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Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099 ext. 84611
Expertise in display technologies and protein-protein interactions, next-generation sequencing (2nd and 3rd generation), bioinformatics. These skills are applied to microbial ecology, probiotics, metagenomics and microbial functional genomics.
General and enviromental microbiology researcher and PI with independent research programme in microbial ecology, metagenomics, host-microbial interactions and bacteriophage-related technologies.
Health and Well-being, Future Food Systems
Field of research codes
Bacteriology (060501): Biological Sciences (060000): Genetics (060400): Genomics (060408): Microbial Ecology (060504): Microbial Genetics (060503): Microbiology (060500)
microbiology, microbial ecology, metagenomics, genomics, phage display, host-microbial interactions
My primary goal as an educator is to create a classroom environment in which students can achieve their potential and learn to think as scientist.
The traditional lecture is an important component of any of my classes. I usually introduce “in lecture questions” which help focus students’ attention and boost the lecture attendance. I believe that these questions solidify acquired knowledge of previous topic and give students a good introduction into the subsequent topic.
One of my prerogatives in undergraduate teaching is to enable students to experience a setting that corresponds to “real-life” situation in science jobs. To achieve this, I have designed project-based laboratory for the Environmental Microbiology (162.304) students. They are only given samples, starting literature and final questions to answer in the form of a report. Students are in charge of planning the experiments, time management, choosing appropriate methods and equipment, and participating in the teamwork. In student evaluations for the past two years, multiple students wrote that lab project stood out as one of the most memorable and effective.
I have closely mentored >15 postgraduate students. The very first thing that I try to encourage them to do is to question everything, and I strive to do the same. Asking questions hinting at the limitations of a study can help a student logically deduce the next step in refining it. My expectations of all postgraduate students are that they engage in rigorous literature reviewing and integration of the acquired knowledge into their research project, as required, throughout the study programme. This process teaches students to critically review the relevant articles and help with modifying their original hypotheses, if appropriate. As a postgraduate supervisor, my practice is to have an open door policy and weekly meetings, and monthly meetings with all co-supervisors.
Besides thinking as a scientist, postgraduate students should be introduced to important components of a science job beyond the bench, such as grant and manuscript writing, budget management, and conference presentations. My students are encouraged to apply for scholarships, travel funds and awards as a practice for grant proposal writing. To practise budget management students are given estimated budget for each year and expected to monitor the consumables expenditure. Another important aspect of scientific career is publishing. I encourage each PhD student to publish three peer-reviewed journal articles (one literature mini-review in the first year of study and two original research articles from results of the doctorate) and present their work at national and international conferences.
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