Rachel Noble

Rachel Noble

Mary & Watts Hill Jr. Professor

(252) 726-6841, ext. 150
(252) 726-2426
3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557

Google Scholar Profile


University of Southern California. Ph. D. Marine Biology, 1998. Dissertation: Fates of Viruses in the Marine Environment.
Carnegie Mellon University. B.S. Molecular Biology, 1991

Research Interests

Dynamics of Marine Microbial Food Webs

Research and Activities

Dr. 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.


Check out The Noble Lab’s projects page for information on Dr. Noble’s current research.

If interested in any of the previous projects listed, please contact Dr. Noble, as she is actively searching for qualified students interested in pursuing graduate education at UNC Chapel Hill.

Dr. Noble is also the Director of the UNC Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment Morehead City Field Site which was opened in Fall 2003. For more information on the Institute for the Environment at UNC Chapel Hill, please visit: http://www.ie.unc.edu/

For more information about the Morehead City Field Site operating at IMS, please visit the UNC Study Abroad program brochure.

As part of the Institute for the Environment, Dr. Noble is also coordinating research efforts to develop interdisciplinary research programs that will study the coastal zone as a hybrid ecosystem of both natural and man-made elements. Given Dr. Noble’s work in environmental microbiology and water quality, she shares a joint appointment with both the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Marine Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill.