bathypelagic doliolid from the eastern North Pacific. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85:595-602.

Hopcroft, R.R. and B.H. Robison (2005). New mesopelagic larvaceans in the genus Fritillaria from Monterey Bay, California. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 85:655-678.

Widder, E.A., B.H. Robison, K.R. Reisenbichler and S.H.D. Haddock (2005). Using red light for in situ observations of deep-sea fishes. Deep-Sea Research I 52:2077-2085.

Seibel, B.A., B.H. Robison and S.H.D. Haddock 2005. Post-spawning egg care by a squid. Nature 438:929

Gilly, W.F., U. Markaida, C.H. Baxter, B.A. Block, A. Boustany, L. Zeidberg, K. Reisenbichler, B. Robison, G. Bazzino and C. Salinas. 2006. Vertical and horizontal migrations by the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas revealed by electronic tagging. Marine Ecology Progress Series 324:1-17.

Osborn, K.J., G.R.Rouse, S.K. Goffredi and B.H. Robison 2007. Description and relationships of an unusual pelagic polychaete (Annelida, Chaetopteridae). Biological Bulletin 212:40-54.

Drazen, J.C., K.R. Reisenbichler and B.H. Robison  2007. A comparison of absorption and assimilation efficiencies between shallow and deep living fishes. Marine Biology 151:1551-1558.

Bush, S.L. and B.H. Robison 2007. Ink utilization by mesopelagic squid. Marine Biology 152:485-494.

Smith, K.L., B.H. Robison, J.J. Helly, R.S. Kaufmann, H.A. Ruhl, T.J. Shaw, B.S. Twining and M. Vernet 2007. Free-Drifting Icebergs: Hotspots of chemical and biological enrichment in the Weddell Sea. Science 317:478-482.

Zeidberg, L. D. and B. H. Robison 2007. Invasive range expansion by the Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, in the eastern North Pacific. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:12948-12950.

Zeidberg, L. D. and B. H. Robison 2008. Reply to Watters et al.: Range expansion by the Humboldt squid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online 105:3.

Robison, B.H. and K.R. Reisenbichler. 2008. Macropinna microstoma and the paradox of its tubular eyes. Copeia 2008 (4):780-784.

Robison, B.H. 2009. Essay: Using Submersibles to Find Life. In: Earle, S.A. & Glover, L. K. Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas. National Geographic Society, Washington D.C. 351 pp.

Bush, S.L., B.H. Robison and R.L. Caldwell. 2009. Behaving in the dark: Locomotor, chromatic, postural, and bioluminescent behaviors of the deep-sea squid Octopoteuthis deletron Young 1972. Biological Bulletin 216:7-22.

Swift, H. F., W.M. Hamner, B.H. Robison and L.P. Madin. 2009. Feeding behavior of the ctenophore Thalassocalyce inconstans: revision of anatomy of the order Thalassocalycida. Marine Biology 156:1049-1056.

Kirkwood, W.J. M. Chaffey, E. Mellinger, D. Au, S. Etchemendy and B.H. Robison 2009. ROV Tiburon: An ocean research platform developed with an integrated science and engineering vision. Journal of Ocean Technology 4(1):16-30.

Robison, B.H. and W.M. Hamner 2009. Pocket Basins, and Deep-Sea Speciation. In: Encyclopedia of Islands (R. Gillespie & D. Clague, Eds) University of California Press, Berkeley; pp.755-757.

Skikne, S.A., R.E. Sherlock, and B. H. Robison 2009. Uptake of dissolved organic matter by ephyrae of two species of scyphomedusae. Journal of Plankton Research 31:1563- 1570.

Robison, B.H. 2009. Conservation of deep pelagic biodiversity. Conservation Biology 23:847-858.

O’Dor, R., J. Acosta, O.A. Bergstad, R. Brainard, J. Brattey, M. Canals, D. Costa, J.K. Horne, K. Iken, J. Kocik, B. Konar, J. Payne, C. Reid, B. Robison, D. Steinke, E. Vanden Berge 2009. Bringing life to ocean observation. In Proceedings of OceanObs ’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D. Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306.

