Kenneth Johnson

Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Acting Director, Theme 1 Co-Investigator
Office Phone
MBARI, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing CA 95039


Development of chemical sensors and sensor networks and application of the data to understanding global biogeochemical cycles


Ken Johnson is an ocean chemist whose work focuses on the development of novel chemical sensors, autonomous platforms, and the application of the data that these systems produce to understand global biogeochemical cycles.  He has developed long endurance, in situ sensors for a variety of chemicals, including nitrate and pH.  These have been made widely available to the ocean community through partnerships with ocean instrumentation companies.  He has authored more than 100 papers based on these instruments and the data they produce.   He has been Chief Scientist on numerous cruises, including the Southern Ocean Iron Fertilization Experiment (SOFEX), which demonstrated the role of iron in regulating primary production in the Southern Ocean. Ken Johnson also served as Chair from 1994 to 1998 of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), which coordinates the operations of the 25 largest academic research vessels.  He is currently Chair of the Ocean Time Series Advisory Committee.

Dr. Johnson is the Associate Director of SOCCOM and his research group assembles and calibrates the nitrate and pH sensors used in this work and participates in data analysis and outreach.