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P. Dreux Chappell

P. Dreux Chappell

Ocean & Earth Sciences

Contact Information


  • Expertise

    Trace Metal Biogeochemistry
    Marine Microbiology
  • Research Interests

    I am a marine biogeochemist/microbial ecologist that studies the interplay between phytoplankton physiology and ocean chemistry. My research encompasses trace metal biogeochemistry, phytoplankton cultivation and physiology, and molecular marine microbiology. I use a suite of molecular biological tools and analysis of trace metal and macronutrient concentrations in seawater to link biological activity and chemical distributions in controlled laboratory settings and in the field. I study cyanobacteria and diatoms, phytoplankton that are key contributors to global biogeochemical cycles from tropical to polar environments. I focus on the development of quantitative methods to both identify marine phytoplankton in mixed assemblages and to assess functional gene expression linked to limitation by a specific element or a combination of elements and/or physical factors (co-limitation). I then use these quantified techniques to evaluate nutrient limitation in the field with the goal of better informing biogeochemical models through collaboration with modelers.Recent work has involved:-Using quantitative PCR to look at gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions (targeting functional genes)-De novo assembly of eukaryotic transcriptomesExamining community composition using fragment analysis as well as high throughput sequencing-Laboratory and field incubation experiments looking at physiological response to trace metal and macronutrient limitationI am currently looking for graduate students to join my lab group. As research projects in my laboratory tend to cross disciplines, I welcome students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds (biology, chemistry, computer science).
  • 2017: ODU College of Sciences Early Career Distinguished Faculty Award, College of Sciences, Old Dominion University
  • 2008: Selected to participate in DISCO XXI Symposium
  • 2008: Selected to participate in Eco-DAS VIII Symposium
  • 2005: EPA Star Fellowship (Declined)
  • 2005: National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship
  • 2005: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention
  • 2000: High Honors in Biology, Amherst College
  • Contracts, Grants and Sponsored Research

    Chappell, P. D.; Wojtowicz, R.; Abdala, Z. "Graduate Research Fellowship Program 2017" $46,000. Federal. September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2018