Karen Frances Gaines

Professor and Dean
Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology
College of Arts & Sciences
Karen Frances Gaines

Dr. Karen Gaines has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS) at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Daytona Beach campus since 2016. Dr. Gaines oversees five Departments, as well as the Air Force, Navy and Army ROTC units for the campus. Prior to joining ERAU, Dr. Gaines worked for the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory at the US Department of Energy’s (USDOE) Savannah River Site, served as the Department Chair of Biological Sciences at Eastern Illinois University and was founding Director of the Geographic Information Science Center at this same institution. Dr. Gaines’ PhD is in Environmental Toxicology from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, where she worked closely with the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) to quantify exposure pathways and develop spatially explicit risk models for vulnerable populations living near nuclear waste sites using multiple endpoints. Her work in radiation epidemiology, exposure, risk assessment and radionuclide fate and transport earned her the doctoral achievement award for her contributions. She is internationally recognized for her expertise on the fate and transport of toxicants for both environmental and human risk assessment, specifically as it pertains to health physics, radiobiology, radiochemistry, metals and organics.

  • Ph.D. - Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health Sciences, University of South Carolina-Columbia
  • M.S. - Master of Science in Forestry and Natural Resources: Wildlife Science, Purdue University-Main Campus
  • B.S. - Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry