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Winifred Johnson


Winn Johnson was raised in central Ohio, where the rolling fields of corn were the closest approximation of an ocean. Growing up in a family of botanists, she hiked through wilderness all over the world and gained an intuitive sense of ecological diversity. Her first experience with chemistry was in middle school when she extracted pigments from flower petals for a science fair project. She has been fascinated by biochemistry ever since. At Haverford College, she focused on the synthesis of biomolecules such as antibiotics and peptides. In graduate school at WHOI, she has found a way to combine her chemical and environmental interests by working on marine metabolomics with Ph.D. advisor Elizabeth Kujawinski. Her mentor for this article was science and environmental writer Naomi Lubick. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the cello and makes sure to take a dip in the ocean every month of the year, no matter the temperature.


A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

What gives sea air its distinctive scent? A chemical compound called dimethylsulfide. In a new study, WHOI scientists show that the compound may also be used by marine microbes to communicate with one another.

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