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Jennifer Lynch (Fed)

Dr. Jennifer M. (Keller) Lynch’s research interests are to improve the quality of measurements in the field of marine environmental toxicology and chemistry.  She has performed organic analytical chemistry research for the National Institute of Standards and Technology since 2003.  In 2019 she became the Co-Director of the Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) Center for Marine Debris Research (CMDR). The CMDR was established in 2019 in Hawaii, which is one of Earth’s most plastic polluted regions. Dr. Lynch’s current research focuses heavily on quantifying and chemically characterizing plastic marine debris to optimize methods to help answer questions about plastic debris sources, fate, transport, and effects.  She also leads the Biological and Environmental Monitoring and Archival of Sea Turtle tissues (BEMAST) project, as part of the NIST Biorepository. The BEMAST collection currently holds over 3,000 sea turtle tissue samples from across the Pacific Ocean for health and contaminant research, including ingested plastic debris, archived in liquid nitrogen vapor temperatures.  She has published extensively on the measurement and effects of persistent organic pollutants, including legacy organochlorines, flame retardants, and perfluoroalkyl acids, in reference materials, sea turtles and other organisms. She has authored 53 peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters, served on the thesis committees of 21 graduate students, and holds affiliate positions at Hawaii Pacific University and University of Hawaii.  Dr. Lynch is motivated to study pollution exposure and effects in the ocean and educate others through technology transfer to perform quality science that can inform policy and improve environmental measurement.  Her research is part of NIST's Circular Economy program, which supports the nation’s need to transition away from a model in which materials are extracted from the environment, manufactured into products, used, then discarded (a so called “linear economy”) toward one in which the atoms and molecules that make up those products repeatedly cycle within the economy and retain their value.  NRC Postdoctoral Fellowships are available for U.S. Citizens to apply to work with Dr. Lynch in Hawaii.

Membership and Professional Activities

  • North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) Working Group on Indicators of Marine Plastic Pollution Co-Chair, 2019-present
  • Agency Representative for the Federal Working Group on Nanoplastics, 2019-present
  • American Chemical Society Member, 2019-present
  • PICES Study Group on Marine Microplastics Member, 2018
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Member, 1999-2009, 2016-present
  • International Sea Turtle Society, 2000-present
  • Editorial Board Member for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2012-2017 (high ranking reviewer 2017)
  • College of Charleston Adjunct Faculty Member, 2004-2016


Created July 30, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022