Marsha Richmond

Marsha Richmond



313-577-6987 (fax)

3163 Faculty/Administration Building

Curriculum vitae

Marsha Richmond

Marsha Richmond is a historian of biology whose research focus on heredity (genetics), evolution, cell theory from Darwin through the 1940s, and on women and gender in early twentieth-century life sciences.  Formerly an Editor on the Darwin Correspondence Project in Cambridge, England, 1987-1993, she currently serves on the Darwin Project Management Board.  She is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the History of Biology and Immediate Past President of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISH), 2019-2021, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  •  History of Biology, with a focus on genetics
  •  Women in Science
  •  Gender
  •  Environmental history


Professor Richmond is completing a co-authored book, Genes and Gender: Women in the Emergence of Genetics, 1900-1940, and beginning a new book project on the scientific career of Theo Colborn and the discovery of environmental endocrine disruption.


  • Ph.D., History of Science, Indiana University-Bloomington, 1986
  • MA Program (no degree), University of Oklahoma
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1976

Awards and grants

  • Foreign collaborator, Group of History and Theory of Biology (Grupo de História e Teoria da Biologia), CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), Brazil, 2016-.

  • Margaret W. Rossiter Award for best article on the History of Women in Science, for "The `Domestication' of Heredity: The Familial Organization of Geneticists at Cambridge University, 1895-1910," Journal of the History of Biology, 2010.  

  •  “Women in the Early History of Genetics,” National Science Foundation, Scholars Award, SES-0620308, 2007-2010, $136,065.

  • Marilyn L. Williamson Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, 2018-19, Humanities Center, WSU

  • PI, International Conference Travel: Unity and Disunity in Science, 14-17 September 2018, London, England, National Science Foundation, SES #1845977, $24,174.

  •  Graduate Research Assistant award, WSU Graduate School, 2018-2019

Selected publications

  • “Central American Field Work, Cytogenetic Knowledge: The cytogenetic research program of Sally Hughes-Schrader and Franz Schrader” in “Heredity and Evolution in an Ibero-American Context,” ed. Ana Barahona and Marsha Richmond. Special Issue: Perspectives on Science 28 (2) (March/April 2020): 127-169. 
  • "Women as Public Scientists in the Atomic Age: Rachel Carson, Charlotte Auerbach, and Genetics,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 47, 3 (2017), pp. 349–388.
  • "Women in the Historiography of Biology,” in Historiographiy in Biology, eds. Michael Dietrich, Mark Borrello, and Oren Harman. Historiographies of Science, vol 1. (New York: Springer, Cham, 2018). DOI:–3–319–74456–8_17–1.
  • “Revisiting the Origins of Genetics,” with Staffan Müller-Wille, in Heredity Explored, ed. Staffan Müller-Wille and Christina Brandt (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2016), pp. 367-394.
  • “A Scientist during Wartime: Richard Goldschmidt’s Internment during the First World War,” Endeavour, 39, 1 (2015): 52-62.“Women as Mendelians and Geneticists,” Science and Education, 24, 1-2 (2015): 125-150.
  • “Opportunities for Women in Early Genetics – An International Perspective,” with Ida Stamhuis, in Elisabeth Schiemann (18811972): Vom AufBruch der Genetik und der Frauen in den UmBrüchen des 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Reiner Nűrnberg, Ekkehard Höxtermann, and Martina Voigt (Rangsdorf: Basilisken-Presse im Verlag Natur & Text, 2014), pp. 3-33.
  • “Charles Darwin and the Barnacles,” in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought, ed. Michael Ruse (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • “A Model Collaborative Couple in Genetics: Anna Rachel Whiting and Phineas Westcott Whiting’s Study of Sex Determination in Habrobracon,” in For Better or For Worse: Collaborative Couples in the Sciences. Ed. Annette Lykknes, Donald Opitz, and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (Basel: Birkhäuser/Springer, 2012), pp. 149-169.
  • “Women in Mutation Studies: The Role of Gender in the Methods, Practices, and Results of Early Twentieth-Century Genetics,” in Making Mutations: Objects, Practices, Contexts, ed. Louis Campos and Alexander von Schwerin. Preprint #393, (Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 2010), pp. 11-48.
  • “William Bateson’s Pre-Mendelian Research Program in `Heredity and Development,’” in A Cultural History of Heredity IV: Heredity in the Century of the Gene. Ed. Staffan Müller-Wille and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. Preprint #343 (Berlin: Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2008), pp. 214-242.
  • “The Cell as the Basis for Heredity, Development, and Evolution: Richard Goldschmidt’s Program of Physiological Genetics,” in From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Evolutionary Development. Ed. Jane Maienschein and Manfred D. Laubichler (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2007).
  • "`A Lab of One's Own': The Balfour Biological Laboratory for Women at Cambridge University, 1884-1914," in History of Women in the Sciences: An Isis Reader, ed. Sally Gregory Kohlstedt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); rpt. in Gendered Spaces in the Physical Sciences: History and Architecture of the Laboratory, ed. Maria Rentetzi (Heraklion, Greece: Crete University Press/Foundation for Research and Technology, 2008).
  • “Muriel Wheldale Onslow and Early Biochemical Genetics,” Journal of the History of Biology, 40 (2007): 389-426.
  • “Opportunities for Women in Early Genetics,” Nature Reviews Genetics 8 (2007): 897-902.
  • “The `Domestication’ of Heredity: The Familial Organization of Geneticists at Cambridge University, 1895-1910,” Journal of the History of Biology, 39 (2006): 565-605.
  • “The Darwin Celebration of 1909: Re-evaluating Evolution in the Light of Mendel, Mutation, and Meiosis,” Isis, 97 (2006): 447-484.
  • “Richard Goldschmidt and the Crossing-Over Controversy,” with Michael R. Dietrich, Genetics, 161 (June 2002): 477-482.
  • “Thomas Henry Huxley’s Developmental View of the Cell,” Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 3 (January 2002): 61-65.
  • “Women in the Early History of Genetics: William Bateson and the Newnham College Mendelians, 1900-1910,” Isis, 92 (2001): 55-90.
  • “British Cell Theory on the Eve of Genetics,” Endeavour: A Quarterly Magazine for the History and Philosophy of Science, 25, 2 (2001): 55-59.
  • "T. H. Huxley's Criticism of German Cell Theory: An Epigenetic and Physiological Interpretation of Cell Structure," Journal of the History of Biology, 33 (2000): 247-289.
  • "`A Lab of One's Own': The Balfour Biological Laboratory for Women at Cambridge University, 1884-1914," Isis, 88 (1997): 422-455.
  • "Protozoa as Precursors of Metazoa: German Cell Theory and its Critics at the Turn of the Century," Journal of the History of Biology, 22 (1989): 223-246.
  • "Darwin's Study of the Cirripedia," in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4 (1989), Appendix II, pp. 388-409.


Currently teaching

  • HIS 2240: History of Michigan
  •  HIS 3440/HON 4250/HIS 6440: American Medicine in the 20th Century

Courses taught

HIS 2240: History of Michigan
HIS 3440/HON 4280/HIS 3440: American Medicine in the 20th Century
HIS 3998/HON 4250: Agriculture and Food in American History
HIS 5425/7425: American Environmental History
HIS 5996: History Capstone for Majors

Citation index

  •  History of Science, Technology & Medicine

  •  Web of Science