Rebecca Beach

Rebecca Beach

Although most of my formal training is in molecular biology, my fascination with the living world has always extended well beyond the boundaries of molecules and cells. I grew up in southern Arizona and spent much of my childhood exploring the mysteries of the desert and its magnificent array of vegetation and wildlife. As an undergraduate I studied ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, but graduate school eventually led me to research in molecular biology and animal development. As a faculty member at Hollins I have had many opportunities to expand my scholarly pursuits and engage in research collaborations with faculty and students in the biology, psychology, and physics departments. My recent research projects have included studies on canine genetics and behavior, the effects of environmental toxins on fish and amphibian development, and sources of microbial contamination in food and drink. I teach courses in molecular and cell biology, genetics, developmental biology, evolution, and nutrition.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 140, Human Genetics, combined lecture/laboratory course for non-majors
  • BIOL/ES 197F, You Are What You Eat, first-year seminar course
  • BIOL/PHYS 197F, Lasers, Nanoparticles & Molecular Medicine: Advances in Biophysics and Biotechnology with Medical Applications, first-year seminar course
  • BIOL 236/236L, Molecular and Cell Biology, lecture and laboratory course for majors
  • BIOL 241/241L, Plant Biology, lecture and laboratory course for majors
  • BIOL 310, Evolution, lecture course for majors
  • BIOL 314/314L, Genetics, lecture and laboratory course for majors
  • BIOL 322/322L, Developmental Biology, lecture and laboratory course for majors
  • BIOL 350, Molecular Evolution, special topics course for majors
  • BIOL 350, Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, special topics course for majors
  • BIOL 471 & 472, Biology Senior Seminar, capstone seminar course for majors


  • Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin
  • M.S., University of Connecticut-Storrs
  • B.S., University of Arizona

Publications & Articles

  • Godard, R.D, P. Sharma, C.J. Wagner, C. M. Wilson, A. Fleming-Haddock, R.L. Beach (2013). Repeated detection of microbes in beverages dispensed from soda fountain machines and the effect of flushing on microbial density. International Journal of Food Microbiology 163, 218-222.
  • White, A.S., R.D. Godard, C. Belling, V. Kasza, and R.L. Beach (2010). Beverages obtained from soda fountain machines in the U.S. contain microorganisms, including coliform bacteria. International Journal of Food Microbiology 137, 61-66.


  • Dean of Academic Services, Hollins University, July 2013 – June 2017