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Michael Piehler

Michael Piehler

Director, Institute for the Environment
(252) 726-6841 ext. 160
(252) 726-2426
3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557
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Curriculum vitae (CV)

Piehler Lab


Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997
M.S.P.H. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1994.
B.S. in Biology, 1990. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests

Microbially-mediated Processes in Shallow Coastal Ecosystems

Research and Activities

Dr. Piehler studies microorganisms and microbially mediated processes in coastal land-water interfaces (particularly wetlands) and near-shore waters. His research spans a broad range of microbial systems including microphytobenthic communities, epiphytic microalgae, benthic bacterial communities, bacterioplankton, and phytoplankton. The land-water interface is an area of intensive biogeochemical cycling and trophic interactions involving microorganisms. It is also an area of extensive human activity, making the interactions of pollutants and native microbial communities in the land-water interface a significant issue in developed coastal environments. Recent research projects include

  • Land use impacts on coastal stream carbon and nutrient loading
  • Effects of oyster reefs on nutrient dynamics
  • Denitrification in tidal marshes (projects in NC and NJ)
  • Ecological impacts of ocean hydrokinetic energy extraction