Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble, PhD

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 (primary appointment in the Institute of Marine Sciences) research program bridges environmental microbiology and public health. A main thread of Dr. Noble’s work is the application of novel molecular techniques for applied and basic science to protect public health, aquaculture, and aquatic environments. 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 recent interest is conducting research on wastewater-based surveillance for SARS-CoV-2. She leads the laboratory research program that is responsible for the NC Wastewater Monitoring Network, and has been a strong proponent of standardized, fully quantitative molecular methods, improvement of sample processing and recovery for difficult to measure human pathogens, and development of improved highplex molecular approaches for quantification of 10-20 pathogen targets from a single assay.

Noble Lab: http://noble.web.unc.edu/

Rachel Noble in the Gillings News

Practice Activities

UNC article and video Science for Safer Food: http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/science-safer-food/


  • PhD, Marine Biology, University of Southern California, 1998
  • BSc, Molecular Biology, Carnegie Mellon University, 1991