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- P. Dreux Chappell
- Assistant Professor
- Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
- 333 Oceanography and Physics Bldg
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
Major: Chemical Oceanography
Degree: Ph. D.
- Amherst College,
- 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).