Judith McDowell received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Stonehill College in 1969, and her master’s and doctorate in zoology from the University of New Hampshire in 1971 and 1974, respectively. She is now a senior scientist in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She also serves as director of the Woods Hole Sea Grant Program and as associate dean at WHOI.
Her research focuses on the physiological ecology of marine animals and the effects of chemical contaminants on the marine environment. She has participated in numerous national and international committees and workshops dealing with marine pollution, including the National Research Council, Committee on Oil in the Sea, and the Advisory Committee on the Marine Environment for the International Council for Exploration of the Seas. She has supervised 14 graduate students and postdocs.