The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Penny Hawken

Dr Penny Hawken

Teacher
Teaching Staff (Centre for English Language Teaching)

Contact details
Address
Teaching Staff
The University of Western Australia (M429)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
Australia
Phone
+61 8 6488 7645
Email
penny.hawken@uwa.edu.au
Qualifications
BSc PhD Newcastle(UK)
Biography
I was born in Wrexham in North Wales and like many young girls, quickly developed a strong affiliation for animals. I started horse riding at the age of 9 and through my teenage years was a regular volunteer at several animal rescue charities and local farms. The more time that I spent on farm, the more I appreciated the direct application of biology and chemistry to farm animals and realised that the efficiency of a plant or animal’s physiology could make or break a farm enterprise. The indisputable, global importance of agriculture as an industry drove me to study the subject, specialising in animal production, at Newcastle University in England. I graduated top of my year with first class honours and developed an application for a PhD scholarship with my supervisor in the field of sheep reproduction. During my PhD studies, I looked at how socio-sexual stimuli could be used to control reproduction in highly seasonal breeds of sheep that are conventionally seen as unresponsive to the male stimulus. I submitted my PhD thesis in March 2005 and published 4 papers from that work.
I moved to Australia in April 2005 to take up an Associate Lectureship in reproductive physiology at the University of Western Australia (UWA). I was fortunate enough to continue working in the field of socio-sexual stimuli in sheep with Graeme Martin, Dominique Blache and Jenny Rodger under funding from the Australian Research Council and we have now published 4 papers from our research with another two in preparation.
I enjoy every aspect of research from project conception to completion and strongly believe that the mental processes involved in hypothesis identification and development can be applied to any research topic. My philosophy towards research is that lateral thinking and an inquisitive mind are the building blocks of successful research, with concise and clear scientific writing as the key tools to communicate your ideas to the world. I am rapidly learning the art of writing research grants and was recently awarded a UWA Small Grant to investigate olfactory processing in sheep. During my time at UWA, I have gained extensive experience in teaching many aspects of animal science, including reproductive physiology, animal production and scientific communication. I very much enjoy teaching and view it as a vehicle through which to inspire the young minds of tomorrow.

My interest in science communication inspired me to start a consulting company designed to help scientists to improve their presentation skills - www.sciencepresentationsmadeeasy.com
Key research
- Socio-sexual stimuli and reproduction in sheep and goats
- Reproductive physiology
- Stress physiology
Publications
Refereed journal articles

Hawken PAR, Luckins N, Tilbrook A, Fiol C, Martin, GB, Blache D (2012) Genetic selection for temperament affects behaviour and the secretion of adrenal and reproductive hormones in sheep subjected to stress. Stress: 105,1117-1123 [Impact Factor: 3.21 – ranked no. 15 out of 48 in the field of behavioural sciences]

Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2012) Socio-sexual stimuli and GnRH/LH secretion in sheep and goats. Domestic Animal Endocrinology: 43 (2), 85-94 [Impact Factor: 1.90 – ranked no. 4 out of 55 in the field of agriculture, dairy and animal science]

Hawken PAR, Fiol C, Blache D (2012) Genetic differences in behavioral reactivity to stress determine whether lavender oil alleviates or antagonizes anxiety in sheep. Physiology and Behavior: 105, 1117-1123 [Impact Factor: 2.90 – ranked no. 18 out of 48 in the field of behavioural sciences]

Hawken PAR, Williman M, Milton JT, Kelly R, Blache D (2011). Nutritional supplementation during the last week of gestation increases the volume of colostrum produced by twin bearing ewes selected for nervous temperament. Small Ruminant Research: 105 (1-3), 308-314 [Impact Factor: 1.64 – ranked no. 17 out of 55 in the field of agriculture, dairy and animal science]


Hawken PAR, Jorre de St Jorre T, Rodger J, Esmaili T, Blache D, Martin GB (2009) Rapid Induction of Cell Proliferation in the Adult Female Ungulate Brain Associated with Activation of the Reproductive Axis by Exposure to Unfamiliar Males. Biology of Reproduction; doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.108.075341 [Impact Factor: 3.67]

Hawken PAR, Esmaili T, Scanlan V, Blache D, Martin GB (2009). Can audio-visual or visual stimuli from a prospective mate stimulate a reproductive neuroendocrine response in sheep? Animal; doi:10.1017/S1751731109003954 [New journal – no Impact Factor yet]

