Deborah Purce

Fellowship and Research Specialist


  • Marine natural history
  • Community Outreach and Engagement
  • Informal science education
  • Systems innovation
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM

Deborah joined Washington Sea Grant in 2018. As the Fellowships and Research Specialist, she manages the competitive selection of students and recent graduates to fill marine policy, fisheries, communications and other marine science fellowships. She supports the selection and implementation of competitive research, education and outreach project grants including scientific reviews and technical evaluation for proposals submitted in response to Washington Sea Grant requests for proposals.

Previously, Deborah’s work in marine science included coral reef restoration in the Dominican Republic (2010), marine protected areas research as a Fulbright scholar in Chile (2007), and graduate research on bivalve physiology related to aquaculture in Baja California Sur, Mexico (2005). Her first exposure to Washington Sea Grant was as a 2008 NOAA Coastal Management Fellow developing shoreline public access tools and policy guidelines at the Washington State Department of Ecology.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Latin American studies from Lewis & Clark College and a master’s degree in marine biology from Western Washington University. Deborah is fluent in Spanish, and is passionate about science fiction, the outdoors and creating pipelines to science careers for underrepresented communities.