Marder obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and doctorate from Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 after which he was a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford from 1985-1987.
He then moved to work on the technical staff of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1987–1998, where he was awarded the Lew Allen Award for Excellence in 1993. From 1998 to 2003 Marder was Professor of Chemistry and Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona before moving to Georgia Institute of Technology where he currently serves as a Regents Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Marder serves as the chair of the editorial board of the academic journal Materials Horizons.
His research interests are in the development of materials for nonlinear optics, applications of organic dyes for photonic, display, electronic and medical applications, and organometallic chemistry. He currently studies polymers, nanostructures, and biomolecular solids.
He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), the American Physical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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- "Profile Georgia Tech Chemistry & Biochemistry". www.chemistry.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
- "Introducing Seth Marder, Editorial Board Chair of Materials Horizons". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 6 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Marder School of Materials Science and Engineering". www.mse.gatech.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-09.