Research Scientist, DEEPEND Consortium Data Manager
Nova Southeastern University Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography
Guy Harvey Research Institute

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 954.262.3641


2015 Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography/Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University, Dania Beach, Florida

2011 Master of Science in Marine Biology, Nova Southeastern University, Dania Beach, Florida

2002 Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems, Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon


Peer-reviewed journals:

Johnston MW (submitted) Perspectives of biophysical modelling with implications on biological connectivity. In Past, Present and Future of Mediterranean Cold‐Water Corals. Eds C. Jimenez and C. Orejas. Springer

Riegl B, Johnston MW, Bauman A, Howells E, Burt J, Purkis S, Sheppard CRC (submitted) Approaching regional extinction of dominant coral threatens evolutionary innovation and geological persistence of reefs. Nature Ecology & Evolution.

O’Brien CM, Johnston MW, Kerstetter D (in preparation) Ports, Prosperity, & Pests: Assessing the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species Introduced by Maritime Shipping Activity in Cuba. Marine Pollution Bulletin

Sylvain P, Johnston MW,  Vaissièrec AC, Bergerd F, Jacoba C, Dodge R (in revision) Scoring ecological mitigation projects based on rapid ecological function assessment using an updated version of the software Visual HEA. Ecological Engineering

Johnston MW, Bernard AM (2017) A bank divided: quantifying a spatial and temporal connectivity break between the Campeche Bank and the north-eastern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Biology 164(1), 1-15.

Johnston MW, Bernard AM, Shivji MS (in press) Forecasting lionfish sources and sinks in the Atlantic: Are Gulf of Mexico reef fisheries at risk? Coral Reefs.

Purkis SJ, Gardiner R, Johnston MW, Sheppard CRC (2016) A Half-Century of Coastline Change in Diego Garcia – a Strategically Important Atoll Island in the Chagos. Geomorphology 261, 282-298.

Johnston MW, Akins, JL (2016) The Non-native royal damsel (Neopomacentrus cyanomos) in the southern Gulf of Mexico; an invasion risk? Marine Biology 163(1), 1-14.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2016) Forecasting the success of invasive marine species; lessons learned from purposeful reef fish releases in the Hawaiian Islands. Fisheries Research 176, 190-200.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ, Dodge RE (2015) Measuring Bahamian lionfish impacts to marine ecological services using Habitat Equivalency Analysis. Marine Biology 162 (12), 2501-2512.

Johnston, MW, Purkis, SJ (2015) A coordinated and sustained international strategy is required to turn the tide on the Atlantic lionfish invasion. Marine Ecology Progress Series 533:219-235.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2015) Hurricanes accelerated the Florida-Bahamas lionfish invasion. Global Change Biology 21, 2249-2260.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2014) Are lionfish set for a Mediterranean invasion? Modelling explains why this is unlikely to occur. Marine Pollution Bulletin 88 (1) 138-147.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2014) Lionfish in the eastern tropical and north Pacific; A cellular automaton approach to risk assessment. Biological Invasions 16 (12), 2681-2695.

GIGA Community of Scientists (2013) Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA): Developing community resources to study diverse invertebrate genomes. Journal of Heredity. 2014:105(1):1-18

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2013) Modeling the potential spread of the recently identified non-native panther grouper (Chromileptes altivelis) in the Atlantic using a cellular automaton approach. PloS one 8.8 (2013): e73023.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2012) Invasionsoft: A web-enabled tool for invasive species colonization predictions. Aquatic Invasions 7(3), 405–417.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2011) Spatial analysis of the invasion of lionfish in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62 (6), 1218–1226.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations:

Johnston MW, Milligan RJ, Easson CG, de Rada S, Penta B, Sutton T (2017) DEEPEND: Characterizing Pelagic Habitats in the Gulf of Mexico Using Model, Empirical, and Remotely-Sensed Data.  Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Johnston MW, Bernard AM, Shivji MS (2016) Genetic and Biophysical Modeling Assessment of Red Grouper (Epinephelus Morio) Connectivity in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeastern USA. 69th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Johnston MW, Bernard AM,  Shivji MS (2016) Lionfish sources and sinks in the Atlantic: are reef fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico at risk? 69th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Johnston MW, Bernard AM, Reichert MJ, Shivji MS (2016) Genetic and Biophysical Modeling Assessment of Connectivity in the Red Grouper, Epinephelus Morio. 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA.

Cowen N, Johnston MW (2016) Monitoring a problem: evaluating the ecological status of the invasive Nile Monitor in Florida and forecasting population expansion using computational GIS. HCNSO Ocean Science Jamboree, Dania Beach, FL, USA.

Johnston MW (2016) A bank divided: quantifying the spatial-temporal connectivity break on the Campeche Bank. HCNSO Ocean Science Jamboree, Dania Beach, FL, USA.

