Tom Arnold is a professor in the Biology department and the program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Dickinson College.  He has served as chair of the Environmental Studies Department, the interdisciplinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program, the Research and Development Committee, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee and served on a wide variety of other college committees, including the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Academic Program Committee, and several Strategic Planning Committees.  Since arriving at Dickinson he has been involved in the field of education abroad and founded the Global Scholars Program to led a team of undergraduates to study ocean acidification in Brisbane, Australia for six months.  As senior fellow at the Smithsonian Institution he explored the impacts of climate change on plant chemistry in the Chesapeake Bay and at underwater volcanic sites in Sicily.  He currently serves as the manager of the Inga. P. Stafford greenhouse facility at Dickinson.

Tom is a broadly-trained biochemist and chemical ecologist who studies natural products of plants and marine organisms which serve as toxins, pheromones, and potential new medicines.  He earned a B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s College of the Earth, Ocean, and Environment.  Subsequently, he held two NSF-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship, including one at Penn State University where he studied the phenomenon of “talking trees”.  His current project focuses on the role of botanical histone deactylase inhibitors which reprogram the epigenetic systems of animals, including humans.  His research has been supported by over $2 million in awards from the National Science Foundation.  He has trained over 65 undergraduate researchers, many of whom have gone on to work in the life sciences.  He teaches a variety of courses in the fields of biochemistry, physiology, ecology, and marine science – including a problem-based learning course in Chemical Ecology.

Tom enjoys exploring new places, above and below sea level.  Despite getting sea sick in rough weather, he has logged hundreds of hours underwater as a scientific diver.  He restored a ’73 Volkswagen Super Beetle, named “Rusty”, which sometimes makes it to campus on warm sunny days.