Brooks Avery

I am blessed to be a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UNCW. I thank God every day for somehow leading me to this career that I love working daily with young people full of enthusiasm for their future. The path to where I am today was certainly not planned by me. I received C’s in chemistry in high school and never considered science as a major. After taking a chemistry course my first semester as an undergraduate I found out that I was pretty good at it and became a chemistry major. After graduation I worked in industry for a few years but really didn’t enjoy working in a lab. Through a series of events, I eventually found a way to combine my knowledge of chemistry with my love of the ocean and received a Ph.D. in marine sciences at UNC. It just so happened that a postdoctoral position at UNCW was opening up at the same time I was graduating! I have been here since 1997 and have loved every minute. The reason I wanted to write about this journey is because I am convinced God has led me to this wonderful place and life that I lead. I became a Christian at the early age of eight and always knew that God had some plan for me. I didn’t know what it was but I always believed he would lead me to something if I had faith in him. I hope by reading this it will help students who don’t have a specific plan at this stage in their lives to have trust in God to help them find their own path in life. The second thing I would like to write about is something that worried me when I decided to follow a career in science. Specifically, how would learning about science affect my faith in God? Would I discover that everything can be explained by science and therefore somehow lose my faith in God? Well I can tell you that the exact opposite occurred! The more I learned about the intricate details of chemistry and later the amazing complexity of life and the functioning of the earth my faith has become even stronger. Through research I am able discover for the first time amazing new insight into the functioning of our planet where I also see the hand of God. I have found that science and belief in God are not in conflict for me and the more I learn the stronger my faith becomes.

My Life

Favorite Quote

Never give up

Friends describe me

as an anomaly.

My hobbies

Surfing, motorcycles, and sailing.

Fantasy dinner guests

My wife

Best advice I ever received

Have a positive attitude

My undergrad alma mater


My worst subject in school

High school Chemistry!

In college I drove

a 57 Chevy, chopped Triumph motorcycle.

If I weren't a professor, I would

Mechanic, boat captain

Favorite books

Killer Angels

Favorite movies


Favorite city

Wilmington NC

Favorite coffee

Black, any kind

Nobody knows I

If I told you someone would know!

My latest accomplishment

Learning to sail

Current Research

Rainwater and atmospheric chemistry; Sediment biogeochemistry