O'Brien C, Johnston MW (2016) Port Mariel, Cuba: promise, prosperity, and pests. HCNSO Ocean Science Jamboree, Dania Beach, FL, USA.

deRada S, Penta B, Johnston MW, Sutton T (2016) A Gulf of Mexico Comparative Analysis of Numerical Model Results, Cruise-Based Observations, and Historical Data. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Sutton TT, Johnston MW, and 18 others (2015) Understanding deep-pelagic ecosystem variability in an age of increasing deep-ocean commercial activity: A Gulf of Mexico case study and new research initiative (DEEPEND). Deep-Sea Biology Symposium, Aveiro, Portugal.

Sutton TT, Cook AC, Johnston MW, and 17 others (2015) DEEPEND: Deep Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Houston, TX.

Lopez J, Johnston MW (2014) Establishing a “Global Invertebrate Genome Alliance” (GIGA) for Comparative Genomics. Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution Meeting.

Johnston MW, Purkis SJ (2013) Lionfish in the Eastern Pacific and Mediterranean - Assessing the Invasion Risk with a Cellular Automaton Model. FWC Lionfish Summit.


Scientific Reports; Coral Reefs; Marine Biology; Marine Ecology Progress Series; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Biological Invasions; Bioinvasion Records; Aquatic Invasions; Aquatic Biology; Management of Biological Invasions; Peerj


2016 GIS and Remote Sensing

2014 GIS and Remote Sensing – ArcGIS Lab, Web-based GIS Programming

2013 GIS and Remote Sensing – ArcGIS/ENVI Lab


Primary Advisor

Noah Cowen - MS Marine Environmental Sciences - "Assessing the habitat range and invasive potential of the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus) in Florida"

Charleen O'Brien - MS Marine Biology - "Harmful Stowaways: The anticipated influence of the Panama Canal expansion on marine bioinvasions in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico"

Stephanie Reilly - MS Marine Biology - "Forecasting the spread and impacts of invasive apple snails in Florida"


Jaime Ahn - MS Marine Biology - "Geospatial analysis of NOAA cetacean stranding data in Florida to explore for human impacts"

Ryan Brookbank - MS Marine Biology - "Mapping the spatial-temporal variation in Ras Ghanadah seagrass meadows and sand shoals between 1996, 2006 & 2012"

Adam Ritterman - MS Marine Biology - "A review of present and alternative lionfish controls in the western Atlantic"



2015-17 DEEPEND Consortium

2011-16 Guy Harvey Research Institute

2013 Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance

2013 South Florida Octocorals Website

2012 International Union for the Conservation of Nature

2011 Living Oceans Foundation

2011 Association L'OEil d'Andromède


2014-15 Oceanographic Center Fishing Tournament Scholarship

2012-14 Oceanographic Center Scholarship



Dive in! Lecture Series - Invited Speaker: "Lionfish on Our Reefs: What Have We Learned 30 Years Post-Introduction?"


NSU OSTEM - Invited Speaker; "Biophysical Modeling of Marine Reef Species"

Gear Up! Faculty Lecture Series - Faculty Seminar; "Data Visualization"

NSU Ambassadors Board - Invited faculty speaker - “Prowling Lions and Damsels Causing Distress: Can Computation Help Save Our Oceans from Invasions?”

NSU - Faculty Seminar - "Modelling generational connectivity of marine organisms using three-dimensional, Lagrangian computer simulation"


OceanTeacher Global Academy (OTGA) Research Data Management Conference - Guest Lecturer - "DEEPEND Data Management and Visualization"

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force - Invited Speaker - "The Economics of Invading Lionfish"

NSU Mathematics Colloquium - Invited Speaker - "Learning from Lionfish: Modeling Marine Invaded Systems"

Fishackathon - Invited Speaker/Contest Judge

NSU OSTEM - Invited Speaker - "Modeling Marine Invasive Species"

RSMAS - Faculty Seminar - "Computer Modeling the Incursion Patterns of Marine Invasive Species"


NSU OSTEM - Invited Speaker - "Web-based GIS and applications for Modeling Marine Invasive Species"

NSU Board of Trustees Retreat - Invited speaker; "Learning from Lionfish; Modeling Marine Invasive Species in the World’s Oceans"


NSU Conference - Invited Speaker; "The Lion, the Web, and the Globe: Web-based Software Development and Data Visualization"

Oceangate Expedition Lionfish – Expedition Lionfish Symposium panel expert (


Visual Studio 2003-2014/VB.Net/.Net Framework 1.1-4.0
ASP.Net,AJAX, Javascript, PHP, SVG, HTML, XML
SQL Server 2000-2014, SQL Server Management Studio (2005-2014)
Object Oriented Analysis and Design
Visual Source Safe, Subversion/Tortoise SVN
SharePoint/SharePoint Web Designer
Joomla 1.6/2.5/3.2
ArcDesktop 9.2/10
MatLab 2011b


Guy Harvey Research Institute Shark tracking web application:

DEEPEND Consortium:

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Great Shark Race Website:

Professional Web Portal:


Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center 3/11–Present
Dania Beach, FL
Research Scientist, DEEPEND Consortium Data Manager

DJSP Processing 9/08–10/10
Plantation, FL
Software Developer

Reynolds, Smith and Hills 6/08–8/08
Plantation, FL
Environmental Scientist

Viewpoint Construction Software 2/04–8/07
Portland, OR
Senior Software Application Developer