Dr. David Kirchman has been appointed acting associate dean of the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies. During the next year, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Lewes campus, working closely with Dean Carolyn A. Thoroughgood in Newark.
Kirchman will fill in for Associate Dean Nancy Targett, who began a one-year sabbatical leave from the University on July 1. She will spend the next year conducting research on the biochemistry and molecular biology of marine brown algae at the University of Liverpool’s Port Erin Marine Laboratory on the Isle of Man and the Dunstaffnage Marine Lab in Oban, Scotland.
A member of the UD faculty since 1986, Kirchman conducts research on the tiniest inhabitants of the ocean and the most abundant life form on Earth — marine bacteria. In 1998, he was named the Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in recognition of his significant achievements in marine microbiology; in particular, for his revelations on the critical functions performed by marine bacteria in plant nutrient and carbon cycles. This information is critical to our understanding of the ocean’s role in global climate change.
Currently, among Kirchman’s many research projects, he is working to determine the impact of toxic pollutants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on bacterial communities in the Delaware River and Bay. He also teaches several courses each year, ranging from marine microbiology and advanced marine microbiology, to microbial ecology, biological oceanographic processes, microbiology for chemists, and scientific writing.
This summer, as he has for the past three years, Kirchman will provide hands-on training in microbiological research techniques to undergraduate interns from Lincoln University, the nation’s oldest historically black college. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Kirchman received his doctoral and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Lawrence University.
He may be reached at the Lewes campus at (302) 645-4279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.