Dr. Sandra Gilchrist is a Professor of Biology, Director of Pritzker Marine Biology Research Center and Director of Coral Reef Issues and Study Abroad at New College of Florida. Dr. Gilchrist received her Ph.D. and Bachelor's from Florida State University and obtained her Master's at Old Dominion University. Professor Gilchrist has broad research interests in population biology of invertebrates. She has focused her work on crabs and their interactions with other organisms, concentrating research questions about resource use. Most recently, she has worked on questions about interactions between octopuses and hermit crabs in reef and seagrass environments. She also works with terrestrial invertebrates such as mangrove tree crabs and land hermit crabs. Her program in Honduras allows students to experience research abroad on a variety of organisms and systems. She has worked with her students on genetics of coral diseases and of wound healing in marine invertebrates.
Dr. Gilchrist teaches a variety of courses including invertebrate zoology, mangrove ecology, and oceanography. Sandra was a part of a NOAA grant that brought enhancements to the marine center and helped support the beginnings of community outreach in marine studies. She received grants from the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for K-12 teacher workshops and a summer science program for underprivileged middle school students to learn about the marine environment. She also spearheaded a gift from the AT&T Foundation to expand the College's marine science program for elementary and middle school children from low-income families.