Skip to main content

Diane Ebert-May, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar

Diane Ebert-May is a Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University. She provides national and international leadership in biology education research and teaching. Ebert-May’s lab group developed and tested a model for professional development using inquiry-based, learner-centered teaching. They continue to investigate the longitudinal impact of transformed biology courses on undergraduates’ use of scientific practices (e.g., models, arguments, working with data, and narratives) to learn the core concepts in biology. Ebert-May lead FIRST IV, an NSF-funded professional development program to help 201 postdoctoral scholars create and teach their first introductory biology course in preparation for their academic positions. A longitudinal study of their teaching as early career faculty members is in progress. Her book, Pathways to Scientific Teaching (Ebert-May and Hodder eds, second edition in prep), is based on student-centered learning, inquiry-based instructional strategies, assessment and research. She teaches plant biology, introductory biology to majors in a large enrollment course, and a graduate/postdoctoral seminar on scientific teaching. Her plant ecology research continues on Niwot Ridge, Colorado, where she has conducted long-term ecological research on alpine tundra plant communities since 1971. She is an AAAS Fellow in the Biological Sciences. Her recent awards include the US Professor of the Year Award for Michigan from the Carnegie Foundation/CASE (2011), the Education Award from the American Association for Biological Science (2012), and University Distinguished Faculty (MSU 2012). She earned her BS from University of Wisconsin, Madison (Botany), MA and PhD University of Colorado (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology).