Kittinger, J.N., Rotjan, R.D., Hanich, Q., Pasisi, B. and Rambourg, C., 2024. Balancing protection and production in ocean conservationnpj Ocean Sustainability3(1), p.24.


Kennedy, BRC and RD Rotjan. 2023. Mind the Gap: Comparing exploration effort with global biodiversity patterns and climate projections to determine ocean areas with greatest exploration needs. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2023.1219799

D. M. Baker, N. Bennett, R.L. Gruby, S. Mangubhai, R.D. Rotjan, E. Sterling, K. Sullivan-Wiley, D. Gill, D. Johnson, G. G. Singh, S.C. White, N.J. Gray, M. Imirzaldu, and N.C. Ban. 2023. Improving human well-being outcomes in marine protected areas through futures thinking. One Earth.

Rotjan, RD, KLC Bell, JA Huber, CG Wheat, A Fisher, R Sylvan, J McManus, KT Bigham, S Cambronero-Solano, T. Cordier, S. Goode, J. Leonard, S. Murdock, F.S. Paula, L. Ponsoni, A Roa-Varon, S. Seabrook, R. Schomberg, L. Van Audenhaege, B. Orcutt. 2023. COBRA Master Class: Providing deep-sea expedition leadership training to accelerate early career advancement. Frontiers in Marine Science. 10.3389/fmars.2023.1223197

KH Stankiewicz, N Guiglielmoni, SA Kitchen, JF Flot, KL Barott, SW Davies, JR Finnerty, SP Grace, LS Kaufman, HM Putnam, RD Rotjan, KH Sharp, IB Baums. 2023. Genomic comparison of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata with tropical corals yields insights into winter quiescence, innate immunity, and sexual reproduction. BioRxiv.

Rotjan, RD, J. Huber, KLC Bell, AT Fisher, CG Wheat, R Sylvan, and BN Orcutt. 2023.  Accelerating deep-sea expedition leadership via a new COBRA Master Class. Deep-Sea Life. Issue 20: 15-16


Rotjan, R.D.#, N.E. Ray#, I. Cole, K. Castro, B.R.C. Kennedy, T. Barbasch, K.C. Lesneski, K. Scavo Lord, A. BhardwajM. Edens, I. KarageorgeC. Klawon, H. Kruh-Needleman, G. McCarthy, R. Perez, C. Roberts, I.F. Trumble, A. Volk, J. Torres, and J. Morey. 2022. Shifts in predator behavior following climate induced disturbance on coral reefs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. # = co-first authors

Kennedy, B.R.C. and R.D. RotjanThe Impact of Geological Feature Shape on the Abundance and Diversity of Deep Sea Corals. Authorea. December 22, 2022. DOI: 10.22541/au.167170187.77435246/v1

Gauthier, A.E., R.D. Rotjan, and J.C. Kagan. 2022. Lipopolysaccharide detection by the innate immune system may be an uncommon defense strategy in nature. Open Biology.

Amon, D.#, and R.D. Rotjan#, B.R.C. Kennedy, G. Alleng, R. Anta, K. Gjerde, J. Gobin, T. Edwards, M. Ford-Creary, LA Henderson, A. Hope, B. Phillips, R. Khan Ali, S. Lanser, K. Lewis, H. Lochan, S. MacLean, N. Mwemwenikarawa, D. Novy, B. Rimon, SA Sarjursingh, T. Teemari, A. Turchik, H. Valles, K. Waysang, K.L.C. Bell. 2022. My Deep Sea, My Backyard: A pilot study to build capacity for global deep-ocean exploration and research.  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B  # = co-first authors

Bell, K.L., Chow, J.S., Hope, A., Quinzin, M.C., Cantner, K.A., Amon, D.J., Cramp, J.E., Rotjan, R.D., Kamalu, L., de Vos, A.  Talma, S., Buglass, S., Wade V., Filander A., Noyes, K., Lunch, M., Knight, A., Lourenco, N., Girguis, P., Borges de Sousa, J., Blake, C., Kennedy, BRC., Noyes, TJ., and C.R. McClain. 2022. Low-Cost, Deep-Sea Imaging and Analysis Tools for Deep-Sea Exploration: A Collaborative Design Study. Frontiers in Marine Science, p.1233.

