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Northeastern Grad Named Finalist for Prestigious Knauss Fellowship

A Woods Hole Sea Grant-sponsored candidate was named a finalist for the prestigious John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, the National Sea Grant Program announced.

Rebecca Certner is a recent graduate of Northeastern University with a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. Her dissertation focused on white band disease in critically endangered Caribbean corals, particularly bacterial population structure, quorum sensing, and gene expression.

Dr. Certner is passionate about science communication and has contributed to several blogs and media outlets aimed at science education and marine conservation. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

“I’m looking forward to building a strong foundation at the interface between research and practical policymaking and hopes to use the Knauss Fellowship to advocate for sustainable solutions to the many challenges facing our oceans,” she said.

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review. Students finishing Masters, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine science, policy or management apply to one of the 33 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state Sea Grant program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. In November 2017, the 2018 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2018.