Shannon Johnson


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

7700 Sandholdt Road

Moss Landing, CA 95039

Phone: (831) 775-1772


Shannon joined MBARI in February, 2003 as a research technician in the Molecular Ecology lab for Bob Vrijenhoek.  She is now working in the Zooplankton Biodiversity lab for Steve Haddock. After working on population genetics and phylogenetics of benthic animals from hydrothermal vents,  hydrocarbon seeps, and whale falls, she is moving up into the water column. Her aim now is to understand how gelatinous animal (especially ctenophore) populations are connected. She is especially interested in applying statistics to better understand complex datasets. She also especially enjoys blue water diving to collect ctenophores, jellies, and siphonophores.

Educational Background

BS in Biology, UCLA (Bruins RULE!) – 1999

MS in Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 2003

Recent Papers

  • Rouse, G. W., Goffredi, S. K., Johnson, S. B., & Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2018). An inordinate fondness for Osedax (Siboglinidae: Annelida): Fourteen new species of bone worms from California. Zootaxa, 4377(4), 451–39.
  • Goffredi, S. K., johnson, S., Tunnicliffe, V., Caress, D., Clague, D., Escobar, E., et al. (2017). Hydrothermal vent fields discovered in the southern Gulf of California clarify role of habitat in augmenting regional diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1859), 20170817–10.
  • Harvey, J. B. J., Johnson, S. B., Fisher, J. L., Peterson, W. T., & Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2017). Comparison of morphological and next generation DNA sequencing methods for assessing zooplankton assemblages. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 487, 113–126.
  • Johnson, S. B., Krylova, E. M., Audzijonyte, A., Sahling, H., & Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2016). Phylogeny and origins of chemosynthetic vesicomyid clams. Systematics and Biodiversity, 15(4), 1–16.
  • Jang, S.-J., Park, E., Lee, W.-K., Johnson, S. B., Vrijenhoek, R. C., & Won, Y.-J. (2016). Population subdivision of hydrothermal vent polychaete Alvinella pompejana across equatorial and Easter Microplate boundaries. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16(1), 1–15.
  • Paull, C. K., Dallimore, S. R., Caress, D. W., Gwiazda, R., Melling, H., Riedel, M., et al. (2015). Active mud volcanoes on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 16(9), 3160–3181.
  • Zhang, H., Johnson, S. B., Flores, V. R., & Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2015). Intergradation between discrete lineages of Tevnia jerichonana, a deep-sea hydrothermal vent tubeworm. Deep-Sea Research Part II, 1–9.
  • Breusing, C., Johnson, S. B., Tunnicliffe, V., & Vrijenhoek, R. C. (2015). Population structure and connectivity in Indo-Pacific deep-sea mussels of the Bathymodiolus septemdierum complex. Conservation Genetics, 16(6), 1415–1430.
  • Johnson, S.B., Warén, A., Tunnicliffe, V., VanDover, C., Schultz, T., Wheat, G., Vrijenhoek, R.C. 2015. Molecular taxonomy and naming of five cryptic species of Alviniconcha snails (Gastropoda: Abyssochrysidae) from hydrothermal vents. Systematics and Biodiversity. In Press.
  • Higgs, N.D., Glover, A.G., Dahlgren, T.G., Smith, C.R., Fujiwara, Y., Pradillon, F., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., and Little, C.T.S. 2014. The morphological diversity of Osedax worm borings (Annelida: Siboglinidae) J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U. K. In Press.
  • Arellano, S.M, Van Gaest, A.L., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., and Young, C.M. 2014. Larvae from deep-sea methane seeps disperse in surface waters. Proc. B. 281: 20133276.
  • Johnson, S.B., Won, Y.J., Harvey, J.B.J., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2013. A hybrid zone between Bathymodiolus mussel lineages from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents. BMC Evol. Biol. 13: 21 pages.
  • Lundsten, L., Johnson, S.B., Cailliet, G.M., DeVogelaere, A.P., and Clague, D.A. 2012. Morphological, molecular, and in situ behavioral observations of the rare deep-sea anglerfishChaunacops coloratus (Garman, 1899), order Lophiiformes, in the eastern North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. I. 68: 46-53.
