Biology Faculty

Alfred Beulig, Jr.
Professor of Biology, 941-487-4374

Ph.D., City College of the City University of New York
B.S., M.S., University of Wisconsin

Professor Beulig specializes in vertebrate biology, animal behavior, behavioral ecology, coral reef ecology and neurobiology. His current research is in the area of psychoneuroimmunology. This emerging field centers around the interactions among the endocrine, nervous and immune systems that control behaviors to prepare the organism to withstand stress and involves "mind-body" phenomena. He is using marine organisms including fish as model systems to study the evolution and function of these mechanisms. Recently, he has been investigating the effects of chronic stress on cognition.

He teaches courses in organismic biology, animal behavior, neurobiology, immunobiology and coral reef ecology as well as the vertebrate section of the general biology course.

Professor Beulig is also involved in marine ecology and conservation in Central America. Under the auspices of the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation, (ITEC) he teaches a field course in coral reef ecology during the summer in Panama.

Amy Clore
Associate Professor of Biology, 941-487-4543

Ph.D., University of Arizona
B.A., Kenyon College

Professor Clore received her Ph.D. in plant science with a minor in molecular and cellular biology. She is interested in how plant cells perceive extracellular signals and transduce these signals into intracellular changes in biochemistry, gene expression and cytoskeletal architecture.

Her current research focuses on early endosperm development in maize. Funding for the research is provided in part by a nearly $400,000 grant she received from the National Science Foundation as part of a national research team. In addition, Dr. Clore is also studying maize pulvini, specialized organs found along the maize plant stem that sense when the plant has been tipped and reorient growth, as well as how carpel epidermal cells redifferentiate during carpel fusion in Madagascar periwinkle.

Besides her recent National Science Foundation grant, Dr. Clore and two other New College professors in the natural sciences received a NSF grant in 2006 to further their research into animal and plant development and gene expression. Through that grant, New College became one of only a small number of undergraduate institutions in the U.S. to have a real-time PCR instrument to measure DNA and RNA levels in tissue samples taken from organisms.

Professor Clore teaches Cellular Biology (lecture and laboratory), Topics in Plant Development, Plant Physiology, Developmental Biology, Topics in Cell Signaling and General Biology: from Molecules to Organism.

Sandra L. Gilchrist
Professor of Biology, 941-487-4377 (office) or 941-487-4596 (lab)

Ph.D., Florida State University
M.S., Old Dominion University
B.S., Florida State University

Professor Gilchrist has broad research interests in population biology of invertebrates.  She has focused her work on crabs and their interactions with other organisms, concentrating research questions about resource use.  Most recently, she has worked on questions about interactions between octopuses and hermit crabs in reef and seagrass environments.  She also works with terrestrial invertebrates such as mangrove tree crabs and land hermit crabs.  Her program in Honduras allows students to experience research abroad on a variety of organisms and systems.  She has worked with her students on genetics of coral diseases and of wound healing in marine invertebrates.

She teaches a variety of courses including invertebrate zoology, mangrove ecology, and oceanography. Her broad training in biology and oceanography allows her to support tutorials and internships from feeding behavior of octopuses to work aboard open water research vessels.  She and her students present their work regularly at professional conferences.
Biology professor Sandra Gilchrist was a part of a NOAA grant that brought enhancements to the marine center and helped support the beginnings of community outreach in marine studies.  She received grants from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for K-12 teacher workshops and a summer science program for underprivileged middle school students to learn about the marine environment.  She also spearheaded a gift from the AT&T Foundation to expand the College’s marine science program for elementary and middle school children from low-income families.

Brad Oberle
Assistant Professor of Biology, 941-487-4390

Ph.D. Washington University in St. Louis
B.A. Kenyon College

Professor Oberle is broadly interested in the environmental biology of plants and fungi. His research centers on how functional trait variation influences species’ responses to climate change, including their capacity to absorb, store and emit greenhouse gasses. His approach combines lab experiments, field surveys, museum research and statistical models.

In collaboration with diverse students, policy makers and other researchers, he aims to elucidate biological principles that improve natural resource management in the local community and beyond. He enjoys teaching biology by doing science with students and emphasizes accurate analysis, effective communication and appreciation of diversity in nature.

Tyrone Ryba
Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics

B.A., New College of Florida
Ph.D., Florida State University

Professor Ryba is a computational biologist with interests in epigenetic regulation and applying computational methods to study the biology of human disease. His research examines relationships between genome structure and function, with a focus on large-scale domain regulation and misregulation in respiratory disorders and pediatric leukemia. He enjoys teaching the theory and practice of deriving information from biological data, and participating in related ISPs, tutorials, and collaborative projects.

Katherine M. Walstrom
Associate Professor of Biochemistry 941-487-4493

Ph.D., Cornell University
B.S., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Professor Walstrom teaches biochemistry and molecular biology courses, laboratories and tutorials. Her interdisciplinary research group studies RNA helicases and gene regulation in the model organism C. elegans, a small nematode. Students in her laboratory utilize techniques such as PCR, RT-PCR, microscopy, cloning, protein purification and enzyme assays. In 2006, Dr. Walstrom and two other Natural Sciences professors received a grant to further their research into animal and plant development and gene expression. Through the grant, New College became one of only a small number of undergraduate institutions to have a real-time PCR instrument to measure DNA and RNA levels in tissue samples taken from organisms.


24 New College graduates have been named National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows, one of academia's most prestigious awards.

Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
5800 Bay Shore Road
Sarasota, Florida  34243

Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201