Accessibility statement

Dr Katie Smith

Teaching Fellow

Teaching and scholarship

teaching icon
I teach on range of modules across all levels covering topics including anatomy, physiology and metabolism. I use a variety of teaching methods with the view to not only increase understanding, but also improve student confidence, analytical skills and critical evaluation. I enjoy teaching physiology in interactive practical classes. Practical sessions are a fun and engaging way to teach physiology and reinforce the theoretical concepts taught in lectures. They also help students develop transferable and employability skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication.

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I give lectures on topics such as muscle physiology, placental development, thermoregulation and ATP production. To maximise student accessibility and interaction, my lectures are always supported by online material such as revision notes, online quiz questions and lecture recordings. Lectures are no longer a place for passive knowledge transfer from lecturer to student. Instead, my lectures aim to inspire students to think for themselves, to question current scientific theories, and leave the lecture theatre with the passion and drive to learn more about the subject independently.

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I mainly offer tutorials on the subject of cardiovascular health and disease. However, students frequently dictate the direction of tutorials based on their own interests. The impact of diet on cardiovascular health features heavily in the media, and tutorial discussions are often directed by recent media stories. Students are encouraged to read a range of sources and compare the various styles of science reporting. In tutorial sessions, my aim is to create an engaging yet informal atmosphere to maximise student participation.

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The final year research projects that I offer are typically aligned to my interests in health and obesity and usually involve students generating surveys to gather data on public health and behaviour. Worldwide, obesity now kills more people than starvation. Approximately 60% of adults in the UK are classified as overweight or obese which greatly increases the risk of developing a number of health conditions. The cause of obesity is multifactorial but clearly lifestyle plays a role. Health surveys allow patterns of behaviours linked to being overweight or obese to be studied which might provide an insight into the cause of the growing obesity epidemic. I also offer science communication projects, which are mainly student-led, based on their own interests and career aspirations.

Other scholarship

Within the department of Biology, I am the Associate Chair of the Board of Studies and International Student Coordinator. I therefore have an increased pastoral role and a responsibility for student welfare and progression. I am the post-graduate (taught) programme leader, admissions tutor for our PGT programmes, and a member of the examinations, teaching, and ethics committees.

I am also part of the departmental scholarship group, the Biology Teaching and Learning Exchange (BTLE). The group is comprised of likeminded individuals with a shared interest in building upon the high standard of learning and teaching already achieved within the department. It provides a network with which to engage in pedagogical research and a forum for discussion and dissemination of best teaching practices.

Dr Katie Smith

Contact details

Dr Katie Smith
Teaching Fellow
Department of Biology
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 328552