7fcde7 square The Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, SOEST
Robert J. Toonen

Associate Researcher

Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
PO Box 1346
Kane'ohe, HI 96744-1346
Department of Oceanography, 
University of Hawai`i at Manoa, 
1000 Pope Road, 
Marine Sciences Building, 
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 236-7425
Fax: (808) 236-7443
Lab: (808) 236-7471

E-mail: toonen@hawaii.edu

Personal Web Page



  • B.S. 1991 - Zoology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
  • M.S. 1993 - Marine Science, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
  • Ph.D 2001 - Population Biology, University of California, Davis, CA

Research Interests

  • Larval ecology and population structure of marine invertebrates
  • Phylogeography and conservation genetics of coral reef animals
  • Marine ornamental culture & aquarium science

Teaching Activites

  • OCN750 - Advanced topics in Biological Oceanography seminar
  • OCN750 / ZOO691 Advanced topics in Molecular Ecology seminar
  • OCN750 - Professional development seminar for graduate students

Ten Selected Publications

Toonen, R.J. & R.K. Grosberg (2011). Causes of chaos: spatial and temporal genetic heterogeneity in the intertidal anomuran crab Petrolisthes cinctipes. In: Koenemann et al. (eds.) Crustacean Issues: Phylogeography and Population Genetics in Crustacea. Chapter 4, pp 73-106.

Puritz, J.B. & R.J. Toonen (2011). Coastal pollution limits pelagic larval dispersal. Nature Communications. 2:226 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1238, 8pp.

Bird, C.E., B. Holland, B.W. Bowen & R.J. Toonen. 2011. Diversification of sympatric broadcast-spawning limpets (Cellana spp.) within the Hawaiian archipelago. Molecular Ecology. 20:2128-2141.

Toonen, R., K. Andrews, I. Baums, C. Bird, G. Concepcion, T. Daly-Engel, J. Eble, A. Faucci, M. Gaither, M. Iacchei, J. M. Iacchei, Puritz, J. Schultz, D. Skillings, M. Timmers & B. Bowen (2011). Defining boundries for ecosystem-based management: A multispecies case study of marine connectivity across the Hawaiian Archipelago. Journal of Marine Biology #460173, 13 pp.

Wagner, D., X. Pochon, L. Irwin, R.J. Toonen & R.D. Gates (2011). Azooxanthellate? Most Hawaiian black corals contain Symbiodinium. Proceedings of the Royal Society of B: Biological Sciences. 278(1710): 1323-1328.

White, C., J. Watson, D.A. Siegel, K.A. Selkoe, D.C. Zacherl & R.J. Toonen (2010). Ocean currents help explain population genetic structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277:1685-1694.

Weersing, K.A. & R.J Toonen (2009). Population genetics, larval dispersal, and demographic connectivity in marine systems. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Feature Article 393:1-12.

Wares, J., P.H. Barber, J. Ross-Ibarra, E. Sotka & R.J. Toonen. (2006). Mitochondrial DNA and Population Size. Science 314:1388-1389.

Selkoe, K.A. & R.J. Toonen. (2006). Microsatellites for Ecologists: A practical guide to using and evaluating microsatellite markers. Ecology Letters Reviews & Synthesis 9:615-629.

Toonen, R.J. & J.R. Pawlik. (1994). Foundations of gregariousness. Nature 370:511-512

Complete list of publications