Meet Jennifer Polinski, Research Associate III

I spent the first 22 years of my life in Michigan – the Great Lakes State – but I knew my future career would involve the ocean the first time I strapped on dive gear at the age of 10. We were in Hawaii and my parents, both of whom SCUBA dive, decided I was old enough to join them. The tank was nearly as big as me, but once we made it to the reef I was hooked. Since then, I’ve been diving all over the world – including in Hawaii (again), Australia, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, southeast Florida, the Keyes, the Gulf of Mexico, and Mexico.

Although it was only a matter of time before I packed up and moved seaside, I stayed in Michigan to attend Albion College and, while there, was followed home by a puppy one night. I named him Charlie, and he hasn’t left my side in the 5 years since.

After Albion, Charlie and I headed south to Fort Pierce in Florida to pursue a Masters at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. It was there that I was introduced to genomics, which I used to study microscopic algae that live in corals and provide the coral with food they make via photosynthesis. Living in Florida had its perks, like being able to dive year-round, but I found myself missing the seasons. So, after graduating we headed north again – this time to Woods Hole on Cape Cod. I’d accepted a position working with DNA sequencers at the Marine Biological Laboratory, the oldest marine laboratory in the US, to learn the ins and outs of sequencing.

I’d been on Cape for a year when a friend who had spent a semester studying at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences told me that someone she’d met there was moving to Massachusetts to become the Science Director at a new research institute called Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute. Not long after getting this news Charlie and I were packing our bags again -- this time heading further north to the ‘other cape.’ Since then, the opportunities I’ve had to contribute to the growth and development of GMGI’s research program, not to mention the state-of-the-art research facility that we will be moving into this fall, have made it an exciting and rewarding experience. Best of all, Charlie quickly won the hearts of all and is now a frequent visitor in the office and an honorary member of our GMGI community

Click here to view the June 2018 Newsletter >>

LEFT: Jen and her adventure partner, Charlie - RIGHT: Diving photo from Hawaii

Jennifer Polinski, Research Associate III

Charlie on the beach in Florida

Diving photo from Jen’s trip to Mexico

Jen and her underwater camera

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology research which expands the regional economy.

Gloucester Marine
Genomics Institute

417 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

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