Major in Biology

Bachelor of Science Degree • School of Arts and Sciences

Biology Faculty

The biology faculty of Utica College is noted not only for the quality of its teaching but also for the depth and breadth of its scholarship. Research conducted by faculty members involves students. These students earn research credit, gain valuable field and lab experience, and publish their research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This student research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Geographic Society, The Alden Trust, The Community Foundation, and the New York Energy and Development Authority. Many biology professors have been honored with the college's awards for distinguished teaching, research, or both.

Note: For a listing of adjunct faculty, click here >

Members of the biology faculty and their research interests are:

Professor Larry Aaronson, Ph.D.

Dr. Lawrence R. Aaronson

, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3092
Office: 165 Gordon Science Center
Lawrence R. Aaronson's Personal Page

Dr. Aaronson carries out research in fungal cell biology. He is a recipient of both the College's Crisafulli Distinguished Teaching Award and the Clark Award for distinguished research. He holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Microbiology and joined the Utica College faculty in 1987. ...More About Lawrence R. Aaronson

Bryant Buchanan

Dr. Bryant W. Buchanan

, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3131
Office: 162 Gordon Science Center

Studies the effects of light pollution on wildlife such as frogs and salamanders. Recent work emphasizes studies of the effects of artificial night lighting on the behavior, physiology, and reproduction of frogs, salamanders, and snails in collaboration with S. Wise, T. McCarthy, and T. Provost. He also studies the evolution of reproductive behavior, nocturnal vision, and foraging behavior of nocturnal amphibians. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. He joined the Utica College faculty in 2001. ...More About Bryant W. Buchanan

Sarah Keesom

Dr. Sarah M. Keesom

, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3177
Office: 193 Gordon Science Center
Sarah M. Keesom's Personal Page

Dr. Keesom investigates how animals communicate across changing social situations. Specifically, her research focuses on vocal communication and on the role of serotonin as a calibrator of auditory reception. Dr. Keesom received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, and she joined the Utica College faculty in 2018. ...More About Sarah M. Keesom

Erin Kelly

Mrs. Erin K. Kelly

, M.A.
Internship Prog Dir Nutrition

Phone: (315) 792-3375
Office: 190 Gordon Science Center

Erin Kelly joins Utica College as the internship program director for the Nutrition program. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Binghamton State University, her master's degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel, and her master's degree in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University. The owner of Positive Path Nutrition LLC, she enjoys running/fitness activities, rescuing dogs and gardening.

Dr. Dan Kurtz

Dr. Daniel Kurtz

, Ph.D.
Professor BIO

Phone: (315) 792-3923
Office: 183 Gordon Science Center

Dr. Kurtz's research centers on sensory biology with a strong emphasis on odor discrimination associated with consumer products and the nature of different forms of olfactory loss. ...More About Daniel Kurtz

Dr. Tom McCarthy

Dr. Thomas (Tom) M. McCarthy

, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 223-2510
Office: 163 Gordon Science Center

Specializes in how organisms avoid being killed by predators, how organisms find and assess potential mates, and the trade-offs associated with balancing these activities. His Ph.D., which focuses on the factors that influence the mating systems, was received from the University of Kentucky in 2003. He joined the Utica College faculty in 2004. ...More About Thomas M. McCarthy

Adam Pack

Dr. Adam K. Pack

, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3129
Office: 160 Gordon Science Center

Specializes in the vestibular and auditory sensory organs in the inner ears of mammals. His Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology was completed at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY. Dr. Pack joined the Utica College faculty in 2001. ...More About Adam K. Pack

Professor Provost

Dr. Terri L. Provost

, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-5286
Office: 164 Gordon Science Center

Specializes in nutrition and endocrinology and the effects of environmental factors such as exposure to PCBs on normal endocrine function. Her Ph.D. is from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, in Biological Sciences. Dr. Provost joined the Utica College faculty in 2001. ...More About Terri L. Provost

Brandee Decker Rockefeller

Dr. Brandee L. Rockefeller

, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3529
Office: 194 Gordon Science Center
Brandee L. Rockefeller's Personal Page

Specializes in understanding the molecular mechanisms governing vascular malformations, specifically the PI3Kinase/ mTOR pathways and endothelial cell function including metabolism, cell-cell junctions, and differentiation. Her Ph.D. in Regenerative and Cancer Cell Biology is from Albany Medical College, Albany, NY. Dr. Rockefeller joined the UC Biology Faculty in 2018. ...More About Brandee L. Rockefeller

Dr. Sara Scanga

Dr. Sara E. Scanga

, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3137
Office: 195/199 Gordon Science Center
Sara E. Scanga's Personal Page

Dr. Scanga studies environmental factors affecting the distribution and abundance of rare plants in wetland and upland habitats. She has a PhD from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and joined the UC Biology faculty in 2010. ...More About Sara E. Scanga

Jessica Thomas

Dr. Jessica H. Thomas

, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Phone: (315) 792-3755
Office: 161 Gordon Science Center
Jessica H. Thomas' Personal Page

Specializes in the molecular control of cell-cell fusion and its effect on development in the roundworm C. elegans (Caenorhabditis elegans). Her Ph.D. in Genetics and Developmental Biology is from The University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT. Dr. Thomas joined the UC Biology Faculty in 2012. ...More About Jessica H. Thomas

Dr Sharon Wise

Dr. Sharon E. Wise

, Ph.D.
Dean School of Arts & Sciences

Phone: (315) 792-3028
Office: 286 Gordon Science Center

Specializes in behavioral ecology and conservation biology of terrestrial salamanders. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at Stephens College in 2001. She has a Ph.D. from The University of Louisiana, Lafayette in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, and joined the Utica College faculty in 2001. ...More About Sharon E. Wise


Dr. Daniel Kurtz
Chair of Biology

(315) 792-3923
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1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502