Becca Price



Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell


I study how people learn and how people learn to teach. Some of my research is based on how college students learn evolution and science in general. My colleagues and I have developed a series of tools that help instructors identify the conceptually challenging aspects of evolution, and we have also created strategies that help students overcome those challenges. As the executive director of the Science Teaching Experience for Postdocs program, I’ve also begun studying how postdocs learn state-of-the-art and inclusive teaching strategies, as well as other issues relating to postdoc success.

Student involvement

I encourage undergraduates who are interested in independent study to contact me. Authentic research experiences are so enlightening! Most students won’t pursue careers in biology, but many components of research offer practical experience important for anyone: you will learn to use and interpret statistics; understand how to organize research with a hypothesis, test, and revision; and you will learn elementary computer programming and database design which will help you compose their own programs and databases. We can work together to identify a project for you to study.


Price RM, Self CJ, Young WC, Klein ER, Al-Noori S, Ma EY, DeMarais A. 2021. Brief training and intensive mentoring guide postdoctoral scholars to student-centered instruction. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 20: ar64. DOI:10.1187/cbe.21-03-0083.

Joy JP, Price RM. 2021. Harnessing the power of the immune system: Influenza vaccines. CourseSource.

Ma EY, Al-Noori S, Klein ER, Freisem K, Price RM. 2021. An active learning workshop to teach active learning strategies. CourseSource.

Seah YM, Chang AM, Dabee S, Davidge B, Erickson JR, Olanrewaju AO, Price RM. 2021. Pandemic-related instructor talk: How new instructors supported students at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 22:

McCullough EA, Ma EY, Al-Noori S, Price RM. 2020. STEP Forward: Combining formal and informal education to develop communication skills that augment postdoctoral training. Journal of STEM Outreach. 3: 1-10.

Price RM. 2020. Starting conversations about discrimination against women in STEM. CourseSource.

Furrow R, Price RM, Thomas A, Yin Y, Benot K. 2020. Vitamin C for colds? Writing LETTERS to synthesize and communicate results from multiple studies. CourseSource.

Price RM, Kantrowitz-Gordon I, Gordon SE. 2018. Biomedical postdoctoral fellows’ discourses on scientific identity. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 17: ar29. DOI:10.1187/cbe.17-08-0177

Price RM and Perez KE. 2018. Many paths toward discovery: A module for teaching how science works. Journal of College Science Teaching. 47: 78-87.

Schindler AG and Price RM. 2018. Bad Science: Exploring the unethical research behind a putative memory supplement. CourseSource.

Ward SJ, Price RM, Davis K, Crowther GJ. 2018. Songwriting to learn: How high school science fair participants use music to communicate personally relevant scientific concepts. International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement. 8: 307-324. DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2018.1492758.

Martinková P, Drabinová A, Liaw Y-L, Sanders EA, McFarland JL, Price RM. 2017. Using DIF analysis to reveal potential equity gaps in conceptual assessments. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 16: rm2. DOI:10.1187/cbe.16-10-0307

McFarland JL, Price RM, Wenderoth MP, Martinková P, Cliff W, Michael J, Modell H, Wright A. 2017. Development and validation of the Homeostasis Concept Inventory. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 16: ar35. DOI:10.1187/cbe.16-10-0305

Price RM and Perez KE. 2016. Beyond the adaptationist legacy: updating our teaching to include a diversity of evolutionary mechanisms. American Biology Teacher. 78: 101-108. DOI: 10.1525/abt.2016.78.2.101

Price RM, Pope DS, Abraham JK, Maruca S, Meir E. 2016. Improving students’ understanding of genetic drift and their ability to correct misconceptions: the positive impact of a computer-based simulation. Evolution: Education & Outreach. 9: 1-14. DOI: 10.1186/s12052-016-0059-6

Price RM, Andrews TM, McElhinny TL, Mead LS, Abraham JK, Thanukos A, Perez KE. 2014. The Genetic Drift Inventory: a tool for measuring what undergraduates have mastered about genetic drift. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 13: 65–75. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.13-08-0159

Abraham JK, Perez KE, Price RM. 2014. The Dominance Concept Inventory: a tool for assessing undergraduate student alternative conceptions about dominance in Mendelian and population genetics. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 13: 349-358.DOI: 10.1187/cbe.13-08-0160

Crowther GJ and Price RM. 2014. In defense of misconceptions. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 13: 3-5. DOI:10.1187/cbe.13-11-0226

Price RM. 2013. Natural selection is a sorting process: what does that mean? American Biology Teacher. 75: 130-132. DOI: 10.1525/abt.2013.75.2.11

Hiatt A, Davis GK, Trujillo C, Terry M, French DP, Price RM, Perez KE. 2013. Getting to evo-devo: concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 12: 494–508. DOI: 10.1087/cbe.12-11-0203

Perez KE, Hiatt A, Davis GK, Trujillo C, French DP, Terry T, Price RM. 2013. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students’ Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 12: 665-675. DOI:10.1187/cbe.13-04-0079

Price RM. 2012. How we got here: an inquiry-based activity about human evolution. Science. 338: 1554-1555. DOI: 10.1126/science.1215221

Price RM. 2012. How we got here: evolutionary changes in skull shape in humans and their ancestors. American Biology Teacher. 74(2): 106-110. DOI: 10.1525/abt.2012.74.2.8.

