Australian Award for University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
Research School of Biology
ANU College of Science
I consider that part of my remit as a scientist is to train the next generation. Over nearly two decades of lecturing, demonstrating and tutoring at six universities in three different countries, I have invested heavily in developing research-led teaching practice in genetics and evolutionary biology. Since joining ANU as a lecturer in July 2006, I have created an advanced genetics course and an introductory evolution course, which have received the highest rating from students and been praised by many students as the best courses they have taken. I have been awarded a Science Award for Teaching Excellence (2008) and an ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2009). In addition to my ongoing scientific research on HIgher Education teaching practice, I have written a textbook that breaks the mold in its case-study led approach, and published original research and opinion on teaching and learning in the pedagogical literature.
My teaching is centred on research, in three ways. Firstly, to reflect cutting edge science, I develop all my teaching materials from the primary research literature. Secondly, to foster independent research skills, I use enquiry-based learning that encourages students to ask questions and seek their own answers. Thirdly, I extend the research-led approach to my own teaching practice, testing the effectiveness of teaching methods and modifying my courses in response to my findings, and disseminating the results to my students and to other teachers.
In 2010 I received an Australian Award for University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.