College of Natural and Computational Sciences

Valerie M. Franck, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology Department and Marine and Environmental Science graduate Program

HPU Email: Valerie M. Franck, Ph.D.

Office telephone and FAX: (808) 236-7907  FAX: (808) 236-3590

Office location: 311-C Hawaii Loa Campus

BA in English, BA in Environmental Science, University of California,

         Berkeley; 1995

PhD in Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara; 2002

Postdoctoral Experience: Young Investigator, School of Ocean and Earth

Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawaii; 2002-2003

Publications (Past 5 years):

Franck, V.M., G.J. Smith, K.W. Bruland and M.A. Brzezinski. 2005. Comparison of size-dependent carbon, nitrate, and silicic acid uptake rates in high- and low-iron waters. Limnology and Oceanography, 50: 825–838.

Franck, V.M., K.W. Bruland, D.A. Hutchins and M.A. Brzezinski. 2003. Iron and zinc effects on silicic acid and nitrate uptake kinetics in three high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 252: 15–33.

Brzezinski, M.A., C.J. Pride, V.M. Franck, D.M. Sigman, J.L. Sarmiento, K. Matsumoto, N. Gruber, G.H. Rau and K.H. Coale. 2002. A switch from Si(OH)4 to NO3 depletion in the glacial Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 29(12): 10.1029/2001GL014349.

Brzezinski, M.A., D.M. Nelson, V.M. Franck and D.E. Sigmon. 2001. Silicon dynamics within an intense open-ocean diatom bloom in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II, 48(19-20): 3997–4018.

Nelson, D.M., M.A. Brzezinski, D.E. Sigmon and V.M. Franck. 2001. A seasonal progression of Si limitation in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II, 48(19-20): 3973–3995.

Franck, V.M., M.A. Brzezinski, K.H. Coale and D.M. Nelson. 2000. Iron and silicic acid concentrations regulate Si uptake north and south of the Polar Frontal Zone in the Pacific Sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II, 47(15-16): 3315–3338.

Hutchins, D.A., V.M. Franck, M.A. Brzezinski and K.W. Bruland. 1999. Inducing phytoplankton iron limitation in iron-replete coastal waters with a strong chelating ligand. Limnology and Oceanography, 44(4): 1009–1018.

Franck, V.M., B.A. Hungate, F.S. Chapin and C.B. Field. 1997. Decomposition of litter produced under elevated CO2: Dependence on plant species and nutrient supply. Biogeochemistry, 36(3): 223–237.

Presentations  (Past 5 years):

Chair, “Elemental Stoichiometry in Marine Ecosystems: Implications for Ecosystem Function”, The Oceanography Society and The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s International Ocean Research Conference, Paris, France, 6-10 June 2005.

Franck, V.M. “The effect of iron availability on silicon and nitrate uptake ratios in high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll regions.” Invited. Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Science, Bremerhaven, Germany, 31 May 2005.

Franck, V.M. “A transect of silica production across the North Pacific gyre.” American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and The Oceanographic Society joint Ocean Research Conference, Honolulu, HI, 15–20 February 2004.

Franck, V.M. “The influence of iron limitation on diatom productivity and silicon cycling in marine systems.” Invited. Chapman Conference on the Role of Diatom Production and Silicon Flux and Burial in the Regulation of Global Cycles, Paros, Greece, 22­­–26 September 2003. Given by Dr. Mark Brzezinski in my absence.

Franck, V.M., and M.A. Brzezinski. “Species-specific silica production estimates from diatom assemblages in the eastern tropical Pacific.” American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, 10–14 February 2003.

Franck, V.M., and M.A. Brzezinski. “Effect of Fe on species-specific silica production in mixed diatom assemblages from the eastern equatorial Pacific.” International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and Scientific Committee on Ocean Research joint Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems Analysis International Open Sciences Conference, Paris, France, 7–11 January 2003.

Service (Past 5 years):

Member, College of Natural Sciences Curriculum Committee, 2004-


Secretary, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 2005

Representative, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, 2005     

College of Natural Sciences Library Liason, 2005-present

Representative, Graduate Curriculum Program Committee, 2007

Participant, AAC&U Shared Futures program, 2007

Volunteer, Hanauma Bay Education Program, 2003-2005

Vice-President, Lokahi Canoe Club, 2006

Participant, University of California, Santa Barbara ScienceLine, 2001-



Courses Routinely taught at HPU (Past 5 years):

BIOL 2050, 2052: General Biology Lecture I and II

BIOL 2051, 2053: General Biology Laboratory I and II

MARS 1000: Introduction to Oceanography for non-science majors

MARS 2063: Marine Biology Laboratory

BIOL 4940: Senior Seminar for Biology Majors

Grants, Contracts and Awards (Past 5 years):

Hawaii Pacific University Faculty Development Grant, 2005

University of Hawaii Faculty Travel Grant, 2003

University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Young Investigator Fellowship, 2002

Description of Research Interests:

Valerie Franck’s research involves understanding the complex factors that regulate primary production and phytoplankton species composition in both coastal and open-ocean marine ecosystems. Her graduate work focused on the role of iron limitation in regulating the phytoplankton species composition and biogeochemical cycling of silicon and nitrogen in open-ocean waters in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and in coastal waters throughout the eastern Pacific (Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, California and Alaska). Currently, her goal is to work towards an understanding of how phytoplankton community composition and physiology can work together to affect biogeochemical cycling. Specifically, she plants to compare the role of diatom species composition in regulating silicon cycling in Kane’ohe Bay, a coastal oligotrophic tropical estuary, to open-ocean waters in the central North Pacific, near the Hawaii Ocean Time-series. She is also interested in continuing her graduate work on investigating the effect of environmental factors such as phytoplankton species composition and physiology on nutrient uptake ratios in natural ecosystems, especially silicon-to-nitrogen, silicon-to-carbon and nitrogen-to-carbon ratios. Lastly, she is interested in quantifying diatom production and the role of diatoms in new production in both coastal and open-ocean ecosystems.