Sonke Johnsen

Professor of Biology

301 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7321


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1996

  • B.A., Swarthmore College 1988

Dreyer, David, Barrie Frost, Henrik Mouritsen, Anja Günther, Ken Green, Mary Whitehouse, Sönke Johnsen, Stanley Heinze, and Eric Warrant. “The Earth's Magnetic Field and Visual Landmarks Steer Migratory Flight Behavior in the Nocturnal Australian Bogong Moth.Current Biology : Cb 28, no. 13 (July 2018): 2160-2166.e5. Full Text

Fitak, Robert R., Lorian E. Schweikert, Benjamin R. Wheeler, David A. Ernst, Kenneth J. Lohmann, and Sönke Johnsen. “Near absence of differential gene expression in the retina of rainbow trout after exposure to a magnetic pulse: implications for magnetoreception.Biology Letters 14, no. 6 (June 2018). Full Text

Caves, Eleanor M., Patrick A. Green, and Sönke Johnsen. “Mutual visual signalling between the cleaner shrimp Ancylomenes pedersoni and its client fish.Proceedings. Biological Sciences 285, no. 1881 (June 2018). Full Text

Arniella, M. B., R. R. Fitak, and S. Johnsen. “Unmapped sequencing reads identify additional candidate genes linked to magnetoreception in rainbow trout.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 101, no. 5 (May 1, 2018): 711–21. Full Text

Schweikert, Lorian E., Robert R. Fitak, and Sönke Johnsen. “De novo transcriptomics reveal distinct phototransduction signaling components in the retina and skin of a color-changing vertebrate, the hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus).Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 204, no. 5 (May 2018): 475–85. Full Text

Caves, Eleanor M., Nicholas C. Brandley, and Sönke Johnsen. “Visual Acuity and the Evolution of Signals.Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, no. 5 (May 2018): 358–72. Full Text

Caves, E. M., and S. Johnsen. “AcuityView: An r package for portraying the effects of visual acuity on scenes observed by an animal.” Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9, no. 3 (March 1, 2018): 793–97. Full Text

Bracken-Grissom, H., E. Widder, S. Johnsen, C. Messing, and T. Frank. “Decapod diversity associated with deep-sea octocorals in the Gulf of Mexico.” Crustaceana 91, no. 10 (January 1, 2018): 1267–75. Full Text

Haddock, S. H. D., L. M. Christianson, W. R. Francis, S. Martini, C. W. Dunn, P. R. Pugh, C. E. Mills, et al. “Insights into the biodiversity, behavior, and bioluminescence of deep-sea organisms using molecular and maritime technology.Oceanography 30, no. 4 (December 1, 2017): 38–47. Full Text

Fitak, Robert R., and Sönke Johnsen. “Bringing the analysis of animal orientation data full circle: model-based approaches with maximum likelihood.The Journal of Experimental Biology 220, no. Pt 21 (November 2017): 3878–82. Full Text


Gagnon, Y. L., and S. Johnsen. “Visual acuity in deep-sea fish and mollusks.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 53:E73–E73. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2013.

Brandley, N. C., and S. Johnsen. “The black widow's hourglass: a covert aposematic signal?” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E19–E19. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Johnsen, S., and N. J. Marshall. “Through the looking glass: Are silvery fish safe from viewers with polarization vision?” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E87–E87. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.

Speiser, D., Y. L. Gagnon, R. K. Chhetri, A. L. Oldenburg, and S. Johnsen. “Optical coherence tomography (OCT) reveals that scallop eyes may have bifocal optics.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 52:E165–E165. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2012.


Speiser, D., and S. Johnsen. “Seeing through rocks: Chitons use calcium carbonate lenses to form images.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 51:E130–E130. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2011.

Baldwin, Fergus J. L., and S. Johnsen. “When love is blind: Vision constrained by molting during mating in the female blue crab.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 51:E6–E6. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2011.

Johnsen, S., and N. J. Marshall. “Using sunglasses to find the best burger in town: Polarization vision as a camouflage breaker in pelagic predators.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 51:E64–E64. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2011.

Speiser, D., E. R. Loew, and S. Johnsen. “Spectral sensitivity of the concave mirror eyes of scallops: The influence of habitat and longitudinal chromatic aberration.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50:E166–E166. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2010.

Baldwin, J. L., and S. Johnsen. “Does this color make my claws look phat? Evaluating claw color preferences in male blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus.” In Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50:E7–E7. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2010.