Robison, B.H., R.E. Sherlock, and K.R. Reisenbichler 2010. The bathypelagic community of Monterey Canyon. Deep-Sea Research II 57(16):1551-1556.

Robinson, C., D.K. Steinberg, T.R. Anderson, J. Aristegui, C.A. Carlson, J.R. Frost, J-F. Ghiglione, S. Hernandez-Leon, G.A. Jackson, R. Koppelmann, B. Queguiner, O. Ragueneau, F. Rassoulzadegan, B.H. Robison, C. Tamburini, T. Tanaka, K.F. Wishner, and J. Zhang 2010. Mesopelagic zone ecology and biogeochemistry – a synthesis – a synthesis. Deep-Sea Research II 57(16):1504-1518.

Burd, A.B., D.A. Hansell, D.K. Steinberg, T.R. Anderson, J. Aristegui, F. Baltar, S.R. Beaupre, K.O. Buesseler, F. DeHairs, G.A. Jackson, D.C. Kadko, R. Koppelmann, R.S. Lampitt, T. Nagata, T. Reinthaler, C. Robinson, B.H. Robison, C. Tamburini, and T. Tanaka 2010. Assessing the apparent imbalance between geochemical and biochemical indicators of meso- and bathypelagic biological activity: What the @$#! is wrong with present calculations of carbon budgets? Deep-Sea Research II 57(16):1557-1571.

Robison, B.H., M. Vernet, K.L. Smith 2011. Algal communities attached to free-drifting Antarctic icebergs.  Deep-Sea Research II 58:1451-1456.

Sherlock, R.E., K.R. Reisenbichler, S.L. Bush, K.J. Osborn, B.H. Robison 2011. Near-field zooplankton and ice-face biota of free-drifting Antarctic icebergs. Deep-Sea Research II 58:1457-1468

Kaufmann, R.S., B.H. Robison, K.R. Reisenbichler, R.E. Sherlock, K.J. Osborn 2011. Composition and structure of macrozooplankton and micronekton communities in the vicinity of free-drifting Antarctic icebergs. Deep-Sea Research II 58:1469-1484.

Hull, P.M., K.J. Osborn, R.D. Norris, and B.H. Robison 2011. Seasonality and depth distribution of a deep-living planktonic foraminifer, Hastigerinella digitata in Monterey Bay, California. Limnology and Oceanography 56:562-576.

Hoving, H.J.T., S.L. Bush, B.H. Robison 2012. A shot in the dark: same-sex sexual behavior in a deep-sea squid. Biology Letters, 8(2):287-290.

Ferrario, M.E., A.O. Cefarelli, B.H. Robison, M. Vernet 2012. Thalassioneis signyensis (Bacillariophyceae) from northwest Weddell Sea icebergs, an emendation of the generic description. Journal of Phycology 48:222-230.

Bush, S.L., H.J.T. Hoving, C.L. Huffard, B.H. Robison, L.D. Zeidberg 2012. Brooding and sperm storage by the deep-sea squid Bathyteuthis berryi (Cephalopoda: Decapodiformes).Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 92:1629-1636.

M. Vernet, K.L. Smith, Jr., A.O. Cefarelli, J.J. Helly, R.S. Kaufmann, H. Lin, D.G. Long, A.E. Murray, B.H. Robison, H.A. Ruhl, T.J. Shaw, A.D. Sherman, J. Sprintall, G.R. Stephenson, Jr., K.M. Stuart and B.S. Twining 2012. Islands of Ice: Influence of free-drifting Antarctic Icebergs on pelagic marine ecosystems. Oceanography 25:38-39.

Hoving, H. J. T. and B. H. Robison 2012. Vampire squid: detritivores in the oxygen minimum zone. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 279:4559-4567.

Gilly, W.F., J.M. Beman, S.Y. Litvin, B.H. Robison (2013). Oceanographic and biological effects of shoaling of the oxygen minimum zone. Annual Review of Marine Science 5:393-420.