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2020-2021 Catalog
The word Biology on the mural wall of the Biological Sciences building

About Biology programs

Biology Faculty

Department of Biology

Location: Building 59, Room 1300
Phone: (904) 620-2830
Web Address:

Dr. Cliff Ross, Chair


The guiding principle of the Department of Biology is the search for understanding and knowledge through the scientific study of life and the dissemination of this information to students, the scientific community, and the general public. The Department of Biology faculty members teach and conduct research in diverse fields of biology. The strength of the department lies in its broad-based academic program, collaborative efforts of faculty, and its integration of undergraduates in all aspects of research. The Department of Biology educates the general student body of UNF in biological principles and seeks to develop an understanding of science, applied writing, mathematics, analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills in the context of biology. We seek to provide individualized attention at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to students interested in careers related to biological science. The department believes that the active involvement in scholarly pursuits of graduate and undergraduate students is the ultimate expression of teaching and learning.

Program Overview

The Biology department is home to over 650 undergraduate majors and more than 30 graduate students. There are five concentrations within the Bachelor of Science degree that allow undergraduate students to customize their degree for their career aspirations. Graduate students can choose either a Master of Science or a Master of Arts degree, both of which have tracks that allow students to gain experience in an array of sub-disciplines. In addition, the department offers an accelerated BS-MS program in Biomedical Sciences. For all of our students, individual attention and opportunities to conduct research with our faculty are hallmarks of their degree. Biology faculty members are involved in research concerning aquatic and terrestrial ecology, cell and molecular biology, physiology, and microbial studies and have obtained grants from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the US Department of Agriculture. Our Biological Sciences building provides state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities including features such as a fully automated greenhouse, a sea water ‘on tap’ system, and a marine mammal necropsy lab to name a few. Our department is also home to the Coastal and Marine Biology Flagship program, and a vibrant Biomedical Sciences program.

Graduate Degree Programs

The department offers two graduate degrees, a Master of Arts and a Master of Science in Biology. The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Biology degree program is designed primarily to provide secondary school teachers and professionals in environmental fields with advanced training in the biological sciences through extensive coursework. The Master of Science (M.S.) biology degree program is designed to provide graduate students with advanced knowledge, skills and techniques in the biological sciences through coursework and an independent thesis research project. There is an option for a non-thesis track MS in Biomedical Sciences as well.

Undergraduate Major Degree Program

The Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science degree with five areas of concentration: Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Coastal and Marine Biology, Coastal Environmental Science, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. An undergraduate certificate in Biotechnology is available which helps students build skills that are attractive to employers and graduate schools. The Bachelor of Science in Biology is a Selective Admissions degree program. Students must meet certain criteria and then apply. To be accepted, students must have taken General Biology I and II (or equivalents) and General Chemistry I and II (or equivalents) with minimum grades of two B's and two C's in those four courses.

Undergraduate Minor Degree Programs

Undergraduate students majoring in another field can choose a minor in Biology or Environmental Science.

Department of Biology Faculty

Cliff Ross, Professor & Chair

Kristine C. Amatuli, Lecturer

Michael J. Aspinwall, Assistant Professor

Andrew A. Beall, Associate Lecturer

Doria F. Bowers, Professor

Joseph A. Butler, Professor

Dale A. Casamatta, Professor

Charles B. Coughlin, Associate Lecturer

Terri N. Ellis, Associate Professor

James J. Gelsleichter, Associate Professor

Quincy A. Gibson, Associate Professor

Matthew R. Gilg, Professor

M. Laura Habegger, Assistant Professor

Courtney T. Hackney, Professor Emeritus

John D. Hatle, Professor

Eric G. Johnson, Associate Professor

Michael R. Lentz, Associate Professor

Daniel C. Moon, Professor & Associate Provost

Jamie C. Moon, Associate Lecturer

Judith D. Ochrietor, Associate Professor & Assistant Chair

Fatima K. Rehman. Lecturer

Simon J. Rhodes, Professor & Provost

Adam E. Rosenblatt, Assistant Professor

Anthony M. Rossi, Professor

Deborah Smith, Lecturer

Frank W. Smith III, Assistant Professor

Kelly J. Smith, Associate Professor

Elizabeth Stotz-Potter, Lecturer

Janice E. Swenson, Associate Lecturer

Candice Ginn T. Tahimic, Assistant Professor

David S. Waddell, Associate Professor