UNC institute of Marine Sciences

Doing COVID-19 Dirty Work

Employing wastewater epidemiology — proven useful in outbreaks of polio and opioid use — UNC microbiologist Rachel Noble is leading a state-wide collaboration tracking novel coronavirus outbreaks across North Carolina, gaining insight that testing individuals does not offer. Preliminary results have shown that by using wastewater, researchers can identify COVID-19 hot spots five to seven days before they are reflected by clinical testing results.

A Solution for Seagrass

Seagrasses are vital habitats in North Carolina coastal waters, but their numbers have dwindled over the years. A team at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences is exploring what type of seagrass structure marine life prefer in order to best approach restoring these important aquatic environments.

Trapped on the Surface

In the past decade, the Cape Fear River has become more susceptible to algal blooms — a potential public health concern for more than 1.5 million people relying on the river as a drinking water source. UNC researcher Nathan Hall thinks droughts and slow flows are the culprit, and aims to predict when future blooms will occur.

Captain of the Coast

From the shores of New Jersey to the North Carolina coast, Pete Peterson has always loved the ocean. He's spent nearly five decades researching its marine life, fighting for its protection, and guiding the next generation of marine scientists to do the same.

Career Aquatic

At the end of his 40-year career at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, Dive Safety Officer Glenn Safrit reflects on the most important lessons he learned — and taught — in the ocean.

Avery Paxton

Avery Paxton is a marine ecologist, conservation biologist, and doctoral candidate at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. Her research uses a combination of field, laboratory, and analytical methods to address fundamental, mechanistic questions in marine ecology, such as how species use their habitat and how communities are structured.