Dr. Fred C. Dobbs is Professor and Chair, Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University (ODU), in Norfolk, Virginia. His duties encompass a suite of academic areas, including teaching assignments; curriculum development and design; faculty recruitment and support; management of department and endowment budgets; staff hiring; promotional activities; supporting the College’s fund-raising efforts; mentoring graduate students; advising undergraduate students; and teaching. In addition, he administers operation of ODU’s coastal research vessel, a small boat fleet, a 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse used by the College of Sciences, and associated staff. As Chair, he represents ODU to national scientific organizations (Consortium for Ocean Leadership, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, National Association of Marine Laboratories) and to regional ones (Virginia Sea Grant and the Chesapeake Research Consortium, for which he is Chair of the Board of Trustees).
He credits his life-long interest in marine sciences to Judy Takano, his fifth-grade teacher at Iroquois Point Elementary School in Ewa Beach, who instilled in him her enthusiasm for field trips to the shore and aquaria in the classroom. He received his A.B. (Biology, Honors) from Franklin and Marshall College, his M.S. (Zoology) from the University of Connecticut, and his Ph.D. (Oceanography) from Florida State University. In between his graduate degrees, he worked for industry and was a gentleman scientist in Denmark. He was awarded an institutional post-doctoral position at State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University) and afterward, was appointed a SOEST Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa. Dobbs later joined the faculty at Old Dominion University, where his research has addressed several areas in aquatic microbial ecology, with particular focus on the microbial ecology of ships’ ballast tanks; a community-level approach to studies of infectious diseases; the interface of invasion biology and microbiology; and recently, microbes on plastics in the ocean.
He has served on state, national, and international advisory panels and boards, and in 2010-2011, was the sole scientist to serve on both an EPA Science Advisory Board and a National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences Committee, each of which produced a report concerned with the discharge of nonindigenous organisms in ships’ ballast water. In the past 15 years, he has secured more than $3M in funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Sea Grant College Program, the Office of Naval Research, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Coast Guard, and the Great Lakes Protection Fund. He is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Download Dr. Dobbs’ campus visit schedule as a PDF (updated 11-14-19).
Download Dr. Dobbs’ CV as a PDF.