Zackary Johnson

Zackary Johnson

Arthur P. Kaupe Associate Professor of Molecular Biology in Marine Science

Our group broadly studies the abundance, diversity and activity of marine microbes. We are biological oceanographers, marine molecular ecologists, marine microbiologists and biogeochemists.  Our research focuses on the marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus, the most abundant phytoplankton in the open oceans and an excellent model marine microbe, as well as the biotechnological applications of marine microalgae.  We are at the Marine Laboratory as part of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

In The News


Gong, Y., T. Bandara, M. Huntley, Z. I. Johnson, J. Dias, D. Dahle, M. Sørensen, and V. Kiron. “Microalgae Scenedesmus sp. as a potential ingredient in low fishmeal diets for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).” Aquaculture 501 (February 25, 2019): 455–64.
Loftus, Sarah E., and Zackary I. Johnson. “Reused Cultivation Water Accumulates Dissolved Organic Carbon and Uniquely Influences Different Marine Microalgae..” Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7 (January 2019).
Hogle, Shane L., Christopher L. Dupont, Brian M. Hopkinson, Andrew L. King, Kristen N. Buck, Kelly L. Roe, Rhona K. Stuart, et al. “Pervasive iron limitation at subsurface chlorophyll maxima of the California Current..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 52 (December 10, 2018): 13300–305.
Duan, Yingbo, Ningdong Xie, Zhiquan Song, Christopher S. Ward, Cheuk-Man Yung, Dana E. Hunt, Zackary I. Johnson, and Guangyi Wang. “A High-Resolution Time Series Reveals Distinct Seasonal Patterns of Planktonic Fungi at a Temperate Coastal Ocean Site (Beaufort, North Carolina, USA)..” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 84, no. 21 (November 2018).
Xie, Ningdong, Biswarup Sen, Zhiquan Song, Yue Zhao, Zixi Chen, Weijie Shi, Yongfeng Zhang, Jianle Zhang, Zackary I. Johnson, and Guangyi Wang. “High phylogenetic diversity and abundance pattern of Labyrinthulomycete protists in the coastal waters of the Bohai Sea..” Environmental Microbiology 20, no. 8 (August 30, 2018): 3042–56.

Recent Grants


EOS 704LA: Biological Oceanography (EOS 704LA: Biological Oceanography)
ENVIRON 704LA: Biological Oceanography (ENVIRON 704LA: Biological Oceanography)
ENVIRON 719: Aquaculture (ENVIRON 719: Aquaculture)
ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study (BIOLOGY 293A: Research Independent Study)

Contact Information

135 Duke Marine Lab Rd., Duke Marine Laboratory
Beaufort, NC 28516


Ph.D., Duke University (2004)
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994)