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Phone: 979.845.9399
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Texas A&M University
502A, Oceanography and Meteorology (O&M) Building
MS 3146,
College Station, Texas 77843

Current Graduate Students:

  • Xinxin Li
  • Ruth Mullins
  • Yan Zhao

Course offerings:

OCNG 251

Dr. Piers Chapman


Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography, University College of North Wales, Bangor, 1982

B.S. Chemistry, University College of North Wales, Bangor, 1971


Piers Chapman is a marine chemist with degrees in Chemistry (B.Sc.) and Marine Chemistry (Ph.D.), both from the University College of North Wales, Bangor, U.K. He has worked as an analytical chemist in the U.K. water industry, and in pollution control and in oceanographic research with the Sea Fisheries Research Institute in Cape Town, South Africa. He came to the U.S. in 1990, and was Director of the U.S. Office for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) at Texas A&M from then until 2002. After five years at Louisiana State University, where he ran a NOAA-funded program on coastal restoration science, he returned to Texas A&M University as Head of the Oceanography Department in 2007.

Chapman’s research interests include nutrient cycling, large-scale water mass identification and circulation, the marine iodine cycle, the physical oceanography and chemistry of upwelling and low oxygen systems, and oil pollution prevention. He is currently a PI on a major NOAA-funded project investigating the hypoxic zone over the shelf of Louisiana and Texas, and leads a consortium, funded following the BP Macondo rig disaster in 2010, that is investigating the physics and chemistry of undersea oil releases. He serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans) and for and for the Chinese Journal of Limnology. Additionally, he is editor of the WOCE Hydrographic Atlas series of four volumes.

Research Interests

  • Marine chemistry- nutrient cycling in coastal areas, and their use as tracers as a means of identifying large-scale oceanic circulation patterns; the marine iodine cycle.
  • The physics and chemistry of upwelling areas.
  • Low oxygen regimes in the ocean.
  • Marine pollution- oil production control methods, particularly dispersant usage.

Active Projects

  1. Mechanisms controlling hypoxia: integrated causal modeling
    I am one of a group of PIs at TAMU and elsewhere (VIMS, LSU, LUMCON, Dalhousie, Carolina Coastal U) working to elucidate the controls of the annual “dead zone” off the coast of Louisiana and Texas and create a model that will allow us to forecast its occurrence. This involves a number of cruises to study the water structure, water chemistry, and interactions with the sediments, as well as a major modeling effort.
  2. Gulf Integrated Spill Research (GISR)
    I am the Lead PI and Program Director for a consortium that is studying the physics and chemistry of sub-sea oil spills as a result of the BP Macondo rig blowout in 2010. The consortium includes PIs from TAMU, Stanford, Berkeley, U. Texas, Woods Hole, Georgia Tech, U. Hawaii, N. Carolina State U and U. Maryland. Work includes moorings and tracer releases, together with laboratory experiments on droplet size and movement and a large modeling component.


    Professor and Head of Department at Texas A&M, October 2007 to present

    Executive Director, CREST Program, Louisiana State University and Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Oceanography and Coastal Studies and Environmental Studies, September 2002-September 2007

    Director, U.S. WOCE Office at Texas A&M, January 1990-September 2002

    Specialist Scientist, Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Cape Town, South Africa, August 1977-December 1989

    Chemist, Yorkshire Water Authority, U.K., October 1976-July 1977

    Senior Research Associate, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, U.K., October 1974-September 1976.

Selected Publications

  • Di Marco, S.F., Chapman, P., Nowlin, W. D., Luther, M., Hacker, P., Toole, J. and Johnson, G. (2002). Volume transport and property distributions of the Mozambique Channel. Deep-Sea Res. II, 49, 1481-1511.
  • Rowe, G. and Chapman, P. (2002). Continental shelf hypoxia: some nagging questions. Gulf of Mexico Science 20, 153-160.
  • Chapman, P., Di Marco, S.F., Davis, R.E. and Coward, A.C. (2003). Flow at intermediate depths around Madagascar based on ALACE float trajectories. Deep-Sea Research II, 50, 1957-1986.
  • Nuttle, W.K. and P. Chapman (2004). Advances in Coastal Habitat Restoration in the Northern Gulf States. Bull. Ecological Soc. Amer., 85, 23-24.
  • Belabbassi, L., Di Marco, S.F., Chapman, P., Nowlin, W. D., Luther, M., Hacker, P., Toole, J. and Johnson, G. (2002). Volume transport and property distributions of the Mozambique Channel. Deep-Sea Res. II, 49, 1481-1511.
  • Sparrow, M., Chapman, P. and Gould, J. (Eds) (2005). Hydrographic Atlas of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). Volume 1: Southern Ocean. A. Orsi and T. Whitworth. International WOCE Project Office, Southampton, U.K.
  • Chapman, P. and Reed, D.J. (2006). Advances in coastal habitat restoration in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Ecol. Engineering 26 (1), 1-5; doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2005.09.003.
  • Rabalais, N.N., R. E. Turner, B. K. Sen Gupta, D. F. Boesch, P. Chapman and M. C.Murrell (2007). Hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Does the science support the plan to reduce, mitigate and control hypoxia? Estuaries and Coasts, 30, 753-772.
  • Sparrow, M., Chapman, P. and Gould, J. (Eds) (2008). Hydrographic Atlas of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). Volume 2: Pacific Ocean. L. Talley. International WOCE Project Office, Southampton, U.K
  • Bianchi, T.S., S.F. DiMarco, M.A. Allison, P. Chapman, J.H. Cowan, R.D. Hetland, J.W. Morse, and G. Rowe, (2008). Controlling hypoxia on the U.S. Louisiana shelf: beyond the nutrient-centric view. Eos, 89 (26), 236-237.
  • DiMarco, S. F., P. Chapman, N. Walker, and R. D. Hetland. (2010). Does local topography control hypoxia on the eastern Texas-Louisiana shelf? J. Marine Systems, 80, 25-35.
  • Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., Chapman, P., Cowan, J.H., Dagg, M.J., Day, J.W., DiMarco, S.F., Hetland, R.D. and R. Powell (2010). New approaches to the Gulf hypoxia problem. EOS, 91, 173
  • Bianchi, T.S., DiMarco, S.F., Cowan, J.H., Hetland, R.D., Chapman, P., Day, J.W. and M.A. Allison (2010). The Science of Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: A Review. Science of the Total Environment, 408, 1471-1484; doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.11.047.
  • Chapman, P. and V.W. Truesdale (2011). Preliminary evidence for iodate reduction in bottom waters of the Gulf of Mexico during an hypoxic event. Aquatic Geochemistry, 17, 671-695;  doi:10.1007/s10498-011-9123-6.
  • Johnson, J. and P. Chapman (2011). Deep Ocean Exchange with the Shelf (DOES). Ocean Science 7, 101-109.

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