Primary research interest

Research skills - how can students learn key research skills and how can we assess this.

About me

I graduated with a BSc (Class 2.1) in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 1994. I then went on to gain my PhD, also from Sheffield, focussing on the role of the polypeptide chain in determining energy transduction in the bacterial photosynthetic reaction centre.

I then moved to Australia and between 1998 and 2008 I was a post-doctoral researcher in the School in a number of labs gaining experience in diverse fields such as environmental microbiology and molecular neuroscience.

Since 2008 my role has been as a teaching-focused academic.

Research focus and collaborations

My current research focus is on teaching and learning. In particular, it revolves around research skills and their explicit teaching and assessment. Are we doing this? Are we teaching the skills required in the lab/workplace?

I also have an interest in how core biochemical, microbiological and molecular biological knowledge can be delivered to students of the health professions (medicine, physiotherapy, nursing etc.) in an engaging and relevant way.

Funded projects

UQ New Staff Start-Up Grant Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Research Skills Portfolio: an instrument to identify and expand the research skills of postgraduate coursework students. $11,998.

Teaching interests

Teaching core biochemical, microbiological and molecular biology knowledge to students of the health professions.

Selected publications

Researcher biography

My research looks to understand how effectively expectations are communicated, and how we can use this knowledge to implement methods that improve the effectiveness of this communication. My research has several major themes.

These are:

  • Understanding the current expectations of all stakeholders and whether they believe those expectations are being met.
  • The effectiveness of the means used to communicate expectation between stakeholders: do learners interpret information, such as learning objectives, in the same way as the instructors that wrote them? Do learners understand how assessment is used to evidence their competency in specific skills?
  • Are learning activities and assessment aligned to explicit learning goals?