This past Friday, CORE Lab member Catie Nielson became Dr. Catie Nielson after defending her dissertation!

Catie presented her talk titled, “Is This About Me? Understanding Anthropocentrism in Undergraduate Biology Learning,” to a large crowd consisting of faculty members in the Department of Psychology, other graduate students, CORE Lab members, and many of her friends and family.

Catie’s work sought to understand how anthropocentrism impacts biology learning. Anthropocentrism, for the purposes of this talk, refers to human centered thinking. Catie wanted to understand how anthropocentric framing of a commonly talked about biology topic, antibiotic resistance, impacts agreement with misconceptions, understanding, and memory of the content. She found mixed evidence indicating that anthropocentric framing may not be all bad.

She found that anthropocentric framing increased students’ use of anthropocentric language in open ended responses, and that use of anthropocentric language sometimes helped or hurt students.

We are so proud of Catie and so excited that she will be staying in the CORE Lab as a postdoctoral researcher!