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Harms, Ute

Ute Harms

Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Biology Education


phone +49-(0)431-880-3129
address Olshausenstraße 62, D-24118 Kiel
room 110


1995 Second State Examination in Biology and German, Kiel
1993 Doctorate in Botany/Cell Biology, Kiel University
1982 First State Examination in Biology and German, Kiel University
1982 - 1989 Studies in Biology and German (for Upper Secondary level teaching) at the University Kiel

Professional Activity

2011 - 2013 Guest professor, ISV-Department of Social and Welfare Studies Linköping University (Sweden)
since 2007 Head of Department Biology Education, IPN – Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and Full Professor of Biology Eduation at Kiel University
2006 - 2007 Chair (W3) in Biology Education at the University Bremen
2005 - 2006 Founding Director of the Teacher Education Centre at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
2004 - 2006 Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
2000 - 2006 Professor (C3) for Biology Education at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
2000 Offer of a professorship at the Georg-August-University of Göttingen (declined)
1999 - 2000 Research Scientist at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Department Biology Education
1995 - 19999 Research Scientist, Department of Biology Education, IPN – Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics and Biology Teacher at the Max-Planck-Gymnasium, Kiel
1993 Research at the Institut de la Recherche Argonomique in Clermont-Ferrand (France)
1993 - 1995 Trainee Teacher, Studienseminar Stade (Lower Saxony)
1990 - 1993 Research Scientist at Botanical Institute, Kiel University

Research Interests

Teaching and Learning "Evolution"
Teaching and Learning "Energy" in Biological Contexts and beyond
Biology Teachers' professional competence
Public Understanding of Science

Current Projects

EnergyBio: Enhancing understanding of 'energy' by use of (multiple) representations
EvoPrime: Evolution in Elementary to Primary Education
EvoVis: Challenging Threshold concepts in Life Science - enhancing understanding of evolution by visualization
IBOint: Research on the International Biology Olympiad
KeiLa: The Development of professional competence in pre-service mathematics and science teacher education
ProSim: Developing Procedural Professional Knowledge in a Simulated Classroom
ReNEW: Research Network on Energy Transitions: Bridging disciplines to address core challenges to Germany’s Energiewende
Tube: Knowledge and decision making on animal research
WinnerS: Effects of science competitions for students
WTimpact: Developing scientific knowledge in collaborative settings as a transfer tool: from knowledge transfer to knowledge exchange – Impact of the transfer tool on knowledge and scientifice literacy

Selected Publications

Fiedler, D., Tröbst, S. & Harms, U. (2017). University students’ conceptual knowledge of randomness and probability in the context of evolution and mathematics. CBE-Life Sciences Education (LSE), 16(2), 1-16,ar38. doi:10.1187/cbe.16-07-0230
Mahler, D., Großschedl, J., Harms, U. (2017). Using Doubly-Latent Multilevel Analysis to Elucidate Relationships between Science Teachers’ Professional Knowledge and Students’ Performance. International Journal of Science Education (IJSE), 39(2), 213-237. doi:10.1080/09500693.2016.1276641
Neubrand, C., & Harms, U. (2017). Tackling the difficulties in learning evolution: Effects of adaptive self-explanation prompts. Journal of Biological Education (JBE), 51(4).
Paulick, I., Großschedl, J., Harms, U., & Möller, J. (2017). How teachers perceive their expertise: The role of dimensional and social comparisons. Contemporary Educational Psychology (CEDPSYCH), 51, 114-122.
Tibell, L.A.E. & Harms, U. (2017). Biological principles and threshold concepts for understanding natural selection - implications for developing visualizations as a pedagogic tool. Science & Education (SCED), 1-21. doi:
Wernecke, U., Schwanewedel, J., & Harms, U. (2017). Metaphors describing energy transfer through ecosystems: Helpful or misleading? Science Education, 1-17. doi:10.1002/sce.21316

Publications in the research information system

all publications recorded in PURE

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