Kimberly Takagi

Kimberly Takagi is a coastal ecosystems ecologist, broadly interested in the biogeochemical dynamics of nutrients and carbon.

Her passion for marine science began as an undergraduate researcher, comparing the trade-offs between chemical and cognitive defenses in opisthobranch molluscs. Although her work has since branched out into coastal ecosystem function, she maintains an interest and appreciation for all things related to sea hares, hermit crabs, and chemical ecology. 

As a graduate student, under the direction of Dr. Makoto Tsuchiya, Kimberly used fatty acid biomarkers to identify the food resources of the hemichordates Ptychodera flava, and Schizocardium sp. as well as the soldier crab Dotilla mictyroides. She also investigated the role of these invertebrates in the nutrient and organic matter cycles within the coral reef ecosystems of Okinawa, Japan and Phuket, Thailand.

While working as an adjunct professor at Chapman University, Kimberly was concurrently a postdoctoral research associate in Ecosystems Ecology Lab of Dr. Jason Keller. Together, they assessed the role of humic substances in organic carbon mineralization in freshwater wetland ecosystems. Kimberly also mentored undergraduate researchers both in an investigation of carbon accretion in salt marsh ecosystems and a further investigation of the chemical defenses of the sea hare Aplysia californica.

In October, 2012, Kimberly joined Dr. Joye’s lab and began working with a long-term data set (2000–2012) from the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems - Long Term Ecological Research Project (GCE-LTER). She is currently analyzing these data to assess the biogeochemical dynamics of the Altamaha River and its major tributaries. From these results and LTER data from the Altamaha river mouth and sound, she will also be looking at the connectivity between the terrestrial and marine ecosystems.  


2010, Ph.D., Marine and Environmental Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan

2007, M. Sc., Marine Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan

2005, B. Sc., Integrative Biology, Chapman University, Orange, CA

Research Interests

  • Marine invertebrate ecology
  • Coastal biogeochemistry