Rachel Noble
Professor
Email: rtnoble@email.unc.edu
Phone: (252) 726-6841; ext. 150
Fax: (252) 726-2426
Office: 208 Coker Hall 3431 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557
Website: http://noble.web.unc.edu/

 Area of Interest

  • Recreational and shellfish harvesting water quality
  • Marine microbial ecology
  • Coastal and estuarine water quality
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Microbial contaminants in recreational and shellfish harvesting waters
  • Molecular applications and novel methods development

Education

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

Professional Background

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.

Dr. Noble can be reached by email or phone (252.726.6841 ext150).

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.

Selected Publications

Heaney, C. D., Sams, E., Dufour, A., Brenner, K., Haugland, R., Wymer, L., Wing,S., Marshall, S., Serre, M., Seed, R., Beach, M., Love, D., Noble, R.T., and T.J.  Wade. 2011. Fecal indicators in sand, sand contact, and risk of enteric illness  among  beach-goers. In press. Journal of Epidemiology.

Conn, K. E., Habteselassie, M. Y., Blackwood, A. D., and R. T. Noble. Microbial water  quality before and after the repair of a failing onsite wastewater treatment system  adjacent to coastal waters.  In press. Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Converse, R. R., Piehler, M. F., and R. T. Noble. 2011. Contrasts in concentrations and loads of conventional and alternative indicators of fecal contamination in coastal stormwater. In press. Journal of Water Research.

Habteselassie,M.Y., Kirs, M., Conn, K. E.,  Blackwood, A. D., Kelly, G., and R. T.  Noble.  2011.  Tracking microbial transport through four onsite wastewater  treatment systems to receiving waters in eastern North Carolina, USA. In press.  Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Danovaro, R.,Corinaldesi, C., Dell’Anno, A., Fuhrman, J. A., Middelburg, J. J., Noble, R.T., and C. Suttle.  Marine viruses and climate change. 2010. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. Article first published online: 4 JAN 2011. 2011:1-42.

Wade, T. J., Sams, E., Brenner, K. P., Haugland, R., Chern, E. Beach, M., Wymer, L., Rankin, C. C., Love, D., Li, Q., Noble, R., and A.P. Dufour. 2010.  Rapidly measured indicators of recreational water quality and swimming-associated illness at marine beaches. Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives. 9:66-80.

Noble, R. T., Blackwood, A. D., Griffith, J. F., McGee, C. D., Weisberg, S. B. 2010.  Comparison of rapid QPCR-based and conventional culture-based methods for enumeration of Enterococcus sp. and Escherichia coli in recreational waters.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2010 0: AEM.00651-10

Parker, J. P., McIntyre, D. A., and R. T. Noble.  2010.  Characterizing fecal contamination in stormwater runoff in coastal North Carolina, USA. Water Research. 44 (14): 4186-4194

Related Links

Collaborators

Graduate Students

More information about the Noble lab can be found here.