franckValerie M. Franck, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Office: Hawaii Loa Campus, AC 311C
Phone: (808) 236-7907    Fax: (808) 236-3590


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


Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawaii; 2002-2003
Postdoctoral Experience: Young Investigator, School of Ocean and Earth
PhD in Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara; 2002
BA in English, BA in Environmental Science, University of California, Berkeley; 1995


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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.