Joaquim I Goes

Dr. Joaquim Goes was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to parents who formed part of a large diasporic community from a Portuguese colony in India named Goa. Political turmoil forced them to return to Goa where he and his siblings completed their education. After finishing his Master’s degree in 1992 at the University of Bombay in India, Joaquim was offered a Doctoral fellowship by the Japanese Ministry of Education and he moved to Nagoya University, Japan. Clueless in a pre-internet age, he dived headlong into a new culture and language, and oved every bit of it from the sashimi and onsen to kanji.

After Japan lost its ocean color satellite, Joaquim changed the course of his research. Molina and Rowland had just won the Nobel Prize for their work on the formation of the Ozone Hole. Little was then known on how ocean biology would respond to excess solar UV radiation. Working with the late and world renowned geochemist, Prof. Nobuhiko Handa, Joaquim showed how enhanced exposure to UV radiation could profoundly impact phytoplankton photosynthesis and the metabolic compounds they produce.

Later, he pursued his Postdoctoral studies under the late Prof. Toshiro Saino developing a novel algorithm to estimate seawater nitrate from remote sensing. Fortuitously, during his stint as a postdoctoral fellow in Japan, Joaquim met Dr. Barney Balch at a Japan-USA workshop on ocean color in Hawaii in 2000 who invited him to Bigelow Laboratory, Maine after his stint in Japan ended. Once again he embarked on a new journey, this time in a land of lobsters and vast expanses of untouched land often covered in a foot of snow. A year into his Postdoc, Joaquim was appointed as a Senior Research Scientist.

In 2010, he felt the need for another adventure so he moved to the big city of New York. Joaquim is currently a Lamont Research Professor at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in the Palisades and his research focuses on understanding how ocean ecosystems and plankton are responding to climate change. He uses his background in biochemistry to study organisms at the cellular level and combines this with his expertise in ocean color remote sensing and coupled physical biological modeling to address large-scale climatic questions.

The projects that Joaquim works with are very diverse covering the physiology and productivity of marine phytoplankton, carbon cycling in the sea, climate impacts on marine ecosystems and socio-economic implications, microplastics in aquatic ecosystem etc. Funding for his work comes from NASA, NOAA, NSF, Gordon Betty Moore Foundation, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Centre, Hudson River Foundation.

Joaquim mentors undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral students both in his laboratory at Columbia University and at sea, but he especially enjoys working the High School students some of whom have won National and International recognition for their work in his laboratory.

Joaquim has published over 120 peer reviewed papers. Some of his work has been featured in highly acclaimed newspapers, magazines and on Public Broadcasting Service. Joaquim hold a Doctor of Science degree in Ocean Biogeochemistry from Nagoya University, Japan and a Master’s degree in Microbiology, Bombay University, India. He loves music and played the bass in a rock band as a teenager.

Fields of Interest

Climate Change and Marine Ecosystems Phytoplankton Ecophysiology, Ocean Carbon Cycling and Biogeochemistry, Ocean Acidification, Hypoxia, Fisheries, Societal Impacts of Climate Change


  • D.Sc. Ocean Biogeochemistry, Nagoya University, Japan
  • M.Sc, Marine Microbiology, University of Bombay, India
  • B.Sc. Biology, University of Bombay, India

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Centre, Washington, DC.
  • USA Fellow, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan
  • Winner of the 2002 Takeda Foundation Techno – Entrepreneurship Award of 21 million yen for Environmental Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
  • Fellow, United Nations Development Program, Paris, France

Yan, Y., T. Jebara, R. Abernathey, J. I. Goes and H. do R. Gomes (2019) Robust Learning Algorithms for Capturing Oceanic Dynamics and Transport of Noctiluca blooms using Linear Dynamical Models. PLoS ONE 14(6):

Yang, M., J. Ishizaka, J. I. Goes, H. do R. Gomes, E Maure, M. Hayashi, T. Katano, N Fujii, K. Saitoh, T. Mine, H. Yamashita, N. Fujii, A Mizuno (2018) Improved MODIS-Aqua Chlorophyll-a Retrievals in the Turbid Semi-Enclosed Ariake Bay, Japan. Remote Sensing, 10:1335;

Gomes, H. do. R.,  K. McKee, A. Mile, S. Thondapu, K. Al-Hashmi, X. Jiang, J. I. Goes (2018) Influence of light availability and prey type on the growth and photo-physiological rates of the mixotroph Noctiluca scintillans Frontiers in Marine Science (Marine Ecosystem Ecology) 

Gomes, H. do R., Xu, Q., Ishizaka, J., Carpenter, E.J., Yager, P.L., and Goes, J.I. (2018). The Influence of Riverine Nutrients in Niche Partitioning of Phytoplankton Communities–A Contrast Between the Amazon River Plume and the Changjiang (Yangtze) River Diluted Water of the East China Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science, 10.3389/fmars.2018.00374

Goes, J. I., H. do. R. Gomes, K. Al-Hashimi and A. Buranapratheprat (2018) Ecological drivers of Green Noctiluca blooms in two monsoonal driven ecosystems In: “Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms”. Glibert, P., Berdalet, E. Burford, M. Pitcher G. and Zhou, M (Editors).

Muller-Karger, F. E. et al. (2018) Satellite sensor requirements for monitoring essential biodiversity variables of coastal ecosystems. Ecological Applications doi:10.1002/eap.1682

Tesdal, J., R.P. Abernathey, J.I. Goes, A.L. Gordon, and T.W. Haine (2018) Salinity Trends within the Upper Layers of the Subpolar North Atlantic. J. Climate, 31, 2675–2698,

Maúre, E. R., J. Ishizaka, C.  Sukigara, Y. Mino, H. Aiki, T. Matsuno, J. I. Goes and H. do R. Gomes (2017) Mesoscale eddies control the timing of spring phytoplankton blooms: A case study in the Japan Sea. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 11,115–124.

Zhu, Y., J. Ishizaka, J., S. C. Tripathy, C. Sukigara, J. I. Goes, T. Matsuno, T. and D. J. Suggett (2017) Relationship between light, community composition and the electron requirement for carbon fixation in natural phytoplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 580:83-100.

Sahay, A., S. M. Ali, A. Gupta and J. I. Goes (2017) Ocean color satellite determinations of phytoplankton size class in the Arabian Sea during the winter monsoon. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 198. 286-296. 

Weber, S. C., E. J. Carpenter, V. J. Coles, P.L. Yager, P. L., J. I. Goes, J and J. P. Montoya (2017). Amazon River influence on nitrogen fixation and export production in the western tropical North Atlantic. Limnology and Oceanography.

Zielinski, B L., A. E. Allen, E. J. Carpenter, V. J. Coles, B. C. Crump, M. Doherty, R. A. Foster, J. I. Goes, H. do R. Gomes, R. R. Hood, JP McCrow (2016) Patterns of Transcript Abundance of Eukaryotic Biogeochemically-Relevant Genes in the Amazon River Plume." PloS one 11, 9, e0160929.

Hu, H., Wang, J., Liu, H. and Goes, J. I. (2016). Simulation of phytoplankton distribution and variation in the Bering‐Chukchi Sea using a 3‐D physical‐biological model. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 121(6), 4041-4055.

Goes, J. I., H. do R. Gomes, K. Selph and M. Landry (2016) Biological response of Costa Rica Dome phytoplankton to light, silicic acid and trace metals, J. Plankton Res., 38(2), 290-304.