Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Joan D. Willey, Professor


  • B.S. Chemistry, Duke University
  • Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography, Dalhousie University
  • Postdoctoral, Memorial University of Newfoundland


NSF Biographical Sketch

Research Area: Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry Metal ion speciation in rain and seawater, photochemistry of natural waters, and air-sea exchange processes, cycling of ethanol in the environment

  • Chemical composition and reactions in rain, including trace metal speciation, redox reactions and nutrient fluxes.
  • Impacts of atmospheric deposition (rain, dust, gas exchange) on the chemistry and biological productivity of surface seawater.
  • Mercury speciation and cycling in the Cape Fear River Estuary

Professional Activities

  • Associate Director for Education, Center for Marine Science, UNCW
  • Coordinator for the MS marine science program at UNCW
  • Coordinator for cruise and field experience for graduate students

Most Recent Grants and Publications:

In press. Miller, C.L., Willey, J.D. and Kieber, R.J. "Changes in Rainwater Composition During Tropical Storm Ernesto" Atmospheric Environment.

2007. Witt, M., Skrabal, S.A., Kieber, R.J. and Willey, J.D. "Copper Complexation in Coastal Rainwater in Southeastern USA" Atmospheric Environment 41, 3619-3630.

2006 Willey, J. D., Kieber, R.J. and Avery, G.B. "The Changing Chemical Composition of Rainwater in the Continental USA" Environmental Science and Technology 40, 5675-5680.

2006 Kieber, R.J., Whitehead, R.F., Reid, S.N., Willey, J.D., and Seaton, P.J. "Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) in Rainwater Collected in Southeastern North Carolina, USA" Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, 54, 21-41.

2005 Willey, J.D., Whitehead, R.F., Kieber, R.J., and Hardison, D.R. "Oxidation of Fe(II) in Rainwater" Environmental Science and Technology 39, 2579-2585.

2006 Kieber, R.J., Smith, B.J., Willey, J.D. and Skrabal, S.A. "Organic Complexation of Fe(II) and its Impact on the Redox Cycling of Iron in Rain" Environmental Science and Technology 39, 1576-1583.

2004 Willey, J. D. "The Effect of Ionic Strength on the Solubility of an Electrolyte" Journal of Chemical Education 81,1644-1646.

Recent grant with Dr. Robert Kieber, G. Brooks Avery, Robert F. Whitehead: "Chemical Characterization and Reactivity of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) in Rainwater" National Science Foundation, Atmospheric Chemistry, $532,752, 2007-2010.

Courses taught

  • CHM 575 Chemical Oceanography - fall semester
  • CHM 574 Aquatic Chemistry - spring semester
  • MSC 526 Cruise and Field Sampling - both semesters
  • MSC 595 Graduate Seminar - spring semester
  • CHM 250 Introduction to Chemical Research - fall semester

I teach chemical oceanography (CHM 575) and aquatic chemistry (CHM 574) at the graduate level, as well as the marine science seminar course (MSC 595) for graduate students. I coordinate field and cruise sampling (MSC 526) for graduate students. I teach introduction to chemical research (CHM 250) to undergraduate chemistry majors.