Dianne Anderson, Ph.D.

  • Director, Master's Program in Biology
  • Professor of Biology
  • Phone: 619.849.2705


  • B.S., Biology Northwest Nazarene University
  • M.S., Microbiology, San Diego State University
  • Ph.D., Math and Science Education, University of California and San Diego State University


Dr. Anderson earned her B.S. in Biology (Magna Cum Laude) from Northwest Nazarene College, Nampa, ID in 1985 and her M.S. in Microbiology from San Diego State University in 1989.  Her Ph.D. in Math and Science Education was earned in 2003, jointly from UC San Diego and San Diego State University.

Doctoral Dissertation:  Natural Selection Theory in Non-Majors' Biology: Instruction, Assessment and Conceptual Difficulty.


Undergraduate Courses:

Human Biology and Bioethics
Organismal Biology
Applied Plant Biology

Graduate Courses:

History and Philosophy of Science
Physiology of Plants and Animals
Ecology of Plants and Animals


My general research interest is in how students learn biological concepts, and in how instructors can create opportunities for students to do so.  Specifically, I am interested in learning how students can develop a meaningful understanding of natural selection, and how they can apply this knowledge to understand new situations and examples in biology.

Conference Presentations
Teaching Resources - Biology Concept Cartoons
Teaching Resources - Biology Diagnostic Tests
Other Classroom Activities


Biology Graduate Program

BioLogy by the Sea - Teachers' Workshop