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David Velinsky

David Velinsky, PhD

Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Office: The Academy of Natural Sciences, 2nd Floor
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 215.299.1147

Additional Sites: Environmental Biogeochemistry Group


  • PhD, Chemical Oceanography, Old Dominion University, 1987
  • BS, Oceanography, Minor in chemistry, Florida Institute of Technology, 1977

Curriculum Vitae:

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • Fate and transport of chemical contaminants
  • Stable isotope and nutrient biogeochemistry
  • Sediment geochemistry and deposition
  • Water quality


David Velinsky, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science at Drexel University and a senior scientist within the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

Professor Velinsky obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in Oceanography with a minor in Chemistry. He earned his doctoral degree from Old Dominion University in Chemical Oceanography. As part of his doctoral research, Velinsky explored the cycling of trace elements in coastal marshes of the Delaware Estuary for his dissertation. He then continued his studies as a postdoctoral research fellow at the College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, and at the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington. He used stable isotopes to study nutrient sources in anoxic environments around the world in locations such as the Black Sea and Framvaren Fjord in Norway.

Dr. Velinsky studies the movement and cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in estuarine and freshwater environments in the mid-Atlantic region. His work focuses on water quality and wetland ecosystem services in the Delaware and Barnegat Bays.

Velinsky is the author of more than 65 peer-reviewed publications and is a highly regarded subject matter expert; he has delivered more than 70 presentations at local, national, and international scientific meetings. He is a member of the Toxics Advisory Committee and Advisory Committee on Climate Change at the Delaware River Basin Commission and a member of the Science Advisory Board for the State of New Jersey. In addition, he teaches courses on Oceanography, Environmental Chemistry, and Environmental Water Quality.

Selected Publications:

  • Elsey-Quirk, T., E.B. Watson, K. Raper, D. Kreeger, B. Paudel, L. Haaf, M. Maxwell-Doyle, A. Padeletti, E. Reilly and D.J. Velinsky. 2022. Relationships between ecosystem properties and sea-level rise vulnerability of tidal wetlands of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 194, 292. 
  • Haaf, L., E.B. Watson, T. Elsey-Quirk, K. Raper, A. Padeletti, M. Maxwell-Doyle, D. Kreeger, D.J. Velinsky. 2022. Sediment accumulation, elevation change, and the vulnerability of tidal marshes in the Delaware Estuary and Barnegat Bay to accelerated sea level rise. Estuaries and Coasts, 45, 413-427 ( 
  • Velinsky, D.J. and J.F. Wehmiller 2020. 2018 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science presented to Susan Trumbore. Journal of the Franklin Institute. 357(5): 2603-2611 ( 
  • Fiocca, K., K. Capobianco, E. Fanwick, K. Moynahan, R. Congdon, P. Zelanko, D.J. Velinsky and S.O'Donnell. 2020. Reproductive physiology corresponds to adult nutrition and task performance in a Neotropical paper wasp: a test of dominance-nutrition hypothesis predictions. Behavior Ecology and Sociobiology 74 (114) 1-8 (online). 
  • Velinsky, D.J, B. Paudel and C.K. Sommerfield. 2020. Long term sediment accretion record in a tidal marsh of Delaware Bay. Proceeding of the Academy of Natural Sciences 167(1):83-103. 
  • Champlin, L, D.J. Velinsky, K. Tucker, C. Sommerfield, K. St. Laurent, and E.B. Watson, 2020. Carbon sequestration rate estimates in Delaware and Barnegat Bay tidal wetlands using interpolation mapping. Data, 5, 11; doi:10.3390/data5010011