Nancy Merino

Contact information

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue, L-452
Livermore, CA 94550

Building 361, Rm 1940
phone: 925 424 7605


  • PhD, Civil Engineering (Environmental), University of California, Los Angeles
  • MS, Civil Engineering (Environmental), University of California, Los Angeles
  • BS, Environmental Science, University of California, Los Angeles


Nancy Merino started working at LLNL in January 2019 and her research interests encompass geobiology, environmental microbiology, astrobiology, bioinformatics, and microbe-metal interactions. Merino's current projects include (1) the biodegradation of plastic polymers found in rare-earth magnets, (2) microbial impact on actinide mobility in the environment, focusing on an iron-rich freshwater stratified pond, and (3) climate change impacts on terrestrial wetlands.

Previous Research

  • Postdoctoral scholar at the Earth-Life Science Institute and University of Southern California: Analysis of the microbial community living in a serpentinite-hosted system using single-cell genomics
  • MetaSUB international consortia member: Microbial community analyses of the built environment in Tokyo and Los Angeles
  • Ph.D. thesis and internship at DuPont: Biotransformation of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances using fungi and bacteria

Selected Honors and Awards

  • LDRD LW Microbial Recycling of Plastic Polymer-Bonded Rare-Earth Magnets FY22-FY23
  • ELSI Origins Network (EON) Postdoctoral Fellowship 2016–2018
  • UCLA Dissertation Year Program Award 2015
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR Fellowship 2011–2014

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