STT = St. Thomas Campus,
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

STX = Albert A. Sheen Campus,
St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

STJ = St. John Academic Center,
St. John, US Virgin Islands

Habtes, Sennai Y, Ph.D.

Habtes, Sennai Y, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor of Biological Oceanography
College of Science and Mathematics
Research and Public Service


STT:(340) 693-1388


MSC 217




My research falls primarily within the fields of fisheries oceanography and zooplankton ecology and is focused on using timeseries data to study patterns in, and impacts to marine organisms in tropical and subtropical regions. This often requires the development and analysis of data products from satellite, airborne and in-situ oceanographic sensors to understand large marine ecosystems at synoptic spatial and longer temporal scales. Here at UVI I am interested in studying the physical processes and environmental variability in coastal and pelagic ecosystems surrounding the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and to determine how these factors affect the abundance and distribution of marine organisms. In particular I am interested in larval fish and zooplankton, which are important life stages for most commercial and recreational fisheries. This information can be used to develop better tools for ecosystem based management and fisheries decision support systems.

Office Hours

Tuesdays 10 am to 12 pm
Fridays 2 pm to 4 pm


  • Habtes, S., Muller-Karger, F.E., Roffer, M.A., Lamkin, J.T., & Muhling, B.A. (2014) A comparison of sampling methods for larvae of medium and large epipelagic fish species during spring SEAMAP ichthyoplankton surveys in the Gulf of Mexico. Limnology & Oceanography: Methods 12: 86-101.
  • Muhling, B.A., Roffer, M.A., Lamkin, J.T., Ingram Jr., G.W., Upton, M.A., Gawlikowski, G., Muller-Karger, F., Habtes, S., Richards, W.J. (2012) Overlap between Atlantic bluefin tuna spawning grounds and observed Deepwater Horizon surface oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64: 679-687.
  • Lindo-Atichati, D., Bringas, F., Goni, G., Muhling, B., Muller-Karger, F.E., Habtes, S. (2012) Varying mesoscale structures influence larval fish distribution in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecological Progress Series 463: 245-257.
  • Montes, E., Muller-Karger, F., Lomas, M.W., Cianca, A., Lorenzoni, L., Habtes, S. (in review). Decadal variability in the oxygen inventory of North Atlantic Subtropical Underwater captured by sustained, long-term oceanographic time-series observations. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. Paper #2015GB005183.