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Dr. Camille Jazmin Gaynus

AFFILIATION: Black in Marine Science

TITLE: Chief Science Officer

LOCATION: Pennsylvania


EXPERTISE AREA: Black/African-American Communities, Conservation, Environmental Education, Ocean Justice, Outdoors/Recreation


Originally from the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, Dr. Camille Gaynus established a love of the water at an early age. She grew up as a competitive swimmer and swam throughout her high school years for the Serpents, based in West Philadelphia, and The Shipley School. However, it was not until she entered Hampton University as a Marine and Environmental Science major that she realized she could turn her passion for water and the ocean into a career. Upon graduating from Hampton University, she started a PhD in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at UCLA. She spent the majority of her PhD research examining the factors that increase algae coverage, a sign of a degraded or unhealthy system, in coral reefs. She spent two years as a postdoc at the University of Penn in the Biology Department, where she uses molecular techniques to assess how the taxonomic composition of algal communities changes when there are changes in herbivory and nutrients. Upon leaving her postdoc, she spent time working at Penn State Brandywine as an assistant teaching faculty. There she taught classes related to marine science, molecular biology, and computer coding. There are two things Camille loves about being a marine scientist. First is the sheer amount of knowledge the ocean holds. It gives her countless opportunities to learn and explore. Second, she physically enjoys being underwater. There is something about being totally submerged in water that is calming for Camille. She got involved in 501c3 non-profit Black In Marine Science ( because she loves being Black and she believes it is important that we highlight Black stories to combat anti-Blackness and is excited to be the organizations Chief Science Officer. The ocean is integral to us all, however the exclusion of Black peoples globally negatively impacts our conservation efforts. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, painting (, and communing with friends and family throughout the city of Brotherly Love.


Contact Dr. Camille Jazmin Gaynus at

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