Hans W. Paerl is Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, at the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, Morehead City. His research includes; microbially-mediated nutrient cycling and primary production dynamics of aquatic ecosystems, environmental controls of harmful algal blooms, and assessing the causes and consequences of man-made and climatic (storms, floods) nutrient enrichment and hydrologic alterations of inland, estuarine and coastal waters. His studies have identified the importance and ecological impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition as a new nitrogen source supporting estuarine and coastal eutrophication. He is involved in the development and application of microbial and biogeochemical indicators of aquatic ecosystem condition and change in response to human and climatic perturbations. He heads up the Neuse River Estuary Modeling and Monitoring Program, ModMon and ferry-based water quality monitoring program, FerryMon, which employs environmental sensors and a various microbial indicators to assess near real-time ecological condition of the Pamlico Sound System, the USAs second largest estuarine complex. He received the 2003 G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and the 2011 Odum Award from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation for addressing the causes, consequences and controls of eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems. In December, 2015, he was recognized as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.