Take one look at New College’s small class sizes, expert Marine Biology faculty, waterfront location and marine facilities and you will understand why so many students want to pursue their interest in Marine Biology either though coursework only or through an Area of Concentration in Marine Biology here. New College is situated on Sarasota Bay and our students have the opportunity to study and conduct research at the Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center, located on our Bayfront Campus. The Center is home to more than 100 aquaria, anchored by a 15,000 gallon research and display tank. Each tank in the Living Ecosystem Teaching and Research Aquarium (LETRA, for short) features different captive ecosystems, including a cold-water rocky shore and Sarasota Bay grass flats. Through a natural filtration system designed by students, the Center draws and recycles water from Sarasota Bay.
New College is situated on Sarasota Bay and near coastal and inland areas that make studying Marine Biology here a rich experience. Sarasota Bay is one of 28 estuaries in the country that have been named by the U.S. Congress as an estuary of national significance. The bay and Sarasota’s other natural environs help our Marine Biology professors bring science to life in and out of the classroom. As a Marine Biology student, you can take courses and tutorials on everything from Coral Reef Ecology, Invertebrate Zoology, Fish Biology, Methods of Field Ecology, Animal Behavior, and Aquatic Botany/Marine Plants and more.
Marine Biology students have access to faculty with a wide variety of expertise, including the ecology, communities and public policies of Sarasota Bay and the barrier islands and bays of southwest Florida. Faculty members also conduct research related to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and its potential impacts on the nearshore marine and coastal ecosystems of southwest Florida. Other expertise includes fish sensory physiology, invertebrate ecology and population dynamics, ecotoxicology, ecological assessment, biochemistry, marine mammal behavior and cognition, marine policy, mathematical modeling of biological systems and fisheries management.
Our students also have regular opportunities to conduct field research with bottlenose dolphins, whales, sea turtles and manatees. And many students get hands-on experience through coursework and independent study projects at Sarasota’s renowned Mote Marina Lab and Aquarium, located just 10 minutes from campus.
A senior research project is required of students in the major. Each academic experience builds toward your senior project, which is a research or a creative project in your major or area of concentration. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Here’s a list of course offerings:
Please note that since many New College students combine their study of marine biology with other disciplines within the field, we recommend that students visit the curriculum section of our Biology AOC to view additional courses offered at the College.
Introduction to Oceanography
Coral Reef Ecology
An Introduction to Aquarium Science: Its History and Methods
Laboratory Experience in Aquatic Biology and Aquarium Science
Invertebrate Zoology: Phylogeny, Form and Function
Fish Biology Laboratory
Fish Biology Lecture
Marine Ecology and Conservation
Neurobiology and Behavior of Marine Animals Laboratory
Neurobiology and Behavior of Marine Animals Lecture
Marine Biology Group Tutorials
To find out more about the Marine Biology AOC and course listings, check out our general catalog.
You can also click here to read the Marine Biology Academic Learning Compact.
Graduates in Marine Biology from New College are re-shaping the field and are at work in diverse areas around the country and indeed throughout the world. Here is a quick look at the career of one of our graduates:
Dr. Erin Lipp, ’94, Associate Professor, University of Georgia Department of Environmental Health Science
“I have always conducted collaborative research. To address real-world problems, it is nearly impossible to do so without a broad expertise.” Dr. Erin Lipp brings her expertise in Marine Biology to UGA’s College of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Science. She collaborates with researchers across disciplines in order to tackle pressing environmental and public health issues. Lipp pursued her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland, her Ph.D. in Marine Science with an emphasis in Biological Oceanography at University of South Florida and her B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology at New College.