  • Coykendall, D.K., Johnson, S.B., Karl, S.A., Lutz, R.A., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2011. Genetic diversity and demographic instability in Riftia pachyptila tubeworms from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents. BMC Evol. Biol. 11, 96: 11 pages.
  • Rouse, G.W., Goffredi, S.K., Johnson, S.B., Vrijenhoek, R.C., 2011. Not whale-fall specialists, Osedax worms also consume fishbones. Biology Letters 7 (5): 736-739.
  • Johnson, S.B., A. Warén, R.W. Lee, Y. Kano, A. Kaim, A. Davis, E.E. Strong, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. Rubyspira, new genus and two new species of bone-eating deep-sea snails with ancient habits. Bio. Bull. 219: 166-177.
  • Lundsten L., K.L. Schlining, K. Frasier, S.B. Johnson, L.A. Kuhnz, J.B.J. Harvey, G. Clague, and R.C Vrijenhoek. 2010. Time-series analysis of six whale-fall communities in Monterey Canyon, California, USA. Deep-Sea Res. I. 57: 1573-1584.
  • Ryan, J.P., S.B. Johnson, A. Sherman, K. Rajan, F. Py, H. Thomas, J.B.J. Harvey, L. Bird, J.D. Paduan, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. Mobile autonomous process sampling within coastal ocean observing systems. Limnol. Oceanogr. Methods. 8: 394-402.
  • Hilario, A. S.B. Johnson, M.R. Cunha, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2010. High diversity of frenulates (Polychaeta:Siboglinidae) in the Gulf of Cadiz mud volcanoes: A DNA taxonomy analysis. Deep-Sea Res. I. 57: 143-150.
  • Rouse, G.W., N.G. Wilson, S.K. Goffredi, S.B. Johnson, T. Smart, C. Widmer, C.M. Young, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2009. Spawning and development in Osedax boneworms (Siboglinidae,Annelida). Mar. Biol. 156: 395-405.
  • Vrijenhoek, R.C., S.B. Johnson, and G.W. Rouse. 2008. Bone-eating Osedax females and their ‘harems’ of dwarf males are recruited from a common larval pool. Molec. Ecol. 17: 4535-4544.
  • Johnson, S.B., A. Warén, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. DNA barcoding of Lepetodrilus limpets reveals cryptic species. J. Shellfish Res. 27: 43-51.
  • Génio, L., S.B. Johnson, R. C. Vrijenhoek, M.R. Cunha, P.A. Tyler, S. Kiel, and C.T.S. Little. 2008. New records of “Bathymodiolus” mauritanicus (Cosel 2002) from the Gulf of Cadiz (NE Atlantic) mud volcanos. J. Shellfish Res. 27: 53-61.
  • Rouse, G.W., K. Worsaae, S.B. Johnson, W.J. Jones, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. Acquisition of dwarf male ‘harems’ by recently settled females of Osedax roseus n. sp. (Siboglinidae; Annelida). Biol. Bull. 214: 67-82.
  • Jones, W.J., S.B. Johnson, G.W. Rouse, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2008. Marine Worms (genus Osedax) colonize cow bones. Proc. Royal Soc.  275: 387-391.
  • Foster, M.S., L.M. McConnico, L. Lundsten, T. Wadsworth, T. Kimball, L.B. Brooks, M. Medina-Lopez, R. Riosmena-Rodriguez, G. Hernandez-Carmona, R.M. Vasquez-Elizondo, S. Johnson, D.L. Steller. 2007. Diversity and natural history of a Lithamnion muelleri-Sargassum horridum community in the Gulf of California. Ciencias Marinas, 33: 367-384.
  • Braby, C.E., G.W. Rouse, S.B. Johnson, W.J. Jones, R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2007. Bathymetric and temporal variation among Osedax boneworms and associated megafauna on whale-falls in Monterey Bay, California. Deep-Sea Res. I., 54: 1773-1791.
  • Goffredi, S.K., S.B. Johnson, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2007. Genetic diversity and potential function of microbial symbionts associated with newly discovered species of Osedax polychaete worms.AEM,  73: 2314-2323.
  • Johnson, S.B., C.R. Young, W.J. Jones, A. Warén, and R.C. Vrijenhoek. 2006.  Migration, isolation and speciation of hydrothermal vent limpets (Gastropoda; Lepetodrilidae) across the Blanco Transform Fault. Bio. Bull., 210: 140-157.
  • Johnson, S.B. and J.G. Geller. 2006. Larval settlement can explain the adult distribution of Mytilus californianus Conrad but not of M. galloprovincialis Lamarck or M. trossulus Gould in Moss Landing, central California: Evidence from genetic identification of spat. JEMBE, 328: 136-145