Rebecca Price


Associate Professor

B.S. Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle
Ph.D. Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago

Office: UW2-220
Phone: 425-352-3666
Email: beccap@uw.edu
Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/beccap/
Mailing: Box 358530, 11136 NE 180th Street, Bothell, WA 98011-1713


I aim to provide a dynamic and interdisciplinary perspective of the natural world. Class time is an opportunity to capture students' interest, and I constantly adjust my approach to ensure that they are engaged. We use discussions, writing assignments, presentations, laboratory activities, and field trips to learn the material, working together and learning as a team. Course assignments offer the opportunity for me to judge student performance, but also for me to evaluate my effectiveness as an instructor so that I can improve. The most rewarding part of teaching is when students understand a topic that had been intimidating; they become proud, confident, and interested.

Courses Taught

BIS 285/BBIO 285 Seminar in Biology
BES 301 Science Methods and Practice
BIS 382 The Visual Art of Biology
BIS 499 Portfolio Capstone


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.

Selected Publications

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