Meredith Evans Seeley

Assistant Professor

Email: [[v|meredith.seeley]]
Phone: (804) 684-7239
Office: Chesapeake Bay Hall S306
Section: Ecosystem Health
Interests: Marine Pollution; Organic Contaminants; Plastics and Microplastics; Environmental Chemistry and Biogeochemistry

  • B.S., Biology, University of Oklahoma, 2013

  • M.S., Marine Science, University of Texas Marine Science Institute, 2016

  • Ph.D., Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2021

  • Postdoc: U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Academies Research Associate at the Center for Marine Debris Research, Hawaii Pacific University

Research Interests

For centuries, inland and coastal water bodies have served as an important environment and resource for people across the globe. In our current geological era, the Anthropocene, the influence of humans on these natural systems is undeniable. I study the sources, fate and effects of pollutants in marine and aquatic environments. My research is largely focused on organic contaminants, including plastics (macro, micro and nano), petroleum from oil spills, tire and road wear, synthetic industrial compounds and more. In the laboratory, I enjoy developing analytical chemistry tools to help us better characterize different aspects of these contaminants. By applying these tools and the principles of environmental chemistry, we can more accurately describe the sources, transformations and fate of contaminants through different aquatic habitats. Moreover, I am passionate about creatively approaching research to understand the effects of contaminants on a variety of aquatic biota, particularly at the population or community level. Overall, my research is motivated by the need for science to inform smart, realistic pollution mitigation strategies.

Ongoing and upcoming projects include:

  • Analysis of plastics (nano to macro) with pyrolysis-GC/MS and other emerging instrumentation.
  • Quantification of tire and road wear particle fate in coastal watersheds.
  • Defining the influence of microplastics on infectious disease dynamics.
  • Characterization of the relationship between plastic and PFAS in aquatic systems.
  • Investigating the effects of contaminants of emerging concern on natural biogeochemical cycles.
  • Broadly framing research projects with environmental justice in mind, as it relates to disproportionate burden of watershed contaminants.
Select Publications

Please feel free to email me for PDF copies of these or any others on my Google Scholar Page.

M.E. Seeley and J.M. Lynch. 2023. Previous successes and untapped potential of Pyrolysis – GC/MS for the analysis of environmental plastics. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry.

M.E. Seeley, R.C. Hale, W.K. Vogelbein, P. Zwollo, G. Verry, A.R. Wargo. 2023. Microplastics Exacerbate Virus-Mediated Mortality in Fish. Science of the Total Environment.

M.E. Seeley, B. Song, R. Passie, & R.C. Hale. 2020. Microplastics affect sedimentary microbial communities and nitrogen cycling. Nature Communications.

R.C. Hale, M.E. Seeley, M.J. La Guardia, L. Mai & E.Y. Zeng. 2019. A global perspective on microplastics. AGU Oceans.

M.E. Seeley, Q. Wang, H. Bacosa, B.E. Rosenheim & Z. Liu. 2018. Environmental petroleum pollution analysis using ramped pyrolysis – gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. Organic Geochemistry.

Evans (Seeley), J. Liu, H. Bacosa, B.E. Rosenheim & Z. Liu. 2016. Petroleum hydrocarbon persistence following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a function of shoreline energy. Marine Pollution Bulletin.