Teaching Experience

Symposium_Munich_2007I am currently a Reader in Zoology at Queen Mary, University of London in the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences. In 2014 I achieved the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy for my teaching, and gained a Senior Fellowship in 2018.  I have taught on or all of a wide variety of courses for biology and palaeontology students in the UK and abroad. These courses include: Evolution, Ecology, Diversity of Life, Vertebrate Functional Morphology, Introduction to Palaeontology, Vertebrate Diversity, Systematics and Taxonomy, Global Change Biology, and Tropical Ecology (which includes a fieldcourse in South Africa).

This has included class sizes from 20 to over 250 and has included students at all levels of undergraduate study, MSc and PhD students and foundation students. This has naturally covered lectures as well as practical work, continuous assessments, and leading fieldtrips in the UK and abroad. In 2014 I launched a new final year undergraduate course with Dr Beth Clare entitled Species: Dinosaurs to DNA. This covers taxonomy and systematics and everything in between and includes fieldwork at a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

In 2016-17 I won the Assessment and Feedback Champion award from the QMUL Student’s Union for my work developing student feedback. I have also led tutorial groups, and supervised undergraduate and MSc research theses. A number of academic publications have resulted from this work. In 2014, my first PhD student Dr Ross Elgin successfully defended this thesis on pterosaur flight and in 2021 my second Dr Andrew Knapp completed his on ceratopsian behaviour.

I’ve been invited as a guest lecturer to deliver material to other institutions including on pterosaur for Yale University, speciation for the University of Hawaii and the ethics of animals in zoos for Sterling College.

2021- Deputy Director Education: deputy manager of all education within the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences (all Biology, Biochemistry, Psychology and Biomedical Sciences programs).

2013-2020 Director of Teaching and Learning (Organismal Biology): Managing teaching allocation, course content  and admin for four undergraduate programs (Biology, Zoology, Genetics, Medical Genetics).

2012- Course Coordinator & Lecturer (Ecology and Evolution): Multiple including sole lecturer on ‘Diversity of Life’ and ‘Ecology’, lecturing, practicals, setting & marking continuous assessment & exams, exam moderator, administration of courses, leading fieldcourses.

2010-2011 Course Coordinator & Lecturer (Zoology): 4 courses including as sole lecturer on ‘Vertebrate Functional Morphology’ and coordinator and lead lecturer on ‘Evolutionary Biology’, lecturing, practicals, setting & marking continuous assessment & exams, exam moderator, administration of courses.

2010-2013 Undergraduate thesis supervisor: designed, supervised and assessed 4 final year undergraduate theses.

2007-8 Lecturer: Designed, arranged and taught a postgraduate course in vertebrate palaeontology (26 weeks). Recognized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences as a formal graduate course. This includes administration, marking, grading etc.

2007 PhD student supervisor: I am a co-supervisor of PhD candidate Ross Elgin who also completed his Masters thesis under my supervision.

2004-2005 Undergraduate tutor: Taking undergraduate tutorials, teaching, setting and marking problem sheets etc.

2003-2007 M.Sc. dissertation supervisor: Principal supervisor for ten Masters degree dissertations on various aspects of evolution and palaeobiology. Several have subsequently been successfully published or submitted for publication, and four students have now started PhDs.

2003-2005 Casual lecturing: Delivered parts of an MSc course in dinosaur evolution and palaeobiology as well as departmental seminars and presentations to other year groups.

2002-2005 Demonstrating: Provided assistance during undergraduate and postgraduate practical classes and workshops. This has included studies of various invertebrate and vertebrate groups, analytical methods, computing, scientific skills etc.