Dr. John HR Burns is an assistant professor in Marine Science and Data Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Dr. Burns developed the Multiscale Environmental Graphical Analysis (MEGA) Lab at UH Hilo. This website provides information about our lab and research activities. Please contact us ( if you're interested in learning more about coral biology and ecology. 



Dr. Burns is a research scientist who studies coral health and disease. His work has investigated the physiological impacts of disease on affected corals and how coral mortality affects the ecology and biology of coral reef ecosystems. John has been continuously searching for both global and localized drivers of coral diseases in order to promote healthy coral ecosystems in the face of global stressors such as climate change. His expertise led to his inclusion in the award-winning documentaries, Chasing Coral, Reefs at Risk, and Island Earth. John has recently developed innovative techniques to create three-dimensional maps of coral reefs to accurately measure how natural and human-induced disturbances impact ecosystem function. John’s research has been presented at scientific conferences around the globe and he has authored multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals.