• Room 01.005 - 18-20 College Green - Block 20

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

• Outdoor learning and/or Education for Sustainability
• Connection to nature
• Teacher professional development in science
• Science education for primary/secondary aged children
• Biology education


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Statement

My general research area is Science Education. As well as completing my PhD study on primary children's attitudes to science and their concept development, I have also published and researched in the areas of teacher continuing professional development for science, assessment in science and, in particular, outdoor learning. I was the grant holder for the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project at Queen's. Together with the Field Studies Council NI we rolled out this work in Northern Ireland. It was a citizen science project which aimed to engage members of the public in outdoor learning and environmental monitoring. We engaged with over 7000 children and young people and trained almost 600 teachers. I also conducted an outdoor learning project entitled Science Teaching for Transition in the Outdoor Classroom (STTOC) funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust as part of the Northern Ireland hub. I have completed several evaluations of outdoor learning interventions to include Belfast City Council's ParkLife Education programme and Ulster Wildlife's Grassroots Challenge project. Recent research also looks at Education for Sustainable development and the broader outcomes of outdoor learning, to include the impact on health and well-being. I have also managed several Randomised Controlled Trials with accompanying process evaluations for interventions at primary and early post-primary levels. I have also held various positions on boards and expert groups, to include advising on policy. I worked with the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on the development and roll out of a nationwide Environmental Engagement Index and was a Trustee for the Field Studies Council. I am currently on the Board of the Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) and their Education for Sustainable Development Forum. Currently, I am on the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) Sustainable Futures Expert Group am a founding member, and secretary, for the Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) funded Biology Special Interest Group (North and South of Ireland).


Current teaching

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)

Co-ordinator - PGCE Science pathway

EDU 7203 Teaching - 'Science Studies' module (Science)

EDU 7208 Teaching - 'Education and Professional Studies' module (tutorial group leader, Theories of Learning lectures)

EDU 6000 School Experience supervision (Science)

Masters Level module  

EDU 7271 Contemporary Perspectives on Teaching and Learning


Current supervision

Undergraduate dissertation supervision (biology-related degrees)

Master's dissertation supervision

Doctoral theses supervision (EdD/DChild, PhD)


Previous teaching

Undergraduate Education

EDU 3009 Science in Education

EDU 3009 Module convenor (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18)

International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCEi)

Programme developer and Director (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18)

EDU 7292 Module convenor - 'Teaching in your Discipline' module

EDU 7292 Teaching - 'Teaching in your Discipline' module

EDU 7291 Teaching - 'Education Studies and International Perspectives' module

EDU 7293 Supervision - 'School-Based Learning' module

Masters level

Module convenor (Spring 2020) - Contemporary Perspectives on Teaching and Learning

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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