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Ross H. Nehm, Professor ( CV)

Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley 1989

Evolution education, psychometrics, biology education research (BER), equity & diversity


Office: LS672

Phone:  (631)632-7247

Lab Website: BER Lab Website

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Research Summary:

The Biology Education Research Lab ( BERL) conducts basic and applied research on human reasoning about evolutionary, ecological, and biological concepts in order to improve understanding of living systems. Reasoning and learning are latent phenomena, and so the development and psychometric evaluation of measurement instruments has been central to this work. Because all learning is embedded within social contexts and institutional structures, the lab also studies how these factors facilitate or constrain conceptual growth, scientific identity, and academic persistence. The lab embraces interdisciplinary thinking, and involves students (undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral) from diverse fields (applied mathematics, computer science, psychology, and science education). BERL is internationally engaged with researchers in many countries and has hosted scholars from Germany, Indonesia, and China.

Ross Nehm is PI of the BER Lab and is Professor of Ecology & Evolution and a member of the graduate program in Science Education. He completed his graduate work in biology and science education at the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University. His major awards include a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, a student mentoring award from CUNY, and a teaching award from Berkeley. He was named an Education Fellow in the Life Sciences by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Professor Nehm has served in academic leadership roles nationally and internationally, including as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Evolution: Evolution Education and Outreach , Associate Editor of   Science & Education , Associate Editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching , Editor of CBE-Life Sciences Education , and a board member of several other academic journals. He has been a frequent invited speaker nationally and internationally, including at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, as a James Moore Lecturer at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and as a keynote speaker in several countries (e.g., Germany, Sweden, China, Chile).

Prof. Nehm is the author of more than 60 journal articles, 12 book chapters, and well over 100 conference papers. He has successfully directed (as Principal Investigator) multiple research studies > $1M and secured more than $8M in research funding. He has served on the research advisory boards of many federally funded science education projects, the National Science Foundation’s Committee of Visitors, and many NSF panels as Chair. His research findings have been featured in The New Republic, Science magazine’s Editor’s Choice, CBS News, and many other outlets.