Derek Detweiler


I’m gay and I’m an estuarine biogeochemist. //

I earned two B.S. degrees in marine biology and oceanography in 2016 and a M.S. degree in marine science in 2018 from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In August 2018, I will begin my PhD at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary. For my research, I use lipid biomarkers and stable isotopes to trace sources of carbon to estuarine systems. In conjunction with nutrient analyses, I am able to determine the quantity and quality of organic matter that contributes to primary productivity, to resource availability for primary consumers, and to overall ecosystem functionality. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ STEM community, I have often felt alone and isolated from my peers. It is my goal to represent the community in a way that fosters growth and inclusiveness, especially in such a mentally and emotionally challenging field. As a cis white man, I also realize the importance of valuing diversity amongst our community. It is absolutely critical to express empathy, open-mindedness, and acceptance in the workplace. I will always strive to be the best ally, supporter, and confidant I can be so that others may have a sense of belonging and feel uninhibited while doing the work that they love.