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I joined the department as a Lecturer in Science Education in September 2013, having previously been on the staff of the National Science Learning Centre (also based in the University’s Alcuin College).
After graduating from the University of Cambridge in Natural Sciences (Part II Pathology), I completed a PhD in molecular immunogenetics - also in Cambridge - with postdoctoral research experience in Amsterdam and at MIT. I then undertook teacher training at Homerton College, and taught in Suffolk for seven years, before returning to my native Yorkshire to be Head of Science in a large 11-18 comprehensive school in Leeds.
In 2005, I joined the National Science Learning Centre as a professional development leader (PDL). I was responsible for developing, commissioning, delivering and evaluating Continuing Professional Development for science teachers (broadly, and within my subject specialisms of biology and psychology). As Senior PDL and - from 2011 - Co-Head of Programme, I became responsible for the NSLC’s CPD programme as a whole, including its partnerships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2009 I co-directed the British Council / Wellcome Trust International Symposium “Communicating Darwin's Ideas: Richness and Opportunity”.
I contribute widely across the department's teaching, at Undergraduate, Masters, PGCE and PhD levels. I am currently (from 2016) the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and previously served as Chair of the Board of Studies (2014-16). I received the Vice Chancellor's Teaching Award in 2019. My recent scholarship activities have focused mostly on Biology education in schools.
My research interests are in teaching and learning in science, particularly secondary-level biology and psychology; thinking and concept acquisition in challenging aspects of biology; the structure, effectiveness and impact of continuing professional development for school science educators.
I am a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) and a chartered member of the Society of Biology (MSB, CBiol). I am active in the Yorkshire region of the Association for Science Education (ASE), and a member of the National Advisors and Inspectors Group for Science. I am also a member of the Association for the Teaching of Psychology (ATP).
I have carried out reviews of public engagement proposals for the Wellcome Trust and other organisations, and of submissions to School Science Review, being an Editorial Associate. I have served on a variety of committees and working parties, including (most recently) the ASE’s Safeguards in Science Committee, and the British Psychological Society’s Standing Committee on Pre-tertiary Education. I contribute to the informal Biology Education Research Group, and regularly participate in the ASE and ATP conferences.