Dr. Joaquim I Goes

Lamont Research Professor, Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Columbia Climate School

Marine Biology 129
61 Route 9W
Palisades, NY 10964-1000


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.



Recent PBS Interview on Climate Change and Algal Blooms of the Arabian Sea


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
A Time Series of Sea Surface Nitrate and Nitrate Based New Production in the Global Oceans 5/1/13 4/30/19
Assessing the causes for the rise in abundance and seasonal productivity of the green mixotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca in the Arabian Sea ecosystem 9/1/13 8/31/16
Assessing the Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice Melting and Freshwater Flux on Phytoplankton Productivity 9/1/15 8/31/18
Characterization of Large and Unusual Noctiluca Blooms in the Northern Arabian Sea and Their Role in Carbon Cycling During the Winter Monsoon 1/28/11 4/27/14
Collaborative Research: Quantitative Importance and Trophic Role of Noctiluca Blooms in the Arabian Sea 10/4/10 10/31/12
Decision and Information System for the Coastal Waters of Oman (DISCO) - an Integrative tool for managing coastal resources under changing climate 5/1/17 4/30/22
Ecological and Sociodemographic Determinants and Impacts of Urbanization and Restoration on Intertwined Urban-Wetland-Estuarine Systems 7/20/17 7/19/21
High-resolution shipboard measurements of phytoplankton functional types and photosynthetic competency - a way forward for enhancing the utility of satellite Chlorophyll and SST for mapping coastal micro-scale features and frontal zones 1/8/16 1/7/19
High-resolution Shipboard Measurements of Phytoplankton Functional Types, Size Classes and Photosynthetic Competency in support of SUOMI-VIIRS Ocean Color Observations 7/1/17 5/31/21
High-resolution Shipboard Measurements of Phytoplankton Functional Types, Size Classes and Photosynthetic Competency in support of SUOMI-VIIRS Ocean Color Observations 6/21/18 5/31/19
Implications of changing sea ice on phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass and community structure 7/16/14 7/15/16
Investigating host-symbiont interactions in a mixotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca 9/26/16 2/15/21
Spatial and temporal variability in chlorophyll, primary production and carbon export in the Bering Sea linked to climate change 8/26/11 8/25/12
Towards Early Detection and Forecasting of Noctiluca Blooms in the Sea of Oman 5/1/17 4/30/19
Distribution, Transport, and Fate of Microplastics and Associated Pollutants in the Lower Hudson River and Waterways around New York City 7/1/19 6/30/22
Bio-Optical Monitoring and Evaluation System (BIOMES) for Improving Satellite Estimates of Ocean Net Primary Production for Carbon Cycling and Climate Change Studies 12/1/19 11/30/22
RAPID - Assessing the Response of the Seychelles-Chagos Thermocline Ridge Ecosystem to an Indian Ocean Dipole Event 3/1/20 2/28/23
Refined Integration of Remote Sensing with Biological Parameters for Improved Management of LIS Water Quality/Long Island Sound Study 2018-2022 10/1/20 9/30/21
BIOSCape-Mapping of phytoplankton functional types from space in support of coastal resource management and decision support activities 6/1/22 5/1/25
GLIMR: A hyperspectral geostationary sensor for measurement of dynamic coastal ecosystem and carbon cycle processes 5/1/21 1/1/27
RAPID: Assessing the Response of the Seychelles-Chagos Thermocline Ridge Ecosystem to an Indian Ocean Dipole Event 3/1/20 2/1/23
Bio-Optical Monitoring and Evaluation System (BIOMES) for improving satellite estimates of Ocean Net Primary Production for Carbon Cycling and Climate Change studies 12/1/19 11/1/22
Decision and Information System for the Coastal waters of Oman (DISCO) - An integrative tool for managing coastal resources under changing climate 5/1/17 4/1/23
Collaborative Research: NNA Research: Rapid Arctic change and its implications for fisheries and fishing communities of the western North Atlantic 1/1/23 12/1/23
Ecological and sociodemographic determinants and impacts of urbanization and restoration on intertwined urban-wetland-estuarine systems 7/1/17 7/1/22
Development of a Prototype Kenya Ocean Monitoring and Decision Support System for Sustainable Coastal Resource Management under Climate Change 6/1/22 8/1/24
Geostationary Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) Instrument 5/17/21 1/31/30
Developing Sustainable and Closed loop Solutions to Reduce Synthetic Fibers, Microplastics, and Nanoplastics Leakage from Laundry Systems into the Marine Environment 4/1/23 3/31/27
NNA Research: Collaborative Research: Rapid Arctic change and its Implications for Fisheries and Fishing Communities of the Western North Atlantic 1/1/23 12/31/25
Community Science to Address Microplastic Pollution in Environmental Underserved Communities in New York and New Jersey 7/1/23 6/30/25
New York Sea Grant Research 2021-2025 and Environmental Justice Needs Assessment 3/1/23 2/28/25
Exploiting Multi-platform, Multisensor Data for Improved Measurements of Net Primary Production from GCOM-C SGLI for Climate Change Studies 5/1/22 3/31/24
MARACOOS (Mid-Atlantic IOOS): Powering Understanding and Prediction of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, Coast, and Estuaries 5/3/22 7/31/23


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): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218183

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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091335

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) https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00374 

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, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0532.1

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. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074359

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. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12310

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.