Faculty Profile

Thomas Arnold

Professor of Biology; Walter E. Beach '56 Chair in Sustainability Studies (2003)

Contact Information


Rector North Room 2303


Dr. Arnold is a broadly-trained biochemist who studies natural products produced by marine organisms and terrestrial plants exposed to stress, including stress caused by changing climates, grazing, or infection. His research focuses on plant sugar metabolism and transport, polyphenolic metabolism, glucosinolate production, and the occurrence of natural epigenetic regulators which exhibit promising medical properties. He is especially interested in molecules synthesized by organisms living in coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and temperate forests. He has been awarded research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and NASA. His work has been published in a variety of journals, often with undergraduate co-authors. He has over 20 years of experience as a science educator and mentor of undergraduate researchers. He teaches courses in biochemistry and metabolism, physiology, and ecological physiology as well as climate science. He founded the Dickinson Global Scholar Study Abroad program, and led its first semester-long program in Brisbane, Australia. He has been awarded course innovation grants from the National Science Foundation, among others. Over one hundred students have been trained in his laboratory and through these research programs. Dr. Arnold is an avid SCUBA diver and enjoys spending time near saltwater, in Chesapeake Bay tidal marshes, and on small boats. He is an advocate for Alzheimer's disease research.


  • B.A., St. Mary's College of Maryland, 1993
  • Ph.D., University of Delaware, 1998

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

BIOL 343 Metabolism
Cross-listed with CHEM 343-01.

CHEM 343 Metabolism
Cross-listed with BIOL 343-01.

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

Spring 2024

BIOL 423 Plant Physiological Ecol w/Lab
A study of how plants function and respond to their environment. Topics include mineral nutrition, cellular and whole plant water relations, photosynthesis and sugar metabolism, hormonal regulation, sensing, induced defense responses, and reproduction. The course focuses the interactions between plants and a rapidly changing environment, including climate warming, accelerating CO2 rise, drought, flooding, and pollution. Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. For ENST/ENSC majors only, prerequisite is ENST 162.

BCMB 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch
Student/Faculty Collaborative Research allows a student to conduct original research in close partnership with faculty collaborator(s). The project should be designed as an investigation yielding novel results that contribute to the area of study. With the faculty collaborator(s), students will develop the project and participate in all aspects fo the reasearch. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with the student for at least half of the time the student is pursuing the research. The final project must be presented to the faculty collaborator(s) no later than one week prior to the end of the evaluation period. The course will typically earn one half or one full course credit per semester.

BIOL 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch