Diane Ebert-May

Diane  Ebert-May
  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Plant Biology


Diane Ebert-May, professor of plant biology, is an international pioneer in discipline-based biology education research that studies fundamental questions about teaching and learning. As leaders in efforts to innovate and improve undergraduate STEM education, her 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 faculty teaching and student learning. Ebert-May is a faculty member in the Department of Plant Biology, where she serves as its graduate director.

Ebert-May received her B.S. in botany from the University of Wisconsin and M.A. and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Colorado. She served as the director of Northern Arizona University’s Science and Mathematics Learning Center and professor of biological science for 10 years before joining MSU in 1998 as director of Lyman Briggs School of Science. Her focus on discipline-based biology education research has involved more than 200 postdoctoral fellows and led to over 50 publications that focus on teaching and learning in undergraduate biology. Her book, Pathways to Scientific is based on inquiry-based, student-centered classrooms, science practice-based instructional strategies, and assessment of learning.

Ebert‐May’s honors include the American Institute of Biological Sciences Education Award, the Carnegie Foundation & CASE–U.S. Professor of the Year for Michigan, and election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the Biological Sciences. Ebert-May’s plant ecology research continues on Niwot Ridge, Colo., where she has conducted long‐term ecological research on alpine tundra plant communities since 1971.