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About Mark Beekey

Mark Beekey, Ph.D. is Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Biology at Sacred Heart University. As of June 1, 2021 he was appointed Acting Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Prior to June 2021 he was Chair of the Department of Biology.
Mark earned his bachelor’s degree in ecology from Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, and his Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Delaware. He was a post-doctoral research associate and lecturer in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont from 2001-2003 and was assistant visiting professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark joined the Sacred Heart community in 2005 as a faculty member in biology, rising through the ranks to earn the rank of professor in 2017.  He served as chair of the department from 2018 to 2021. Mark also served as the co-program director of the SHU in Dingle program with John Roney from 2017 to 2021, co-leading a significant expansion and growth in the Ireland program. 
Mark has been the recipient of many grants while at Sacred Heart. He has obtained $6.6M in funding related to improving K-12 STEM education along with colleagues from mathematics and the Farrington College of Education. These include four grants—each more than $1M—from the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Scholarship Program that provide scholarships and professional development to future secondary and elementary teachers. He, along with his biology colleagues, also obtained over half a million dollars in funding to create scholarships for biology majors seeking careers in STEM fields. Since 2005, Mark has successfully obtained over $900k in funding to support invasive species research in Lake Champlain with colleagues from the University of Vermont and, with Jennifer Mattei and others in the biology department here at SHU, assessments of horseshoe crab populations in Long Island Sound and shoreline restoration at Stratford Point.
He has published more than 20 articles related to aquatic ecology in numerous journals and has served as a reviewer for both manuscripts and grant proposals. 
Dr. Beekey's current research focuses on (1) the population dynamics of horseshoe crabs with respect to reproductive behavior, population demographics; and dispersal; and (2) integrating ecosystem management techniques with coastal restoration projects. There is a focus on horseshoe crab research efforts on defining the habitat requirements for juvenile horseshoe crabs along with an investigation of their growth and survivorship. The team continues to monitor spawning populations of horseshoe crabs through extensive involvement of citizen scientists. Dr. Beekey's restoration ecology research currently focuses on the use of living shorelines or green infrastructure to stabilize coastal shorelines while increasing biodiversity and habitat complexity. He maintains his interest in how invasive invertebrates influence aquatic communities with regards to aquatic community structure and stability as well as how evolution shapes life history strategies of aquatic invertebrates.

Professor Beekey has also collaborated with the Isabelle Farrington College of Education to develop innovative approaches to teaching science at the elementary and middle school levels. Over the past few years he and the College have been working Connecticut's Department of Higher Education to teach elementary and middle school teachers science content and delivery methods.


July 2022 - Present Dean, Sacred Heart University College of Arts and Sciences
September 2017 - Present Professor, Sacred Heart University Department of Biology
June 2021 - July 2022 Acting Dean, Sacred Heart University College of Arts and Sciences
2000 - 2017 Associate Professor, Sacred Heart University Department of Biology

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Honors and Awards

  • Promotion, 2017


  • BI278 – Coastal Ecology of Ireland
  • BI260 – Marine Biology
  • BI240 – Invertebrate Biology
  • BI202/204 Populations to Ecosystems
  • BI112/114 Concepts in Biology II
  • BI111/113 Concepts in Biology I


2001 Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Delaware
1994 B.S. Ecology, Juniata College
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Vermont ‐ Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Contact Information

Martire Center BUCM*W306
College of Arts and Sciences


Book (1)

Contributions to Books (1)

Articles (19)