Jennifer L. Salerno

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of State

Affiliate Faculty, George Mason University

Ph.D. University of Hawaii, Zoologyjenandcharlie

M.A. College of William and Mary, Biology

B.S. Rutgers University, Biological Sciences and Marine Sciences

I’m currently serving as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Office of Economic Policy. In this capacity I advise and coordinate U.S. policy on science and technology, energy, and oceans issues across U.S. federal agencies and in international fora. I am also an affiliate faculty member in the Environmental Science and Policy department at George Mason University where I was previously a term professor and postdoctoral research associate.

I research symbiotic and free-living microbes in the ocean and the role that these microbes play in maintaining and destabilizing organismal and environmental health. I obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii where I studied the biogeography of bacterial communities associated with reef-building corals and how these communities respond to environmental change. My Masters thesis research focused on the transmission and nutritional contribution of bacterial symbionts in deep-sea bivalves. My current studies focus on the impacts of hydrocarbons and chemical dispersant on the structure and function of deep-sea coral and shipwreck microbial communities. I also engage in science communication and interdisciplinary work on the intersection of science, policy, and diplomacy. I previously worked on coastal and ocean issues in the U.S. House of Representatives as a NOAA Knauss Legislative Fellow.