James (Jimmy) Bernot

Evolutionary biologist

NSF Postdoc Research Fellow at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Jimmy Bernot (he/him) is an evolutionary biologist and NSF Postdoc Research Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. His research interests include crustacean phylogenetics, copepod taxonomy and systematics, parasite evolution, and computational biology. He is working to resolve the crustacean tree of life and understand the processes that have resulted in the spectacular morphological diversity of modern crustaceans, with a particular focus on parasitic copepods.

He is also passionate about science communication, public engagement, education, and outreach. Jimmy regularly participates in outreach events in Washington DC, especially at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and surrounding K-12 schools. He is actively involved in science engagement on digital media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Skype A Scientist, and podcasts. Follow him @JimmyBernot to see his most recent updates and science engagement work. Use the contact form below or feel free to DM him on Twitter for speaking engagement or interview requests.


  • Crustacean Phylogenetics
  • Copepod Taxonomy & Systematics
  • Parasite Evolution
  • Computational Biology


  • PhD Genomics & Bioinformatics, 2020

    George Washington University

  • MS Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 2015

    University of Connecticut

  • BS Biological Sciences, 2012

    University of Connecticut

Recent Highlights

Cowrote World Register of Marine Species article β€œTop 10 new marine species of 2021”

Cowrote WoRMS article for Taxonomists Appreciation Day to draw attention to taxonomic research. March 19, 2022.

Published paper on the genome of the gooseneck barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes

National Geographic Interview on Parasites

Interviewed in article on the importance of parasites. October 7, 2021.

Published paper on copepod phylogeny and evolution of parasitism

The Atlantic article on tongue-biter isopods

Interviewed in article on tongue-biter parasitic isopods. July 14, 2021.

Twitter thread on how science illustrations are made

Videos and photos demonstrating the science illustration process. March 30, 2021.

WoRMS article β€œTen remarkable new marine species from 2020”

Cowrote article for Taxonomists Appreciation Day to draw public attention and press coverage to taxonomic research. March 19, 2021.

Skype A Scientist LIVE event

Virtual live Q&A and introduction to marine plankton and parasites with >200 attendees. March 10, 2021.

Snopes article on parasitic isopods

Interviewed and supplied photographs for Snopes article on cymothoid isopods and fish tongue replacement. March 5, 2021.

7 Ocean Parasites Worth Celebrating on World Parasite Day

Cowrote article for Smithsonian Ocean Portal website. March 2, 2021.

Just the Zoo of Us Podcast Feature

Copepod biology and adaptions. Just the Zoo of Us episode 86 – an animal diversity podcast. February 24, 2021

Cal. Academy of Sciences Genomics Seminar

Invited speaker for Cal. Academy of Sciences Genomics Social Hour on Parasite and Host Genomics. Feb. 17, 2021. Talks available below on Youtube.

Exolore Podcast Feature

The World of Queer Worms. Podcast panel discussion on hermaphroditic life on Exolore Podcast episode 23, a podcast featuring scientists, historians, psychologists that discuss biological and sociological implications of sci-fi worlds. Feb. 11, 2021

IFLScience Article

Collaborated on pop-sci article with IFLScience on parasites and an experimental hookworm vaccine study. Feb. 2, 2021

Hookworm Vaccine & Challenge Trial Thread

Twitter thread on my experience volunteering to participate in an exerpimental hookworm vaccine challenge trial. Jan. 27, 2021

LGBTQ+ STEMCast Podcast Feature

Interviewed on LGBTQ+ STEMCast, a podcast featuring LGBTQ+ scientists. Jan. 4, 2021

Began NSF Postdoc Fellowship

Started new NSF Postdoc Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Invertebrate Zoology. Jan. 1, 2021

Defended my Dissertation!

Successfully defended my dissertation on Parasitic Copepod Evolution πŸ₯³ Nov. 19, 2020

Launched World Association of Copepodologists Twitter

Launched World Association of Copepodologists Twitter Account! We are now on Twitter @copepodology Oct. 23, 2020

WeRepStem Blog Post

Wrote blog post for WeRepSTEM, a diversity in STEM blog. July 3, 2020

Contact Jimmy

reach him at bernotj@si.edu or use this form

  • 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560