Hawken, PAR, Beard, AP (2008). Ram novelty and the duration of ram exposure effects the distribution of mating in ewes exposed to rams during the transition into the breeding season. Animal Reproduction Science: doi:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.03.009 [Impact Factor: 1.74]

Hawken PAR, Esmaili T, Jorre de St Jorre, Martin GB (2008). Do cyclic female goats respond to males with an increase in LH secretion during the breeding season? Animal Reproduction Science: doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.04.022 [Impact Factor: 1.74]

Hawken PAR, Evans ACO, Beard AP (2008). Short term, repeated exposure to rams during the transition into the breeding season improves the synchrony of mating in the breeding season. Animal Reproduction Science; 106 (3-4): 333-344 [Impact Factor: 1.74]

Hawken PAR, Evans ACO, Beard AP (2008) Prior exposure with rams enhances their behavioural interactions with rams but is not a pre-requisite to their endocrine response to the ram effect. Animal Reproduction Science: 108 (1-2): 13-21 [Impact Factor: 1.74]

Hawken PAR, Beard AP, Esmaili T, Kadokawa H, Blache D, Martin GB (2007). The introduction of rams induces an increase in pulsatile LH secretion in cyclic ewes during the breeding season. Theriogenology; 68: 56-66 [Impact Factor: 1.91]

Hawken PAR, Beard AP, O’Meara CM, Duffy P, Quinn KM, Crosby TF, Boland MP and Evans ACO (2005). The effects of ram exposure during progestagen oestrus synchronisation and time of ram introduction post progestagen withdrawal on fertility in ewes Theriogenology: 63 (3); 860-871 [Impact Factor: 1.91]

Delgadillo JA, Gelez H, Ungerfeld R, Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2009) Revisiting the dogmas surrounding the mechanisms involved in the male effect in sheep and goats. Behavioural Brain Research; accepted with minor corrections [Impact Factor: 2.63]

Evans ACO, Duffy P, Crosby TF, Hawken PAR, Boland MP, Beard AP (2004). Effect of ram exposure at the end of progestagen treatment on estrus synchronisation and fertility during the breeding season in ewes. Animal Reproduction Science: 84(3-4); 349-358 [Impact Factor: 1.74]

Jorre de St Jorre T, Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2011) Role of male novelty and familiarity in male induced LH secretion in female sheep. Reproduction Fertility and Development: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD11085 [Impact Factor: 2.55 – ranked no. 12 out of 26 in field of reproductive biology]

Book Chapters

Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2012) Socio-sexual stimuli and reproductive function:
Emerging perspectives of the male effect in sheep and goats, in: Chemical Signals in Vertebrates XII. Accepted November 2011

Conference Abstracts

Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2012) The smell of sex – a tool for 21st century agriculture. Endocrine and Reproductive Biology Society for Western Australia Symposium; CSIRO, WA – 26th September 2012 – Invited plenary speaker

Almohsen F, Guan Y, Malecki IA, Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2012) Nutrition, testicular mass and sperm viability in the sexually mature male sheep. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Society for Reproductive Biology; Gold Coast, Australia – 26th – 29th August 2012.

Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2011). Stop and smell the pheromones: A review of the current and potential application of socio-sexual signals to the management of farm animals. Proceedings of the 12th Meeting on Chemical Signals in Vertebrates (Berlin, Germany) Invited Plenary speaker

Hawken PAR, Martin GB (2011) The scent of sex – socio-sexual stimuli and GnRH/LH secretion. Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Domestic Animal Endocrinology (Berne, Switzerland) Invited speaker

Hawken PAR, Jorre de St Jorre T, Esmaili T, Martin GB, (2008). The male effect in sheep: removal of the male stimulus reduces neural activation in the female hypothalamus. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (Groningen, Netherlands).

Hawken PAR, Esmaili T, Jorre de St Jorre T and Martin GB, (2008). Cyclic female goats respond to males with an increase in LH secretion during the breeding season. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 43 (s3), 78 (abstract P152).

Jorre de St Jorre, T, Hawken, PAR, Martin, GB (2008). The male effect in sheep – Is isolation really necessary? Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (Groningen, Netherlands).

