Natasha Henschke

Ph.D., Biological Oceanography

2015-2016 Princeton University

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Oceanography (University of British Columbia)

Natasha Henschke’s background is in biological oceanography, with her research focusing on how gelatinous zooplankton communities respond to changing oceanographic conditions. There is concern that as a result of anthropogenic factors our oceans are shifting from a fish-based to a jellyfish-based ecosystem, however recent reviews have failed to reach a consensus on whether gelatinous zooplankton abundances have been increasing worldwide. In her current work at Nereus she aims to investigate this issue by using earth system models developed at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory to examine the distribution and abundance of future gelatinous zooplankton populations under different climate and fishing scenarios.


Henschke, N., Everett, J.D., Suther, I.M., 2016, An observation of two oceanic salp swarms in the Tasman Sea: Thetys vagina and Cyclosalpa affinis, Marine Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Marine Biodiversity Recordslink

Henschke N., Everett J., Richardson A., Suthers I., 2016, Rethinking the Role of Salps in the Ocean, Marine Ecosystem, Marine Habitat, Trends in Ecology and Evolutionlink

Compared to historical times, there has been an increase in the frequency of reportings of jellyfish sightings in coastal waters. Based on a few regional case studies, many have gathered that jellyfish population sizes are exploding due to warming waters. However, there are not a lot of datasets to support this. Natasha Henschke addressed this topic in her research completed during her fellowship with the Nereus Program.

August 8, 2017

Nereus Fellow at Princeton University Natasha Henschke attended the 5th International Jellyfish Bloom Symposium from May 30 to June 3 in Barcelona, Spain.

June 21, 2016 | Biodiversity

Nereus Program Fellow at Princeton University Natasha Henschke attended the ICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium “New Challenges in a Changing Ocean” from May 9-13 2016, in Bergen, Norway.

May 17, 2016 | Ecology

‘Aliens’, ‘jelly-balls’, ‘globs’, ‘buckets of snot’, and ‘sea-walnuts’. These are the names media have used to describe salps, as mentioned by Nereus Fellow Natasha Henschke, Princeton University, in her recently published paper “Rethinking the Roles of Salps in the Ocean”.

Nereus Alumnus Natasha Henschke (Princeton University) and current UBC postdoc with Evgeny Pakhomov is at sea on the RV Investigator, sailing off the East Australian coast. She is working as the deputy chief scientist, helping to collect data that will allow, for the first time, the relationship between open ocean production and coastal fisheries off south eastern Australia to be established. The voyage will be used to study the Tasman Sea ecosystem and examine the link between plankton and fisheries in the region.

September 15, 2017