François M.M.Morel

François M. M. Morel

Albert G. Blanke, Professor of Geosciences, Former Director, Princeton Environmental Institute, Associated Faculty at the Department of Chemistry and Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University

153 Guyot Hall
Washington Road
Princeton NJ  08544
(609) 258-2416 (Tel.)
(609) 258-5242 (Fax.)
Assistant: Eva Groves

François M. M. Morel is the Albert G. Blanke Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University. He received a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Grenoble, France, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology. He was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1973 to 1994 and joined the Princeton faculty in 1994. The research in his laboratory focuses on the interaction of trace metals and microorganisms in the environment, with particular emphasis on the role of metals in the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen in marine and terrestrial systems. Morel’s research group discovered the only known cadmium enzyme, a cadmium carbonic anhydrase used by marine phytoplankton to acquire inorganic carbon for photosynthesis. At Princeton, Pr. Morel teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Morel and his student Janet Hering authored the widely used teaching text: “Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry (Wiley). He directed the Ralph M. Parsons laboratory at MIT from 1991 to 1994, the Princeton Environmental Institute from 1998 to 2006 and again from 2014 to 2017 and the NSF-supported Center for Environmental BioInorganic Chemistry from 1998 to 2007.

Morel is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettre ed Arti. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the Geochemical Society.   He received the Patterson Medal from the Geochemical Society in 2001, the Urey Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 2005, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the California Institute of Technology in 2009, and the Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from the American Chemical Society in 2010. He is the recipient of the 2010 Eni Environmental Award from the Eni Foundation and of the 2012 Dickson Prize in the Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University.

Areas of Research Education
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Oceanography
  • Environmental chemistry and microbiology of trace elements
  • B.S., Engineering Université de Grenoble, France
  • Ph.D., Engineering Science, California Institute of Technology

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The Trace Metal Group is a research lab within the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University.  The Geosciences Department, together with its affiliated inter-departmental programs and institutes, serves as the central focus for the Earth, atmospheric, oceanographic, and environmental sciences at Princeton.