Dr. Hanks holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the City University of New York. Her research focuses on the evolutionary relationships among fern taxa from both a morphological and photochemical standpoint. Currently Dr. Hanks is engaged in research at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) where she maintains an Honorary Research Associate appointment in the Institute of Systematic Botany. Dr. Hanks uses scanning electron microscopy to elucidate the microarchitecture of fern spores and applies the information in the phylogenetic analysis of this important group of plants. Her work can be seen on www.plantsystematics.org website (type in keyword spores). At NYBG she has also worked on projects examining species diversity in the coastal forests of Brazil and the isolation of novel phytochemicals from various plant species.
Prior to joining the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics at Marymount Manhattan, Dr. Hanks held an assistant professorship in the School of Allied Health and Life Sciences at New York Institute of Technology. Her years of teaching at NYIT and microbiological background from grant supported research in marine microbial ecology has led to current interests in the isolation, elucidation and potential use of phytochemicals as antimicrobial agents. The microorganisms investigated include medically important opportunists of the human body.
Dr. Hanks teaches the shared curriculum courses, Plagues and Humankind, Human Biology, and HIV/AIDS, in addition to the biology major courses of General Biology, Physiology, Microbiology and Ecology.
Associate Professor of Biology
Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences