The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences Coastal Environmental and Microbiological Processes Lab consists of graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and technicians working on a variety or research projects addressing nutrient production dynamics of aquatic microbes at the base of the estuarine and coastal food webs. Lab research focuses on environmental controls of algal (planktonic and benthic) production and community structure, as well as, the assessment of causes and consequences of human-induced eutrophication of rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal oceans.
The Institute of Marine Sciences lab facilities include the Coast Processes and Environmental Health Laboratory wing, Coker hall, and the wet lab wing. The Coastal Processes and Environmental Health wing, built in 1998, consists of 20 laboratories, 9 faculty and post doctoral offices, 1 environmental chamber, a 100-seat seminal facility and a small conference room. The Paerl lab is housed in five second floor labs listed as Microbial Ecology, Biotechnology, Radioisotope, Nutrient Chemistry, and Shared Instruments. Biotechnology, Radioisotope, Shared Instruments, media prep and glassware washing are general or shared labs and are shared with other faculty members.