URI Marine Biology Program

College of the Environment and Life Sciences


The Marine Biology Program involves over 200 students in the B.S. Marine Biology degree program. Most of our students are from out-of-state, and they come to us from 15 states across the country (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.

Check out our Facebook page: “URI Marine Biology

Congratulations & Announcements – 2014

  • Cruise News!  Jessica Perrault (MB Class of 2015) and David Gleeson (MB Class of 2016), as well as alumni Iain McCoy and Michelle Dennis (Class of 2013) are on the R/V Palmer in the Southern Ocean (Dec. 2014) studying krill with Dr. Ted Durbin (GSO) and other scientists. You can learn more about what they are doing at sea on their blog: krillcruise.wordpress.com.
  • Emily Bishop (MBIO, Class of 2015; Hollings Scholar) gave a talk entitled “A new boat-based survey protocol for bull kelp in Puget Sound” at the 16th Annual Northwest Straits MRC Conference, in Port Townsend WA. Her talk was the only one given by a student (!), and was based on her 2014 NOAA Hollings Internship with the Northwest Straits Commission.
  • Cruise News! PhD student Laura Filliger (in Bethany Jenkins’ lab) just completed a month-long cruise in the Southern Ocean aboard the R/V Palmer with a group from Stanford and MBL; she was invited to participate by Dr. Anton Post, formerly of MBL, and now the new Director of the URI’s Coastal Resources Center
  • Rockstars in the Moseman-Valtierra Lab – At the SACNAS national conference, PhD student Melanie Garate won an Outstanding Graduate Presentation award in Environmental Sciences for her talk, “Increased temperatures and excess nutrients may increase greenhouse gas fluxes from coastal systems”. (SACNAS is the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans In Science). PhD student Rose Martin won Best Graduate Oral Presentation at the New England Estuarine Research Society meeting for her talk, “From a Spartina patens meadow to a Phragmites jungle: a biological invasion may change coastal carbon cycling”.  Click here for an article about Melanie and Rose.
  • 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 is Emily Bishop. You can reach her at mbmentor@etal.uri.edu, and she will be holding office hours in the CELS Student Affairs Office (see the Advising and Mentoring page for hours).
  • 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 Award – We 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 on the taxonomy of deep-sea fishes and the biology and ecology of the American eel, and he 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”

For more news, see the Kudos and Congratulations page.

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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