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Marine Sciences Division

Molly Grear

Molly Grear

Marine Sciences Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
1529 West Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, Washington 98382


Dr. Molly Grear is an ocean engineer and marine biologist working in the Coastal Sciences Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her work focuses on the environmental impacts of installing new ocean technology, as well as using biological processes and mechanics to inspire engineering design. Her recent work has also included coastal modeling projects, such as understanding the impacts of storms on coastal infrastructure, resource assessment for wave energy, and modeling offshore macroalgae cultivation. Prior to joining the lab in 2020, Dr. Grear led the National Science Foundation's portfolio in ocean science and technology policy, including advising the White House Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, as well as assisting in preparing the U.S. National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

Dr. Grear holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington, where she studied the potential injury risk of marine mammals from tidal turbine collision through testing and modeling the structural mechanics of whale skin and blubber.

Research Interests

  • Marine biomechanics
  • Marine mammal interactions with human structures
  • Environmental impacts of marine renewable energy
  • Ecological engineering in the marine environment

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, 2018
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, 2016
  • B.E., Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College, 2012

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology
  • American Geophysical Union

PNNL Publications


  • Wang T., Z. Yang, W. Wu, and M.E. Grear. 2018. "A Sensitivity Analysis of the Wind Forcing Effect on the Accuracy of Large-Wave Hindcasting." Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 6, no. 4. PNNL-SA-139620. doi:10.3390/jmse6040139


  • Copping A.E., M.E. Grear, R.A. Jepsen, C. Chartrand, and A.M. Gorton. 2017. "Understanding the Potential Risk to Marine Mammals from Collision with Tidal Turbines." International Journal of Marine Energy 19. PNNL-SA-120984. doi:10.1016/j.ijome.2017.07.004


  • Copping A.E., S.A. Breithaupt, J.M. Whiting, M.E. Grear, J.D. Tagestad, and G.A. Shelton. 2016. "Likelihood of a Marine Vessel Accident from Wind Energy Development in the Atlantic." Wind Energy 19, no. 9:1557-1566. PNNL-SA-108588. doi:10.1002/we.1935


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Marine Sciences Laboratory
1529 W. Sequim Bay Road
Sequim, WA 98382
Phone: (360) 683-4151
Fax: (360) 681-3699