Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2016
  • M.S., Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2011
  • B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 2009

Dr. Gunnell is a quantitative ecosystem scientist and environmental chemist with over ten years of experience interrogating processes across the entire river continuum, from conducting field sampling to analytical work in fluvial, lacustrine, wetland, and coastal systems. His experience includes the evaluation of impacts from climate change and anthropogenic activities in natural systems. 

Dr. Gunnell frequently applies simulation modeling and statistical methods to integrate disparate data sets into a standardized spatio-temporal frame of reference. His work often assimilates geochronology, temporally ordered geochemical proxies, and geographic information (e.g., spatially registered land-use records, remotely sensed data, and aerial photography). Since his expertise occupies several disciplinary intersections, Dr. Gunnell frequently collaborates with multidisciplinary teams of physicists, geologists, fisheries ecologists, and restoration ecologists.

Dr. Gunnell's background in reconstructing baseline conditions and ecosystem trajectories makes his expertise especially useful for clients that need to fill significant historical knowledge gaps when evaluating contemporary and legacy impacts of environmental disturbances (e.g. land use change, contaminant exposure, and climatic stressors). Dr. Gunnell is a broadly-trained environmental analytical chemist. His experience includes but is not limited to trace and minor element geochemistry (using X-ray fluorescence, ion chromatography, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry), radioisotope geochemistry (uranium-thorium-lead series), and water quality analysis (e.g., nitrate, orthophosphate, alkalinity, and chlorophyll-α).