Personal profile

Academic Biography

Prior to joining Teesside University, I completed a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology from Oxford Polytechnic and a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Aberdeen. At Teesside University, I have held a series of senior academic posts including Principal Lecturer Programmes, Subject Group Leader and Learning and Teaching Coordinator alongside other academic roles such as course leader and admissions tutor.  These posts have allowed me to make a major contribution to the design, delivery and development of the science-based portfolio within the School of Health and Life Sciences. 

Summary of Research Interests

My discipline-based research interests are in microbiology, specifically, relating to how an ecological perspective can be used to inform both medically and environmentally focused research projects

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

In terms of scholarship, my focus has been on biological sciences and, specifically, microbiology, hence, I am a member of the Microbiology Society. I am currently the module leader for the undergraduate modules Biodiversity and Evolution, Ecology & Biodiversity, Human Diseases and Immunology and Medical Microbiology and, at postgraduate level, I am the module leader for Microbial Diversity and Environmental Microbiology. I teach on numerous other modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  The modules I teach on have always attained satisfactory progression rates and have been received favourably by students. I believe this is due to my commitment to high quality teaching practice and the student experience.

I have been a member of the Learning and Teaching Committee, School Academic Standards Committee and University Academic Quality and Standards Policy Committee. I was the Deputy Chair of the Regulatory Reviews Committee and sat on the University’s Semesterisation Working Group. Recently, I developed the Framework for the MRes qualification at Teesside Universisty.

I have been involved in a number of projects and dissemination activities, with a pedagogic focus. I and the, then, Dean, Prof Simon Hodgson, successfully gained funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s National HE STEM Programme to pilot the development of Industrially–Linked modules. This work was seen as good practice by the Royal Academy of Engineering and subsequently a paper was published [Wright, D.A. and Hodgson, S (2012) Industrially-Owned Modules for HE. Enhancing Engineering Higher Education: Outputs of the National HE STEM Programme Royal Academy of Engineering, London pp 125-128]. I also sought to transform the curriculum, so it permitted students to engage in research and research related activities. Key to this transformation was my introduction of a two stage approach to the advanced independent project work undertaken by students in their final year.  This feature of the curriculum, has been highlighted as an exemplar of good and innovative practice in a joint Society of Biology and Biochemical Society publication [Coward, K. and Gray, J.V. (2014) Audit of Practical Work Undertaken by Undergraduate Bioscience Students Across the UK Higher Education Sector. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Protozoan Predation of Bacteria in Soil, University of Aberdeen

1 Sept 199031 Aug 0001

Award Date: 1 Aug 1994


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