URI Marine Biology Program

College of the Environment and Life Sciences


The Marine Biology Program was established in 1996 and 80-100 freshmen enter the B.S. Marine Biology degree program each year. Most of our students are from out-of-state and come to us from 15 states (see freshman class profiles). The curriculum for the BS in Marine Biology, administered by the Department of Biological Sciences, is designed for students who plan on pursuing marine biology at a professional level or who wish to use their training and expertise in a wide range of careers. The program allows students to explore the vast world of marine biology while also providing an important foundation in modern biological sciences, chemistry, math, physics and oceanography. We encourage an interdisciplinary approach that includes study in other marine-related areas, such as Aquaculture and Fisheries, Marine Affairs, Marine Environmental Economics, and Marine Archaeology, History and Literature, and/or involvement in URI’s Honors Program. Students majoring in marine biology may also choose to complete a minor or double major in one of these areas (or others), depending on their interests. Other students with an interest in Marine Biology may pursue a BS in Biological Sciences or a BA in Biology (with appropriate marine-related courses), or do a Minor in Marine Biology.

Congratulations & Announcements – 2014

  • Welcome to the 85 freshmen in the Class of 2018 and our new Transfer Students!!
  • Welcome to Dr. Bryan Dewsbury, new Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He will be teaching BioSci 101, and will be advising Marine Biology majors in CELS.
  • The Marine Biology Peer Mentor for 2014-2015 will be Emily Bishop. You can reach her at mbmentor@etal.uri.edu, and she will be holding office hours in the CELS Student Affairs Office, times TBA.
  • Our new Administrative Graduate Assistant, Julia Johnstone (MS student in the Webb Lab) can be reached at urimbio@etal.uri.edu.
  • William H. Krueger Graduate Studies AwardWe are happy to announce the initiation of the Krueger Graduate Studies Award, which was established with an endowment in honor of Dr. William H. Krueger, Ichthyologist in the Zoology Department, now retired.  Dr. Krueger taught Ichthyology and Vertebrate Biology for many years, his research was in the taxonomy of deep-sea fishes and the biology and ecology of the American eel, and worked on the Ocean Acre Project with colleagues at the Smithsonian.  The first Kreuger Award has been given to Abigail Bockus, a Ph.D. student in the Seibel Lab. Her project is entitled “Trimethylamine oxide accumulation and use in marine fishes: Characterization and novel functional identification of an often overlooked molecule”
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowships! Melanie Garate (PhD student in Dr. Serena Moseman-Valtierra’s lab), was awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which brings to three the number of current URI students who hold this prestigious award. Matt Birk, a current student in the Seibel Lab, was given an “Honorable Mention” for this Fellowship.
  • Ashley Marranzino (MS student in the Webb Lab, and NSF Graduate Research Fellow) has been awarded a 2014 Lerner Gray Memorial Fund grant by the American Museum of Natural History to support her MS thesis work on the sensory biology of deep sea fishes.
  • Justin Richard, PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Sartini lab who works on Beluga whale physiology at the Mystic Aquarium, was at the White House on May 8, 2014. He and others represented the Mystic Aquarium, which received the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service presented by First Lady Michele Obama.  Click here for news article.
  • Bryan Pestone (Class of 2012) has completed his training and will start as an Ensign in the NOAA Corps serving on the Okeanos Explorer (http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/welcome.html).
  • Dr. Christopher Lane (BioSci) has received tenure and has been promoted to Associate Professor.
  • NOAA Hollings Scholarship! – Rachel Marshall (Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, Class of 2016) has received a prestigious, nationally competitive NOAA Hollings Scholarship in 2014.  She is the 17th URI student to receive this scholarship since 2009.

Photo Credits throughout the Marine Biology website: Drs. Jacqueline Webb, Brad Seibel, Carol Thornber, Ms. Jillian Hesse (Class of ’07),  Ms. Sara MacSorley (Class of ’08),  Ms. Emily Field (Class of ’09)

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