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P. Dreux Chappell

  • P. Dreux Chappell
  • Assistant Professor
  • Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
  • 333 Oceanography and Physics Bldg
  • Norfolk, VA 23529
  • 757-683-4937
  • pdchappe@odu.edu
  • Education

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009
    Major: Chemical Oceanography
    Degree: Ph. D.
    Amherst College, 2000
    Major: Biology
    Degree: B.A.
  • 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 transcriptomes Examining 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 limitation As research projects in my laboratory tend to cross disciplines, I welcome students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds (biology, chemistry, computer science).