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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

John Perona, LL.M.

John Perona LLM ’16 is Professor of Environmental Biochemistry at Portland State University, Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at OHSU, and a faculty fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at PSU.  He is author of over 100 peer-reviewed articles in Biochemistry and related fields. Present research interests in the Perona lab include the genetics and biochemistry of sulfur assimilation in methanogens, a class of microorganisms responsible for all biological emissions of methane. Other projects are in the area of synthetic biology, where the lab collaborates with researchers at Oregon State University to explore the expansion of the genetic code and its applications in biomedicine. Finally, Dr Perona has expertise in protein X-ray crystallography and collaborates on a project to elucidate the molecular architecture of a protein complex that is involved in the biomineralization of manganese in the environment. The Perona lab is affiliated with the Center for Extreme Environments at PSU and is generously funded by a grant from NASA.

Dr. Perona also integrates expertise in science and environmental/energy law to address how advances in science and technology can be incorporated into policymaking, focusing on climate change, the transition to a renewable energy economy, and biotechnology. Recent investigations include analysis of a new state law for groundwater conservation in California, critical review of current US policies for the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture, and a detailed analysis of the science and policy for developing renewable transportation fuels, including biodiesel production from algae. Dr. Perona engages in community outreach through his work with Citizens Climate Education, a nonpartisan group that advocates carbon pricing as the best first step for addressing climate change. He also leads regular public seminars on the science and policy of climate change and renewable energy that are aimed to increase the effectiveness of citizen advocacy. For recent publications and more information, see  The supporting public education website is