Associate Professor

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

Office: UW2-220
Phone: 425-352-3666
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.

Recent Courses Taught

BES 301 Science Methods and Practice
BIS 381 The History of Life
BIS 382 The Visual Art of Biology
B BIOL 495 Investigative Biology: Experiential Evolution


I study how evolution is understood. Within the biology education community, I research how students overcome the conceptual difficulties surrounding evolution. Within the evolutionary biology community, I research the ecological and phylogenetic influences on anatomical characteristics. More information can be found on my personal website.

Students' conceptual understanding of evolution - NESCent EvoCI Toolkit

I am co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Kathryn E. Perez, University of Wisconsin at La Crosse) of a grant from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) to explore students’ misconceptions about evolution more broadly and to develop concept inventories (CIs), research-based tools for quickly assessing students’ conceptual understanding of particularly challenging scientific concepts. Our Working Group is developing concept inventories for genetic drift, evo-devo, dominance-recessive relationships and population thinking.

Teaching Modules

I have developed numerous activities for teaching evolution. These activities help students engage and learn in a supportive classroom where they can seek clarification. The feedback that students provide during the activities helps instructors tailor their teaching to the students’ needs.

Evolutionary Research

I study the effects of different ecological variables on the marine snail, Nucella lamellose on growth rates and eating rates. To explain why the individuals of N. lamellosa in intertidal populations are so much smaller than individuals in subtidal populations, I conducted a laboratory study to test the hypothesis that daily episodes of emersion impede growth more than daily episodes of limiting food (Price 2012). My results supported the hypothesis. Therefore, the difference in size between intertidal and subtidal individuals may be due, at least in part, to phenotypic plasticity.

Student Involvement

I encourage undergraduates who are interested in independent study to contact me. Many components of research offer practical experience important for anyone, and we can work together to identify a project for you to study.

Selected Publications

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.

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.

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 Science Education. 11: 248-259.

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, Vald├ęs 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.

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

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.