From the very beginning of my time as a postgraduate student I have experienced the pleasures and pressures of a research and teaching driven institute and understand the necessity and complementarity of both. In my professional capacity as a teacher I have engaged students ranging significantly in age; from six years old to mature adult and have repeatedly travelled to teach internationally, though not yet at the level of higher education. In my academic capacity I have taught students with a multitude of educational backgrounds: from the general public, to GCSE/A-levels, to undergraduate, to Masters students. I have taught in large classes of more than fifty and I have given personal tutoring to individuals. I have had to constantly adapt my style of teaching to fit my surroundings which change frequently: sometimes a classroom, a playground, a laboratory, a campsite, a lecture hall or even a theatre stage.
I have recently achieved my postgraduate award for teaching and learning in higher education and have been nominated for the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence for Postgraduate Research Students (WATE PGR). My continuous work as a demonstrator in multiple fields across the life sciences department is combined with one-on-one tutoring and undergraduate project mentoring. My teaching experiences in the wider world have developed strong communication skills for scientific and non-scientific subjects.
Professional teaching in higher education
Undergraduate Demonstrating Classes (2012-15)
First Year BSc Laboratory Classes (2012-13)
- Design and preparation of buffers effective at differnt pHs
- Biochemistry of proteins: isolation of ovalbumin and enumeration of thiol groups
- Preparation and characterisation of DNA from bacterial cells
- Subcellular distribution of succinate dehydrogenase
- Allosteric regulation of yeast pyruvate kinase
- Isolation of subcellular fractions by differential centrifugation
- Enzymes and their properties: assay of dyhydrogenase activity
Second Year Enzymology Laboratory Classes (2012-15)
- Estimation of paracetamol in serum
- The kinetics of α-chymotrypsin
Second Year Cell Biology Laboratory Classes (2012-15)
- Anatomy of mouse brain slice illustrated by immunocytochemistry
Second Year Techniques Practical Classes for Biochem and Biomed (2013-15)
- SDS-Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
- Immunoblotting & detection
Second Year Bioenergetics Laboratory Classes (2012-15)
- Photosynthetic electron transport in isolated chloroplasts using the oxygen electrode
- The Hill Reaction using an O2 electrode
- Photosynthetic control and the P/2e- ratio of non-cyclic photophosphorylation
Second Year Neuroscience Laboratory Class (2014-15)
- Neuromuscular Junction Simulation Practical
Second Year Cardiovascular Laboratory Classes (2014-15)
- The electrocardiogram and heart sounds
- Computer simulation of the cardiovascular and peripheral nervous systems
- Measuring Blood Pressure
Masters and Open University Demonstrating Classes (2014)
MBio Laboratory Skills - part 1: Molecular biology and Biochemistry
- Expression and purification of lactate dehydrogenase enzyme
Professional teaching outside of higher education
Volunteer for GAP-Africa (2010)
In 2010 I was part of a month long expedition to Kenya with the charity GAP-Africa as part of their Kikunduku schools project. The goal of the trip was to give a small group of A-level students the chance to work in underprivileged African schools and having had previous experience with the charity I was brought on as an instructor. In addition to teaching English and Arts classes (students aged 8-10), we built new desks to refurbish the classrooms.
Drama Teacher with GulliverTV (2014)
In the late summer of 2014 I spent two weeks in Treviso, Italy; employed by Gulliver Amateur Sports and Cultural Association to teach at their Drama Summer Camp. The camp was designed to give Italian children aged 5 to 14 the opportunity to learn English through the novel medium of performing arts. Using games, dance, music and song the children would grow confident in their ability to speak English and work together to devise a show to perform in front of their families. The camp proved to be a success with outstanding positive feedback from both students and parents.
Flavour SenseNation; The Big Bang Science Fair (2015)
The Wellcome Trust funded event; Flavour SenseNation was part of this years Big Bang Science Fair taking place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. This was an incredible experience for engaging a young public audience on the subject of science. We incorporated many practical (and edible) activities into our teaching that explore taste, smell, hearing, touch and sight. I will be working with Flavour SenseNation in October as a Juniour Researcher; visiting schools to deliver more exciting scientific ideas to school kids.
Extracurricular teaching in higher education
In November 2013, several professors from across the University of Warwick hosted a symposium of exciting outreach talks intended to inspire and educate a young audience on modern scientific concepts at the level of higher education. The opening lecture, presented by Dr Gavin Morley, was titled ‘Making the impossible possible with quantum computers’. It is certainly no easy task attempting to teach complex ideas about quantum mechanics to fourteen year olds; one must employ an element of theatricality. Dr Morley sought the collaborative efforts of two actors to better illustrate the paradoxical concept of Schrodinger’s Cat. With myself playing the part of Schrodinger and actress Rebecca Bailey assuming the role of the cat, we performed a short sketch to accompany Dr Morley’s narration. The sudden implementation of an eye-catching, interactive element midway through the lecture had an enormous impact on the audience: grabbing their attention by giving them something new to look at. The feedback unanimously described how enjoyable the performance had been and how imaginatively it portrayed complex ideas. An excerpt from the performance can be seen here.
Extracurricular teaching outside of higher education
Whilst my theatre performance for the Physics Christmas Lectures revolved around themes of higher education, I have performed on other occasions for the sole purpose of audience engagement and mental provocation. These performances are less specific to academic teaching but have involved a great deal of interdisciplinary collaboration and conceptualisation.
Fool's Gold (2010-11)
in 2010/11 the Warwick Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) ‘student as producer (performance) project’ funded a student written play titled Fool’s Gold; exploring the theme of organ donation and issues with public perception. Working with a group of actors and actresses, we performed both at Warwick University and in the Edinburgh Fringe festival (2011), with support from the Freshblood theatre society.