Mike Johns, PhD

Farallon Program Biologist

As a Farallon Island program biologist, my main role is to continue the long-term seabird ecology research on Southeast Farallon Island. Seabirds can be important indicators of ocean health, and monitoring the breeding success, phenology, and diet of species breeding on the Farallones can help inform management decisions and track the effects of climate change on marine predators.

I grew up in the Central Valley of California, later moving to the coast to study environmental science at California State University Monterey Bay. I completed my PhD at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2020 where I addressed questions related to age-specific reproductive strategies of Cassin’s auklets, along with their winter dispersal patterns from Southeast Farallon Island.

I first joined Point Blue as a summer seabird intern in 2012, returning in 2014 as a program biologist. In addition to my time on the Farallones, I have worked on multiple seabird projects on islands in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, the Columbia River, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and Tasmania. Prior to discovering seabirds, I spent several years working with humpback whales on the east coast of Australia, and on industry vessels as a marine fauna observer on Australia’s west coast. I also maintain a 100-ton offshore captains license, and operated whale and seabird tours out of Monterey Bay during my college years.

When I’m not marooned on the island, or in Seattle writing, I enjoy travel photography, surfing, kayaking, and lounging around the apartment with my husband and pup.