New College is proud of our many Biology graduates who have focused their studies on the marine environment. Here’s a sampling of some of our graduates:
• Steve Barbeaux – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries
• Greg Stemm – Founder/CEO, Odyssey Marine Explorations
• Craig Brown, Ph.D. – Fisheries Biologist, National Marine Fishery Service
• Kelly Samek, J.D. – Senior Assistant General Counsel, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
• Mariah Arnold – Fulbright Scholar, attending PhD program at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment
• Aaron Kandur – PhD program at University of Chicago in Ecology and Evolution
• Renee Price – University of South Florida, graduated with MS in Environmental Science and Policy
• Katherine Hubbard, Ph.D. – University of Washington, currently at Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Marine Biology
• University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fisheries Science
Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Marine Biology:
“The Distribution of Cyphoma Gibbosum (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Cypraeoidea: Ovulidae) (The Flamingo Tongue Gastropod) in Relation to the Presence of the Fungal Disease Aspergillosis on Gorgonia Spp. (Anthozoa: Cnidaria: Octocorallia: Gorgoniidae)” by Julie Christina Krzykwa
“Interaction of Time and Environment and Environment on Sheepshead Minnow” by Morgan Molina-Marin
“Vegetarian Shrimp: the Effects of Attractants in Alternative Plant-Based Diets on Growth Rates of Juvenile Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) (Boone, 1931)” by Megan White-Domain
“Population Connectivity of the Acropra Palmata on Cayos Cochinos, Honduras” by Alberto Fenix
“Sponge and Faunal Association of the Brittle Star Ophiothrix suensonii (Echinodermata) at Cayos Cochinos, Honduras and the Feeding Postures and General Behavior of Mariametrid Feather Stars (Echinodermata) (In Vivo)” by Stephanie Sherman
“Just Keeping Swimming: A Review of the Biological and Social Components of Teleost Fish Shoaling” by Stuart Strock
“Plasticity of Fish Muscle Phenotype in Response to a Thermally Variable Environment: An Ecophysiological Study of Fundulus grandis Eurythermal Performance from a Protein Perspective” by David Dayan
“Behavioral Lateralization and Anatomical Asymmetry in Pleuronectiform Fishes” by Ned Poulos-Boggis
“Chromatophore Mapping of the Jewel Cichlid (Hemichromis biamaculatus) and the Effects of Morphological and Physiological Controls During Development” by Diana Ward
“Spatial Analysis of Octopus Dens and Predation” by Elizabeth Alene Hamman
“Cold Tolerance of the Mayan Cichlid (CICHLASOMA ‘NANDOPSIS’ UROPHTHALMUS) and the Effects of Temperature on Teleost Physiology” by Peter Repenning
“Vocalization Studies of Two West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)” by Amanda L. Stansbury
“Fish, Finches and Tour Boats: Conservation and Plunder in Latin America. A Case Study of the Galapagos Islands” by Amanda Croteau
“Spacial Mapping in a Jumping Fish: The Frillfin Goby Bathygobius soporator” by Geoffrey H. Smith, Jr.
“Designing Captive Habitats for Delphinidae” by Marion Griffin
“Behavior of the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens) in a Radical Arm Maze” by Sandra Bohn
“Shelter Choice in the Gulf Toadfish, Opsanus Beta” by June Gwalthney
“Spatial Orientation and Modeling in the Arboreal Mangrove Crab, Aratus pisonii (Crustacea, Grapsidae) H. Milne Edwards 1837” by Sarah Elizabeth Rhodes
“An Assessment of Manatee Behaviors, Biology, and Implications for Conservation” by Nicole L. Morgan
“Collaborative Management of Coral Reef Ecosystems” by Mey Akashah
“A Photographic Atlas of Brains of Common Caribbean Reef Fishes” by Xiomara Chin
“The Effects of Temperature on Growth, Colonization and Strobilation in Linuche unguiculata: Relation to Planulae Outbreaks Along the Southeast Florida Coast” by Erin Lipp
“The Effects of Stormwater Run-Off on the Survivorship, Molting Rate, and Behavior of Menippe mercenaria Larvae and Megalopa” by Elizabeth R. McCain
“The Postlarval Ocean Management Study” by Michael David Calinski
“Ocean Management: Rational Exploitation of Ocean Resources” by Luc Cuyvers
The Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center boasts seven research labs and over 100 aquaria, anchored by a 15,000 gallon research and display tank. Each tank in the Living Ecosystem Teaching and Research Aquarium features a different captive ecosystem, some with a camera to send images to a streaming video server. Through a natural filtration system designed by students as part of a senior thesis project, the center draws and recycles water from Sarasota Bay. A second filtration area is currently under development, and when complete will allow us to scrub water from our parking area to demonstrate the use of native plants in stormwater control. Recently, a new research lagoon was also added along the bayfront to allow students to study plant and animal colonization and use of a disturbed habitat.
Many students apprentice at the marine center, learning animal husbandry and proper care of organisms in a captive environment. Students and faculty also design outreach programs to engage the local community in the world of science. Learn more.
The 34,000-square-foot Heiser Natural Sciences Complex includes teaching and research labs for chemistry, biology, computational science, mathematics and physics. There is a new state-of-the-art Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials laboratory, a research greenhouse and herbarium. Special equipment includes a scanning electron microscope in biology, a 24-station chemistry teaching lab with transparent fume hoods and sampling equipment for field ecology. The Soo Bong Chae Auditorium is a tiered lecture hall for the natural sciences.
Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida, less than 15 minutes from campus. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs. New College faculty and students often conduct research at Mote.
New College is a part of the Florida Institute of Oceanography which is a consortium of over 20 institutions and organizations focused on the marine environment. Members have access to research vessels as well as to the Florida Keys Marine Lab. Students have joined scientists as members of research teams and they have taken advantage of the Florida Keys’ site to collect organisms for their own research. Each year, opportunities for students open among members of the consortium. New College of Florida is also a member of both the Southern Association of Marine Labs (SAML) and of the National Association of Marine Labs (NAML). Through these organizations, opportunities for internships and other activities abound.
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