Gerstenbacher, C.M., A.C. Finzi, R.D. Rotjan, and A.B. Novak. 2022. A review of microplastic impacts on seagrasses, epiphytes, and associated sediment communities.  Environmental Pollution.


Fox, M. D., Cohen, A. L., Rotjan, R. D., Mangubhai, S., Sandin, S. A., Smith, J. E., Thorrold, S.R., Dissly, L., Mollica, N.R., and Obura, D.O. (2021). Increasing coral reef resilience through successive marine heatwaves. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL094128.

DiRoberts, L.E., A. Dudek, N.E. Ray, R.W. Fulweiler, and R.D. Rotjan. 2021. Testing assumptions of nitrogen cycling between a temperate, model coral host and its facultative symbiont: symbiotic contributions to dissolved inorganic nitrogen assimilation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 670: 61-74.

Gauthier, A.E., C. Chandler, V. Poli, F. Gardner, A. Tekiau, E. Cordes, T.M. Shank, I. Zanoni, D.R. Goodlett, S.J. Biller, R.K. Ernst, R.D. Rotjan and J.C. Kagan. 2021. Deep-sea microbes as tools to refine the rules of innate immune pattern recognition Science Immunology (6: 1-15):eabe0531.

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Kennedy BRC, Hakam L, Witting J, Milani R, Taei S, Smith T, Taylor E, Teemari T and Rotjan RD. 2021. Historical Trends of Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Distribution in the Phoenix Archipelago. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7:583326. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.583326 


Helmuth, B., J.J. Leichter, R.D. Rotjan, K.D. Castillo, C. Fieseler, S. Jones, and F. Choi. 2020. High resolution spatiotemporal patterns of seawater temperatures across the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Nature Scientific Data 7(396): 1-6.

Jennings, L.A., J. Bojko, R.D. Rotjan, and D.C. Behringer. 2021. Cirolana wesbyii n. sp., (Isopoda: Cirolanidae) a novel species in the Cirolanaparvagroup’ from Turneffe Atoll, Belize. Journal of Natural History (54:31-32) 2053-2069

Sandin, S.A., C.B. Edwards, N.E. Pederden, V. Petrovic, G. Pavoni, E. Alcantar, K.S. Chancellor, M.D. Fox, B. Stallings, C.J. Sullivan, R.D. Rotjan, M. Corsini, B.J. Zgliczynski. 2020. Considering the rates of growth in two taxa of coral across Pacific Islands. Advances in Marine Biology.

Amon, DJ, BRC Kennedy, K Cantwell, K Elliott, D Glickson, TM Shank, and RD Rotjan. 2020. Deep-Sea Debris in the Central and Western Pacific Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science. 7 (369). doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00369

Kennedy, BRC and RD Rotjan. 2020. Deep‐sea ecosystem engineers. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 18 (4), 180-180

Beger, M, H Wendy, J Sullivan, C Mason, J LeGrand, K Davey, S Jupiter, DM Ceccarelli, A Dempsey, G Edgar, D Feary, D Fenner, M Gauna, H Grice, S Noor Kirmani, S Mangubhai, S Purkis, S Richards, R Rotjan, R Stuart-Smith, H Sykes, N Yakub, AG Bauman, A Hughes, J Raubani, A Lewis, L Fernandes. 2020. National-scale marine bioregions for the Southwest Pacific. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Auscavitch, SR, M Deere, AG Keller, RD Rotjan, TM Shank, and EE Cordes. 2020. Oceanographic drivers of deep-sea coral species distribution and community assembly on seamounts, islands, atolls, and reefs within the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Frontiers in Marine Science.


