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Marc Zimmer

Connecticut College

Marc Zimmer was born in a small town in South Africa. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from the University of Witwatersrand. Partly out of interest and partly out of a need to avoid the South African (apartheid) military service, he came to the United States where he got his Ph.D. in chemistry from W.P.I. and did his post-doc at Yale University. Marc has been at Connecticut College for the last 25+ years where he teaches chemistry and studies the proteins involved in producing light in jellyfish and fireflies. He has also taught at the University of Cape Town and Heidelberg University and given talks about his research in India, Cuba, South Africa and all over Europe.

Marc has written 5 books, amongst them are Illuminating Disease (Oxford University Press), which is based on a class he taught on the Spring 2012 and Summer 2013 Semester at Sea voyages and 3 books about bioluminescence, environmental chemistry, and optogenetics written for young adults. Marc has published over 65 research papers about cow flatulence, computational chemistry, and bioluminescence in fireflies and jellyfish. He was named the Connecticut Professor of the Year 2007 by the Carnegie Foundation and named one of “Thirteen of the best college professors in the country” in the Huffington Post. Marc and his glowing axolotls often visit schools to give chemistry demonstrations, classes, and workshops.

This will be Zimmer’s fourth Semester at Sea voyage. He and his wife Dianne can’t wait to rejoin the Semester at Sea community on board the MV World Odyssey.