Jorre de St Jorre, T, Hawken, PAR, Esmaili, T, Martin, GB (2008). Neuroendocrine pathways in the ‘female effect’ in sheep. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 43 (s3), 143 (abstract P353).

Shikh Maidin M, Chadwick A, Khaiseb PC, Hawken, PAR, Martin GB (2008). Reproductive performance of Australia Cashmere goats supplemented with lupin grain. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 20 (Supplement), 42 (abstract 242).

Kadokawa H, Hawken PAR, Kadokawa Y, Blache D, Martin GB (2008). Structures immuno-reactive to gonadotropin-releasing hormone-II in sheep brain. Biology of Reproduction Special Issue, p. 307 (abstract 100).

Chanvallon A, Blache D, Chadwick A, Esmaili T, Gray S, Hawken PAR, Martin GB, Vinoles C and Fabre-nys C (2007) Role of sexual experience and temperament in the response of merinos ewes to the ram effect. 34ème Congrès de la Société de Neuroendocrinologie 25-27 Septembre 2007, Tours, France.

Hawken PAR, Esmaili T, Blache D and Martin GB (2007). Is neurogenesis involved in the endocrine response of ewes to rams? Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Society for Reproductive Biology: Abstract 093 (page 55-56).

Hawken, PAR, Esmaili T, Martin GB (2007). New perspectives and directions in the male effect in sheep and goats. In: Reproducción de Rumiantes (Eds.: J. Gallegos Sánchez, A. Pró Martínez and E. Suarez Oporta) pp. 229-233 [Colegio de Postgraduados, Programa de Ganadería, Mexico].

Viñoles C, Blache D, Paganoni B, Hawken P, Glover K, Milton J, Martin GB (2007). Manejo “limpio, verde y etico”: un nuevo encare para aumentar la eficiencia reproductiva en majadas Merino. Proyecto Merino Fino Del Uruguay – Fase I. Octava Entrega de Carneros del Núcleo Fundacional U.E. "Glencoe".

Hawken PAR, Blache D and Martin GB (2006). The effect of visual and audio-visual stimuli from the ram on LH secretion in the anoestrous ewe. In: Reproduction in Domestic Ruminants VI [Eds.: JI Juengel, JF Murray and MF Smith] p. 575 (Poster 125). Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK.

Hawken PAR, Blache D, Esmaili T and Martin GB (2006) Ram introduction stimulates pulsatile LH secretion in cyclic ewes; Proceedings of the 2006 Society for Reproductive Biology Annual Meeting.

Hawken PAR, Evans ACO and Beard AP (2005) The endocrine response of maiden ewes to the ram effect is not dependent on prior experience with rams. Proceedings of the 2005 Endocrine Society of Australia Annual Meeting; Abstract, p276

Hawken PAR, Evans ACO and Beard AP (2004). The effects of ram exposure during progestagen oestrus synchronisation on fertility in ewes. Proceedings of the 15th International Congress on Animal Reproduction; Abstract, p341

Hawken PAR, Evans ACO and Beard AP (2004). Repeated exposure to vasectomised rams during the beginning of the breeding season improves the synchrony of oestrus and lambing in ewes. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the British Society for Animal Science; Abstract, p58

Hawken PAR Evans ACO and Beard AP (2003). Repeated fence line ram exposure influences timing and distribution of first service and lambing in ewes. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the British Society for Animal Science; Abstract, p79
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Academic employment

➢ Research assistant professor in the field of the neurobiological regulation of reproduction
University of Western Australia, Australia: Jan 2014 – present (0.6 FTE)

➢ Project overview
Are the “KNDy cells” really the holy grail of reproductive biology?

Secretory pulses of the brain hormone gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) are critical for the regulation of reproduction. However, what controls the release of these pulses has remained an unanswered question for endocrinologists for over 30 years. Three brain peptide hormones (kisspeptin, neurokinin B and dynorphin) produced by the same cells (KNDy cells) have been heralded as holding the answer to this question - in this project we will determine whether that is the case. We will challenge their role with two sheep models that have temporal and sexually dimorphic effects on the release of GnRH pulses. Results will be highly relevant to infertility issues in humans and in optimizing reproductive function in farm animals and wildlife alike.

