Ocean Acidification

Dr. Heather Page

Dr. Heather Page

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Heather joined the Mote team in January 2018. Her research interests combine marine biology and ecology and ocean chemistry to study coastal carbon biogeochemistry and response of coral reef organisms to ocean acidification. How do biogeochemical processes alter seawater carbonate chemistry, and how do natural and anthropogenic changes in seawater carbonate chemistry affect coral reef ecosystems? Heather investigates these primary research questions by combining experimental (laboratory and mesocosm experiments) and observational (in situ field studies) research approaches.

Although she focuses on coral reefs, she also is interested in the response of other coastal organisms and ecosystems to ocean acidification. For her dissertation research, Heather studied the importance of reef community composition to benthic metabolism and seawater carbonate chemistry. This research aids in our understanding of how communities on reefs may influence natural chemical variability which has implications for ocean acidification. Some communities may buffer against anthropogenic ocean acidification whereas other communities may exacerbate seawater chemistry changes.

Currently, Heather is developing a research program at Mote to study the effects of ocean acidification on three key players of coral reefs in the Caribbean – corals, seaweeds, and sponges. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the interactions between them and how these interactions may be altered in the future. Heather also brings a passion for marine science education, outreach, and communication to her position as a researcher. Throughout her PhD, she taught high school and undergraduate classes through a variety of education programs. Heather also served as a coordinator and volunteer for the Scripps Community Outreach in Public Education (SCOPE) program and currently acts as a representative for the International Society of Reef Studies Education Committee. She is interested in becoming involved with existing outreach programs at Mote and plans to develop new programs in the Florida Keys.


Ph.D. Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), 2017

M.S. Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), 2014

B.S. Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2011


Cyronak, T, Andersson, AJ, Langdon, C, Albright, R, Bates, NR, Caldeira, K, Carlton, R, Corredor, J, Dunbar, RB, Enochs, I, Erez, J, Eyre, BD, Gattuso, J-P, Gledhill, D, Kayanne, H, Kline, DI, Koweek, DA, Lantz, C, Lazar, B, Manzello, D, McMahon, A, Melendez, M, Page, H, Santos, I, Schulz, KG, Shaw, E, Silverman, J, Suzuki, A, Tenenva, L, Watanabe, A, & Yamamoto, S. 2018. Taking the biogeochemical pulse of the world’s coral reefs. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190872.

Paulsen, M-L, Andersson, AJ, Aluwihare, L, Cyronak, T, D’Angelo, S, Davidson, C, Elwany, H, Giddings, S, Harvey, M, Page, HN, Porrachia, M, & Schroeter, S. 2018. Temporal changes in seawater carbonate chemistry and carbon export from a southern California estuary. Estuaries and Coasts. doi: 10.1007/s12237-017-0345-8.

Courtney, TA, De Carlo, EH, Page, HN, Bahr, KD, Barro, A, Howins, N, Tabata, R, Terlouw, G, Rodgers, KS & Andersson, AJ. 2017. Recovery of reef-scale calcification following a bleaching event in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaiʻi. Limnology and Oceanography 3(1): 1-9.

Page, HN, Courtney, TA, Collins, A, De Carlo, EH, & Andersson, AJ. 2017. Net community metabolism and seawater carbonate chemistry scale non-intuitively with coral cover. Frontiers in Marine Science 4:161. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00161.

Page, HN, Andersson, AJ, Jokiel, PL, Rodgers, KS, Lebrato, M, Yeakel, K, Davidson, C, D’Angelo, S, & Bahr, KD. 2016. Differential modification of seawater carbonate chemistry by major coral reef benthic communities. Coral Reefs 35(4): 1311-1325.

Long, WC, Swiney, KM, Harris, C, Page, HN, & Foy, RJ. 2013. Effects of ocean acidification on juvenile red king crab and Tanner crab. PloS ONE 8(4): e60959.

Hettinger, A, Sanford, E, Hill, TM, Russell, AD, Sato, KN, Hoey, J, Forsch, M, Page, HN, & Gaylord, B. 2012. Persistent carry-over effects of planktonic exposure to ocean acidification in the Olympia oyster. Ecology 93(12): 2758-2768.

Page, HN. 2011. Biogeochemical effects on the adult oyster Crassostrea virginica feeding efficiency and condition. University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Biology and Marine Biology, Thesis: 59 pp.