Kennedy BRC, Cantwell K, Malik M, Kelley C, Potter J, Elliott K, Lobecker E, Gray LM, Sowers D, White MP, France SC, Auscavitch S, Mah C, Moriwake V, Bingo SRD, Putts M and Rotjan RD.2019. The unknown and the unexplored: Quantifying what we now know, and still don’t know, about the Pacific deep-sea following the 3-year NOAA CAPSTONE expeditions. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:480. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00480

Rotjan, R.D. and K. Leighty. 2019. Ecology On-Exhibit: Opportunities and challenges for ecological advancement in Zoos and Aquariums. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Hernandez, C., J. Witting, C. Willis, S. Thorrold, J. Llopiz, and R.D. Rotjan. 2019. Evidence and patterns of tuna spawning inside a large no-take Marine Protected Area. Scientific Reports 9 (10772)

Rotjan, R.D., K.H. Sharp, A.E. Gauthier, R. Yelton, E. Baron Lopez, J. Carilli, J.C. Kagan, and J. Urban-Rich. 2019. Patterns, dynamics and consequences of microplastic ingestion by the temperate coral, Astrangia poculataProceedings of the Royal Society B. 286 (1905)

Highlighted: June 2019 National Geographic // IFLScience // WBUR // Forbes and others

Mollica, N.R., Cohen, A.L., Alpert, A.E., Barkley, H.C., Brainard, R.E., Carilli, J.E., DeCarlo, T.M., Drenkard, E.J., Lohmann, P., Mangubhai, S. and Pietro, K.R., H.E. Rivera, R.D. Rotjan, C. Scott-Buechler, A. R. Solow, C.W. Young. 2019. Skeletal records of bleaching reveal different thermal thresholds of Pacific coral reef assemblagesCoral Reefs, pp.1-15.

Mangubhai S., Lovell E., Abeta R., Donner S., Fedfern F., O’Brien M., Aram K.T., Rotjan R., Gillett R., Eria T., Teetu S., Bebe R. 2019. Kiribati: Atolls and marine ecosystems. In C. Sheppard (ed.) World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation Volume II: The Indian Ocean to the Pacific. Second Edition. Elsevier / Academic Press. 934 pgs. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-08-100853-9


Hanich, Q., R. Rotjan, T. Aqorau, M. Bailey, B. Campbell, N. Gray, R. Gruby, J. Hampton, Y. Ota, H. Parris, C. Reid, U. Rashid Sumaila, and W. Swartz. 2018. Unraveling the blue paradox: Incomplete analysis yields incorrect conculsions about Phoenix Islands Protected Area closure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Burmester, E., A. Breef-Pilz, N. Lawrence, L. Kaufman, J. Finnerty, and R. Rotjan. 2018. The impact of autotrophic versus heterotrophic nutritional pathways on colony health and wound recovery in corals. Ecology and Evolution 00:1-12.

Mangubhai, S., Y. Nand and R.D. Rotjan. 2018. Discovery of a recovering climax Acropora community in Kanton Lagoon in the remote Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Pacific Conservation Biology.

Goss, H.A., J. Jaskiel, and R.D. Rotjan. 2018. Thalassia testudinum as a potential vector for incorporating microplastics into benthic marine food webs. Marine Pollution Bulletin 135: 1085-1089. 

Brainard, R.E., T. Oliver, M. J. McPhaden, A. Cohen, R. Venegas, A. Heenan, B. Vargas-Ángel, R.Rotjan, S. Mangubhai, E. Flint, S. A. Hunter. 2018. Ecological Impacts of the 2015-2016 El Niño in the Central Equatorial Pacific. Bulletin of the American Meterological Society (5): 521-52631-1_supplement

D. McKinnie, R.D. Rotjan, and A. Lelei Peau. 2018. Exploring the Pacific Through International Partnerships. In: Raineault, N.A, J. Flanders, and A. Bowman, eds. New frontiers in ocean exploration: The E/V Nautilus, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, and R/V Falkor 2017 field seasonOceanography 31(1), supplement, 126 pp.

Vogt, D.M., K.P. Becker, B.T. Philips, M.A. Graule, R.D. Rotjan, T.M. Shank, E.E. Cordes, R.J. Wood, and D.F. Gruber. 2018. 3D Printing of soft robots at sea: Ad-hoc design and fabrication of soft actuators for the investigation of delicate deep-sea organisms. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0200386

Highlighted: Q1/2018 ROV Planet, Cover StoryBiology of Parrotfishes

See the related video on the Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences Website 

Bonaldo, R. and R.D. Rotjan. 2018. A global perspective of parrotfish corallivory. In: The Biology and Ecology of Parrotfishes. A. Hoey, D. Bellwood, and R. Bonaldo, eds. Science Publishers (An imprint of CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group). 420 pgs. 

Chancerelle, Y., V. Liao, S. Mangubhai, C. Moritz, S. Planes, R. Rotjan, G. Siu, J. Smith. 2018. Republic of Kiribati country report. In: Moritz C, Vii J, Lee Long W, Tamelander J, Thomassin A, Planes S (editors). (2018) Status and Trends of Coral Reefs of the Pacific. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network. ICRI, GCRMN, UN Environment. 220 pages. 


Opel, A., J. Pakes-Nelson, R.D. Rotjan, and C.M. Cavanaugh. 2017. The effect of coral restoration of reef fish communities. Marine Biology 164 (12): 221

Highlighted: 1-11-18 Harvard Gazette 

Sharp, K.H., Z.A. Pratte, A.H. Kerwin, R.D. Rotjan, and F.J. Stewart. 2017. Season, but not symbiont state, drives microbiome structure in the temperate coral Astrangia poculata. Microbiome 5(120): 1-14 

Burmester EM, Finnerty JR, Kaufman L, Rotjan RD. 2017. Temperature and symbiosis affect lesion recovery in experimentally wounded, facultative symbiotic temperate corals. Marine Ecology Progress Series 570: 87-99.

R.D. Rotjan and T. Teroroko. 2017. Advancing science and partnership in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. United Nations SDG14 Voluntary Commitment. #OceanAction20828


DeFilippo, L., EM Burmester, L Kaufman, and RD Rotjan. 2016. Patterns of surface lesion recovery in the northern star coral, Astrangia poculata. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 481: 15-24 

R.D. Rotjan, J. Witting, S. Thorrold, and C. Braun. 2016. The scientific and conservation value of Winslow Reef as part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. New England Aquarium (6 pgs).

R.D. Rotjan, S. Mangubhai, and N. Hillgarth. 2016. American Samoa Expedition 2016– Assessment Report. New England Aquarium. 18 pgs.

Obura, D, SD Donner, S Walsh, S Mangubhai, and RD Rotjan. Phoenix Islands Protected Area climate change vulnerability assessment and management. Living Document. Report to the New England Aquarium. Boston, MA, USA. 35 pp. Updated January 18, 2016

Rotjan RD. 2016. Introduction for Science Comics: Coral Reefs, Cities of the Ocean. Maris Wicks (author), First Second (publisher). 1-Sciencecomics


Kemp, D.W., D.J. Thornhill, R.D. Rotjan, R. Iglesias-Prieto, W.K. Fitt, and G.W. Schmidt. 2015. Spatially-distinct and regionally-endemic Symbiodinium assemblages in the threatened Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata. Coral Reefs 34(2): 535-547

Perrault, JR, EM Muller, ER Hall, and RD Rotjan. 2015. Presence of the northern star coral on a nesting loggerhead turtle. Reef Encounter 30(1): 46 

Mangubhai, S. and R.D. Rotjan. 2015. Phoenix Islands Protected Area Expedition 2015 – Assessment Report. New England Aquarium. 84 pgs.


