Garrett Johnson

Scientific Diver


As a Tennessee native, some eight hours from the nearest coast, many ask what inspired Garrett to study marine biology, to which he replies “I just looked at the ground”! In his youth he noticed fossils from an ancient seabed all over his hometown. This raised many questions and eventually led him to pursue his Bachelors in Marine Biology at James Cook University in QLD, Australia. Post graduation he moved to the UK to work for a rebreather and dive computer manufacturer where he developed a passion for electronic design. Garrett is currently in pursuit of a masters degree through the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. There, he is combining his two passions, electronics and marine biology, to study fish populations on the deepest portions of Pacific Coral Reefs. With the advent of closed-circuit rebreather technology these reefs, known officially as Mesophotic Coral Reefs, are alas being explored. Garrett's mission is to characterize fish populations that exist on Mesophotic Reefs as well as to determine if they may possibly serve as a refuge or ‘seed bank’ for fish species that also occur on shallower reefs. His role on the Expedition will be to assist in conducting fish surveys at all sites visited. Fish surveys serve as an excellent and straightforward method of determining the overall health of coral reef systems. Marine biologists are assigned the huge task of protecting the world’s coral reefs, and fish-surveys help us determine what lives there and their abundance so that policy-makers can make more-informed decisions in future marine policies.