Gillings School Directory

Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Mary and Watts Hill, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Institute of Marine Sciences
UNC IMS Morehead City Field Site
Institute for the Environment

Professor Noble’s research program bridges environmental microbiology and marine microbial ecology. A main thread of Dr. Noble’s work is the application of novel molecular techniques for applied and basic science. She has developed a range of rapid water quality test methods, including those for E. coli, Enterococcus, and Vibrio species and studies the dynamics of microbial contaminants contributed through stormwater runoff to high priority recreational and shellfish harvesting waters. A specific interest is conducting research to partition anthropogenic inputs from reservoir populations in coastal ecosystems, thereby permitting development of accurate models. In addition to applied research, Dr. Noble is interested in the dynamics of marine microbial food webs, specifically focusing on viral control of bacterial and algal populations, and the interplay among viruses, bacteria including Bdellovibrio), phytoplankton, grazers, and biogeochemical cycling in estuarine and coastal marine environments, especially in light of impending climate change.

Noble Lab:

Practice Activities

UNC article and video Science for Safer Food:


PhD, Marine Biology, University of Southern California, 1998

BSc, Molecular Biology, Carnegie Mellon University, 1991

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