BSc Hons (U. Sydney), PhD (U. Sydney) Biochemistry, Grad. Cert. Higher Ed. (UQ)
Associate Professor. Convenor, UQ Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major
+61 7 336 54615

As well as my teaching and research role in SCMB I am also the Editor in Chief of UQ SURJ (UQ's Science Undergraduate Research Journal), and the host and co-producer of Free Energy Radio.


After completing my BSc Hons and PhD at the University of Sydney I was a Human Frontiers in Science Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut. After gaining an academic position there, I returned to Australia in 2006 to teach and research at UQ. I completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education at UQ in 2007. In 2009 I was appointed as a full-time teaching-focussed faculty member in SCMB. I am currently Associate Professor, Teaching Focused, and Chair of the SCMB Teaching and Learning Committee.

Brief Research Description: 
My group focuses in the development of professionalism in undergraduate students through authentic practice learning activities.
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

We use Social Cognitive Career Theory as a scaffold for our work.

Amongst the authentic learning activities we offer and study are:

 UQ SURJ - the UQ Science Undergraduate Research Journal: I am the Editor in Chief of UQ SURJ. This journal is a great place for students at UQ to get their first publication. We accept articles about students' personal research, but also interviews, reviews, News and Views articles, photo essays, video and audio submissions. Our first edition was published in 2012 and the second in 2015. The editions are readable on ISSUU: We conduct ongoing assessment of the UQ SURJ experience, with a particular interest in student learning gains associated with genre writing and peer reviewing. 

Free Energy Radio: This project aims to bring the voices and lives of working scientists to the student body at UQ. Each Summer my students and I interview scientists. These interviews form part of the Free Energy archive, and part of the course material for over 700 undergraduate students each year. Our educational study on these interviews focuses on the decision points in scientists' careers - we are asking "How do you build a science career, and what are the drivers for career pathway choice?" 

Implementation of a legitimate undergraduate research experience (URE) for large science course cohorts: One of the key priorities at UQ is the introduction of the URE. In this experience, undergraduate students get to design and implement experiments that are part of a real research stream from a working lab. This program complements and largely replaces the more traditional “cook book” laboratory experience for undergraduate classes. Students who would rather complete a more structured set of exercises may still opt to do that, and bypass the URE laboratory. We call this new type of laboratory experience an ALURE. This project is funded by a national leadership grant from OLT.

Building biochemical knowledge: This project aims to define the key concepts of biochemistry, with a view to enabling backwards design of our biochemistry and molecular biology majors courses. A further aim is to determine what types of information are being laterally and vertically transferred by students of biochemistry, with the goal of introducing multi-disciplinary teaching into undergraduate science courses at UQ. This is a multi-academic collaboration involving contributors from SCMB, JAC, and SMP at UQ. 


International Collaborations:

Professor Adele Wolfson, Wellesley College, MA, USA

Dr Cindy May Graham, University of Calgary, Canada

A/Prof Nancy Pelaez, Purdue University, IN, USA

Dr Charles Watkinson, Director of Purdue Press, IN, USA

A/Prof Anna Wilson, Oxford University, UK

Funded Projects: 

NHMRC Project 2008-2010
Development of nove antibacterial compounds from subtilosin A
(Craik, King, Rowland, Nimmo)
Total value of grant: $471,000

NHMRC Project 2008-2010
Dissecting the divisome development of antibacterial agents that inhibit bacterial cytokinesis
(King, Rowland)
Total value of grant: $483,750

OLT National Leadership Program Grant 2012-2013. 
Developing and resourcing academics to help students conduct and communicate undergraduate research on a large scale
Dr Susan Rowland (Project Leader), Dr Gwendolyn Lawrie, Dr Kirsten Zimbardi, Dr Jack Wang, Dr Paula Myatt
Total Value of grant: $219,000

Multiple small grants at UQ Faculty of Science and Institutional level


BIOL1020BIOC2000 (Coordinator), BIOC6007BIOL2202.

Areas taught include undergraduate-level cell structure and function, bacterial genetics, and mechanisms of genetic transfer. I teach biochemistry and molecular biology at undergraduate and masters level. I also supervise Summer URE students and Honours students in Teaching and Learning projects.

Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 
  • Australian Awards for University Teaching - Award for Teaching Excellence 2014
  • Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Beckman Coulter Education Award 2014
  • The University of Queensland - Award for Teaching Excellence 2013 
  • The University of Queensland Faculty of Science - Teaching Excellence Award 2012
  • ASM Biology Scholar, 2010-2011
  • Manning Clark House Fellow 2011
  • UQ Teaching Fellow 2011
  • Host and co-producer of “Free Energy” on JAC Radio
  • Editor in Chief, UQ SURJ
Selected Publications: