Researcher biography

I currently have a number of research interests, both in Biomedical and well as in Teaching-Focussed Research.

Biomedical projects have traditionally been done with collaborators, and some of the projects have included:

  • mechanisms of action of animal venoms and toxins, and we have used the organ bath laboratory and pharmacologoical techniques as bioassays
  • study of bitter tasting compounds on pig digestive processes, to better understand activation of bitter taste receptors in vivo

Teaching-focussed interested are around university student behaviour with regard to learning activities and engagement. Universities around the world are grappling with shifts in effective and engaging educational strategies, as well as student expectations, in their delivery of content. In an age where students can do on-line courses at universities far from Australia, academics are carefully considering student engagement and success here at UQ.

  • Lecture slots currently have the bulk of contact hours in most courses, with ~39 lectures per course across a semester. These are largely recorded and used as a teaching resource. Student attendance to the traditional lecture spaces has decreased significantly across all campuses, with a UQ average of ~60% across all courses. This type of analysis has recently led to UQ offering smaller venues for larger courses in which there have been patterns of partial attendance.
  • My work seeks to better understand what motivates students to attend these spaces in their traditional sense and in the transition to an increasing number of flipped classroom models and blended learning, where the academics are less on the stage, and are instead facilitating activities for learning, while students will be engaged in learning content largely outside the lecture slots.
  • "Embracing the Unknown" Experience in third year science courses is also an interest, in which research work and its associated uncertainties cause varying levels of anxiety in some students. Best understanding this process and supporting students through it is also an interest of mine.