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Rebecca Gerth Brady ’02

Rebecca Gerth Brady ’02
“My upper level biology classes prepared me to be microbiologist, and I credit a professor for encouraging my interest in pursuing microbiology as a profession.”

Rebecca Gerth Brady ’02,

Biology is at the forefront of today's issues relating to human medicine as well as the environment, including such topics as genome sequencing and editing, stem cell research, evolution, and global warming. 

Elmira College’s biology students experience collaborative interactions with peers and professors in the laboratory and field, studying cell, micro, and molecular biology; plant and animal form and function; ecology and evolution. They have an opportunity to conduct independent research with faculty mentors.

Biology majors have many career options. Graduate education in the health professions (pre-medicine, veterinary, or dentistry) or in ecology, microbiology, physiology and pharmacology is possible. Careers in research laboratories, governmental agencies, and environmentally oriented companies are also popular choices.

The Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has developed and maintained significant off-campus experiences for students during the six-week spring term. For over thirty years, science faculty have offered Marine and Island Ecology on San Salvador Island, Bahamas each spring.

Among the instruments in Elmira College laboratories are an NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), uv-vis and infrared spectrophotometers, atomic absorbance spectrophotometer, several gas chromatographs, and HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), DNA sequence room, ultra- and high-speed centrifuges, ultra-cold freezers, incubators, spectrophotometers, fluorescence microscopes, environmental chambers, herbarium, greenhouse, marine culture tanks, bio-safety level II hood, dissection and compound microscopes.

Elmira College students have presented the results of their research with faculty at regional and national conferences. Some conferences have included ACS (American Chemical Society), Sigma Xi, Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society, and ABS (Animal Behavior Society). Students have traveled to Denver, San Diego, New Orleans, Atlanta, Toronto, and Baltimore to present their research, often funded by various programs at the college.

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