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Craig Nelson

​Associate Research Professor
Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education 
Department of Oceanography and UH Sea Grant
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

Phone: (808) 956-0566
Fax: (808) 956-0581
Web: &


Craig’s research lies at the interface of microbial ecology and ecosystem science, specializing in the structure and function of natural microbial communities in aquatic habitats such as coral reefs, lakes, streams, and the open ocean. By studying microorganisms such as Bacteria and Archaea in the context of the ecosystems which they inhabit, his research broadly aims to simultaneously shed light on their immense undiscovered diversity and illustrate their collective role in controlling the key elemental transformations that sustain life on Earth.


My background in aquatic microbial ecosystems ecology helps place aquatic microorganisms in biogeochemical context across the freshwater-saltwater continuum.


The health of water, both on land and at sea, is of interest to everyone. Human activities that change or pollute water are sometimes complex, and microbes can help us understand how we are altering our water and how that might impact the organisms that live in water. Understanding how our actions alter water can guide our lifestyles, especially as freshwater resources grow more and more valuable and maintaining healthy, productive coastal ecosystems becomes more central to our existence on these islands.

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