Discipline Lead Biography

John D. Rummel, Ph.D.

Dr. John D. Rummel is the NASA Planetary Protection Officer, based at NASA Headquarters. Before rejoining NASA in 1998, he was the Director of Research Administration and Education at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for the MBL's year-round and summer research efforts, its fellowship program, and for the MBL's world-famous program in advanced biological education. During his first tour at NASA Headquarters, Rummel was the Deputy Chief of The Mission >From Planet Earth Study Office, and for six years led NASA's Exobiology Program to understand the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe. During that time he also served as Branch Chief for the Gravitational Biology, Life Support, and Biospheric Research Programs in the Life Sciences Division, and was the SETI Program Scientist for both the Life Sciences and Solar System Exploration Division. He led the US teams responsible for defining joint exobiology and life support activities with the Soviet Union/Russia, and served as the NASA Planetary Protection Officer. For his work at Headquarters Dr. Rummel was the recipient of a number of NASA performance and achievement awards, and was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Rummel first came to NASA in 1985 as a National Research Council Research Associate, conducting research at NASA-Ames on microbial ecology and on the modeling of Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems. Rummel was awarded a Doctorate by Stanford University for his research in community ecology and evolution in 1985. His current research interests include the ecology and biogeography of deep sea hydrothermal vents. He was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado in Environmental Biology, and served on active duty as a Naval Flight Officer for five years before attending graduate school. He currently is a Commander in the Naval Reserve.

To contact Dr. Rummel, e-mail jrummel@hoh.mbl.edu.