Price RM. 2012.The influence of emersion on the rate at which Nucella lamellosa consumes prey in the laboratory. American Malacological Bulletin. 30(2): 255-259.

Andrews TM, Price RM., Mead LS, McElhinny TL, Thanukos A, Perez KE, Herreid CF, Terry DR, and Lemons PP. 2012. Biology undergraduates' misconceptions about genetic drift. CBE-Life Sciences Education. 11: 248-259. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.11-12-0107. Also featured in the LSE Highlights of 2012.

Carnell R and Price RM. 2012. Global Climate Change: What does it look like? National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science

Price RM. 2011. Performing evolution: role-play simulations. Evolution: Education & Outreach. 4: 83-94. DOI: 10.1007/s12052-010-0300-7

Price RM. 2011. Introducing the nature of science through a required research-based course. CUR Q on the Web. 32: 5-6.

Price RM, Valdés A, and Gosliner TM. 2011. Phylogeny of the aperta clade in the genus Philine (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia). Veliger. 51: 1-58.

Price RM, Rosypal AC, Powell T, and Kern B. 2008. Adapting an annual research symposium to recruit under-represented minorities to post-college education. Journal of College Science Teaching. 38(2): 49-53.

Droege J, Kochhar-Lindgren G, Leadley S, Price RM, Rosenberg BR, and Tippens N. 2008. University of Washington Bothell. In A. M. Griffin & J. Romm (Eds.), Exploring the evidence, Vol. IV: Reporting research on first-year seminars (pp. 83-87). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Price RM. 2003. The columellar muscle of neogastropods: muscle attachment and the function of columellar folds. Biological Bulletin. 205: 351-366. Stable URL:

Jablonski D, Roy K, Valentine JW, Price RM, and Anderson PS. 2003. The impact of the Pull of the Recent on the history of marine diversity. Science. 300: 1133-1135. DOI: 10.1126/science.1083246

Anatomy of an education study

In the CBE—Life Sciences Education feature ‟Anatomy of an Education Study”, Clark Coffman and I work with authors to annotate papers that are good models for how to conduct biology education research. We annotate these papers through the lenses of background, definitions, instructional practice, research design, and writing tips. Annotated primary literature using a Learning Lens was pioneered by AAAS Science in the Classroom, a collection of freely available annotated STEM research papers and accompanying teaching materials. I encourage you to pay them a visit, and consider using their papers in your classroom.

Here is the series of annotations that I have worked on for ‟Anatomy of an Education”:

Price RM, Sana F, Coffman CR. 2021. Investigating learning objectives. [Annotations of Sana F, Forrin ND, Sharma M, Dubljevic T, Ho P, Jalil E, and Kim JA. 2020. Optimizing the Efficacy of Learning Objectives through Pretests. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 19, ar43.]

Coffman CR, Estrada M, Zhi Q, Price RM,. 2020. Testing a model: Identifying supports that influence science identity and intent to persist. [Annotations of Estrada M, Zhi Q, Nwankwo E, Gershon R. 2019. The Influence of Social Supports on Graduate Student Persistence in Biomedical Fields. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 18, ar39.]

Price RM, Ferrare J, Coffman CR. 2020. Mixed Methods: Comparing Modes of Instruction with Instructor Beliefs. [Annotations of Ferrare JJ. 2019. A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Instructional Beliefs and Practices in Gateway Courses to the Sciences. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 18, ar26.]

Price RM, Thompson JJ, Jensen-Ryan D, Coffman CR. 2019. Recognizing potential among diverse undergraduates: A qualitative study with a strong theoretical framing. [Annotations Thompson JJ, Jensen-Ryan D. 2018Becoming a ‟Science Person”: Faculty Recognition and the Development of Cultural Capital in the Context of Undergraduate Biology Research. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 17, ar62.]

Coffman CR, Price RM. 2018. Spotlighting Diversity: An example of a well-tested and effective classroom intervention. [Annotations of Schinske JN, Perkins H, Snyder A, Wyer M. 2016. Scientist Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students' Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Science Identity in a Diverse Introductory Science Class. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 15, ar47.]

Coffman CR, Price RM. 2018. Teaching scientifically. [Annotations of Couch BA, Brown TL, Schelpat TJ, Graham MJ, Knight JK. 2017. Scientific Teaching: Defining a Taxonomy of Observable Practices. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 14, 1-12.]

Dolan EL, Price RM, Coffman CR. 2018. Developing an Instrument. [Annotations of Hanauer DI, Dolan EL. 2014. The Project Ownership Survey: Measuring Differences in Scientific Inquiry Experiences. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 13, 149-158.]