Rotjan RD, R Jamieson, B Carr, L Kaufman, S Mangubhai, D Obura, R Pierce, B Rimon, B Ris, S Sandin, P Shelley, R Sumaila, S Taei, H Tausig, T Teroroko, S Thorrold, B Wikgren, T Toatu, G Stone. 2014. Establishment, management, and maintenance of the Phoenix Islands Protected AreaIn:Johnson, ML and J Sandell. 2014. Advances in Marine Biology: Marine Managed Areas and Fisheries, vol. 69. Elsevier, Oxford, UK. 

Mangubhai, S, AM Strauch, DO Obura, G Stone, and RD Rotjan. 2014. Short-term changes of fish assemblages observed in the near-pristine reefs of the Phoenix Islands. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 24(2): 505-518



Wagner, Daniel, Aulani Wilhelm, Alan Friedlander, Andrew Skeat, Anne Sheppard, Brian Bowen, Carlos Gaymar, Gustavo San Martin, Ian Wright, Jason Philibotte, John Parks, Jolene Bosanquet, Kahoane Aiona, Joseph Brider, Kim Morishige, Liz Wright-Koteka, Nai’a Lewis, Noeline Brownie, Randall K. Kosaki, Randi D Rotjan, Regen Jamieson Milani, Rob Toonen, Rochelle Constantine, Schannel van Dijken, Sean Andreson, Sue Taei, Tania Temata, Tim Carruthers, Trevor Dublin, Tukabu Teroroko, Tupe Short, Wiriki Tooma, Zeenatul Basher. 2013. Big ocean: A shared research agenda for large-scale marine protected areas. Big Ocean: Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument & UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Proceedings of the 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Auckland, NZ.

Dimond, JL, AH Kerwin, RD Rotjan, K Sharp, FJ Stewart, and DJ Thornhill. 2013. A simple temperature-based model predicts the upper latitudinal limit of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata. Coral Reefs 32(2): 401-409 

Rotjan RD and JA Idjadi. 2013. Surf and Turf: Toward better synthesis by cross-system understanding. Oikos 122(2): 285-287  surf_turf

Newman, RM and RD Rotjan. 2013. Re-examining the fundamentals of grazing: freshwater, marine, and terrestrial similarities and contrasts. Oikos 122(2): 317-320

D.O. Obura and R.D. Rotjan. 2013. Coral reefs and climate change. In: Undewater Eden, Saving the last coral wilderness on earth. G.S. Stone and D.O. Obura, eds. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 170 pp.


Edquist, SK and RD Rotjan. 2012. Testing vacancy chain predictions in Pagurus longicarpus hermit crabs: Does ecological gain and behavioral motivation match environmental context? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 430: 78-86

Mangubhai, S., R.D. Rotjan, and D.O. Obura. 2012. Phoenix Islands Protected Area Expedition 2012 – Assessment Report. New England Aquarium. 44 pgs.


Thornhill, DJ, RD Rotjan, BD Todd, GC Chilcoat, R Iglesias-Prieto, DW Kemp, TC LaJeunesse, J McCabe Reynolds, GW Schmidt, T Shannon, ME Warner, and WK Fitt. 2011. A connection between colony biomass and death in Caribbean reef-building corals. PLoS One 6(12): e29535

Stone, G.S., C. Huffard, M. Erdmann, E. Montague, B. Robison, and R.D. Rotjan. 2011. Seamount Expedition in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia: A trip report of science activities. Conservation International. 19 pgs

RD Rotjan and PF Gawne, eds. 2011. Smithsonian Institution Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems (CCRE) reef assessment and monitoring plan, Carrie Bow Caye, Belize. With key contributions from James Dimond, Walter Flaherty, Zach Foltz, Brian Helmuth, Scott Jones, Les Kaufman, Karen Koltes, Sara Lewis, Valerie Paul, Stuart Sandin, and John Tschirky. Filed with the Smithsonian Institution and the New England Aquarium. 19 pgs.

