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Jennifer V. Schmidt, Ph.D., Director of Science and Research


Jennifer V. Schmidt, Ph.D. as a post doc Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, along with molecular biologists Robin Ernst, Robert Phillips, Ph.D. and Greg O’Mullan, Ph.D., she initiated SRI’s DNA studies of sharks in 2002. Robin and Jennifer were the first to isolate genetic markers of whale sharks.

Jennifer attended the First International Whale Shark Conference in Perth (2005), and the Second International Whale 4-Genomics-Jennifer-SchmidtShark Conference at Holbox, Mexico (2008). She is also on the Gujarat (India) Whale Shark Advisory Committee and advises on the tissue sampling and genetic analysis of the Gujarati whale sharks. In 2008, Jennifer, Robin and Marie Levine went to Donsol, Philippines to meet local researchers. See:

A 2009 paper by Jennifer, Robin and Marie, Low Genetic Differentiation across Three Major Ocean Populations of the Whale Shark, is on our website at:

Jennifer collaborated with Dr. Shoou-Jeng Joung of the National Taiwan Ocean University to determine paternity of 29 embryonic pups of different gestational ages which were taken from the only pregnant whale shark examined by scientists.