Mandelman, J., R.D. Rotjan, K. Lagueux, J. Idjadi. Assessing the biological effects of offshore Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) port areas. 2011. New England Aquarium. 57 pgs


Rotjan, RD and JL Dimond. 2010. Discriminating causes from consequences of persistent parrotfish corallivory. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 390(2): 188-195

Berumen, ML and RD Rotjan. 2010. New records of corallivory in the Red Sea. Coral Reefs 29(3): 727.

Rotjan, RD, JR Chabot, & SM Lewis. 2010. Social context of shell acquisition in Coenobita clypeatus hermit crabs. Behavioral Ecology 21(3): 639-646

Highlighted: Scientific American Life is a Shell Game June 2012

Rotjan, R.D. and D.O. Obura. 2010. Phoenix Islands Protected Area 10-Year Research Vision. New England Aquarium. 36 pgs


Rhyne, A, RD Rotjan, A Bruckner, and M Tlusty. 2009. Crawling to collapse: Ecologically unsound ornamental invertebrate fisheries. PLoS ONE; 4(12): e8413

Highlighted: Nature News 2009 doi:10.1038/news.2009.1163 Click here

Highlighted: 3-22-10 New York Times Science Times cover Click here

Lewis, SM and RD Rotjan. 2009. Vacancy chains provide aggregate benefits to Coenobita clypeatus hermit crabs. Ethology 115 (4): 356-365.

Rotjan, RD and SM Lewis. 2009. Predators selectively graze reproductive structures in a clonal marine organism. Marine Biology 156: 569-577.

Kehle, P. and R.D. Rotjan. 2009. Movin’ On Up: Modeling how hermit crabs find new homes. Consortium: Math Today: p. 3-8.

Stone, G.S., D.O. Obura, and R.D. Rotjan. 2009. Phoenix Islands Protected Area Expedition 2009 – Assessment Report. New England Aquarium. 35 pgs.

2008 and earlier

Rotjan, RD and SM Lewis. 2008. The impact of coral predators on tropical reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 367: 73-91.

Harmer, TL, RD Rotjan, AD Nussbaumer, M Bright, AW Ng, EG DeChaine, and CM Cavanaugh. 2008. Free-living tubeworm endosymbionts found at deep-sea vents. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74 (12): 3895-3898

Highlighted:In brief, Nature Reviews Microbiology 2008 6:412 Click here

Griffiths, ME, RD Rotjan, and GS Ellmore. 2007. Salt spray deposition and secretion on leaves of the mangrove Avicennia germinans L. in the Exuma chain, Bahamas. Caribbean Journal of Science 44 (2): 267-271

Rotjan, RD, JL Dimond, D Thornhill, J Leichter, B Helmuth, D Kemp, and SM Lewis. 2006. Chronic parrotfish grazing impedes coral recovery after bleaching. Coral Reefs 25: 361-368.

Rotjan, RD and SM Lewis. 2006. Parrotfish abundance and selective corallivory on a Belizean coral reef. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 335: 292-301.

Rotjan, RD and SM Lewis. 2005. Selective predation by parrotfishes on the reef coral Porites astreoides. Marine Ecology Progress Series 305: 193-201.

Rotjan, RD, J Blum, and SM Lewis. 2004. Shell choice in Pagurus longicarpus: Does predation threat influence shell choice behavior? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 56(2): 171-176 Click here

Pechenik, JA, M Blanchard, and RD Rotjan. 2004. Susceptibility of larval Crepidula fornicatato predation by suspension-feeding adults. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 306(1): 75-94

Rotjan, RD, NW Calderone, and TD Seeley. 2002. How a honey bee colony mustered additional labor for the task of pollen foraging. Apidologie 33(4): 367-373

Special Issues

Special Issue. Pacific Deep-Sea Discoveries: Geological and Biological Exploraton, Patterns, and Processes. Topic Editors: RD Rotjan, D Amon, W Chadwick, S Hammond. Special Research Topic. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Biology of Parrotfishes1-SciencecomicsADVMARINBIOUnderwater Eden coversurf_turfpreview