➢ Research responsibilities
o Researched and co-wrote the ARC discovery grant funding the project
o Coordinated and ran the animal experiments to date
o Laboratory work, histology and analyses

➢ Associate lecturer in English language and academic communication and science communication
University of Western Australia, Australia: Feb 2014 – present (2 days per week)
➢ Unit coordinator of English language and academic communication I (HUMA1901)
o Semester 1: 56 students
Unit description
This unit focuses on English language and academic communication skills for tertiary study. Students learn to produce cohesive essays, assignments and presentations; develop ideas through debate and discussion; and interpret complex written and spoken academic texts. They acquire strategies for independent learning and language learning and explore areas of cultural and inter cultural knowledge in an academic setting.

➢ Unit coordinator of English language and academic communication II (HUMA1902)
o Semester 1: 28 students
Unit description
This unit focuses on English language and academic communication skills for tertiary study, with a particular emphasis on researching information and oral and written skills in presenting information. It uses collaborative learning techniques and methodologies; explores strategies for identifying, analysing and evaluating sources; and familiarises students with investigative techniques used in academic research reports and essays. Students learn to produce cohesive, coherent research essays, reports, and presentations on an academic topic of individual interest.

➢ Associate lecturer in English language and academic communication and science communication
University of Western Australia, Australia: Feb 2013 – Nov 2013

➢ Unit coordinator of English language and academic communication I (HUMA1901)
o Semester 1: 56 students
o Semester 2: 68 students

➢ Unit coordinator of English language and academic communication II (HUMA1902)
o Semester 1: 22 students
o Semester 2: 28 students

➢ Unit coordinator of ‘Science Writing’
o 65 students - Year 2 and Postgraduate students
Unit description
This unit teaches students how to communicate science to a non-specialist audience through a variety of written media. The students have to interview a UWA researcher and write a newspaper article about their work, develop a website on a controversial topic, translate a scientific paper into a media release and create a feature article suitable for publication in a popular science magazine.

➢ Tutor in ‘Science Presentations’
o 22 students - Year 2
Unit description
This unit teaches students how to communicate science through oral and visual media. The students have to give a series of oral presentations with and without visual aids and develop a poster to communicate a scientific message to a non-specialist audience. This unit dramatically increases the confidence and capacity of students to effectively communicate scientific concepts through an oral presentation.


➢ Tutor and lecturer in ‘The conduct, ethics and communication of science’
o 20 students (tutorials) 65 (lectures) – Postgraduate level
Unit description
This unit focuses on teaching skills in research and communication to postgraduate students at the University of Western Australia. There is a particular emphasis on how to source information, write clear scientific articles and prepare and give effective oral presentations and conference posters.

• Supervising experience

➢ Postgraduate supervisor
o Trina Jorre de St Jorre – Co-supervised with Professor Graeme Martin
‘Characterisation of socio-sexual interactions that affect reproduction in sheep: male novelty, sexual segregation and neural pathways’
- Australian PhD student
- Graduated 2013

o Mashitah Shikh Maidin - Co-supervised with Professor Graeme Martin
‘Impact of nutrition on reproduction in Cashmere goats’
- Malaysian PhD student
- Graduated 2012

o Stacey Plug – Co-supervised with Professor Graeme Martin and Dr Dominique Blache
‘The impact of genetic susceptibility to stress on the physiology of the stress response in sheep’
- Australian PhD student
- 4th Year of PhD – currently writing thesis

o Yongjuan Guan - Co-supervised with Professor Graeme Martin and Irek Malecki
‘ Cellular and molecular aspects of testis function in rams’
- Chinese PhD student
- 3rd year of PhD - currently writing thesis

➢ Honours supervisor
o Five students from 2006-2009, two students in 2010 and one student in 2011

➢ Teaching internship supervisor
o Trina Jorre de St Jorre 2009

➢ Research skills
➢ Coordination of grants, experimental design and execution
➢ Team management
➢ Grant writing
➢ Experimental skills (sheep)
– large scale project management, animal handling, jugular venepuncture & cannulation (sheep and goats), injections (iv, sc, im), decapitation and brain removal
➢ Laboratory skills – blood processing, radioimmunoassay, cryosectioning, immunohistochemistry, cell counting, fluorescent and light microscopy

➢ Other academic responsibilities
- Presentation skills coach for the Institute of Agriculture Postgraduate Showcase 2014
- Staff representative on the committee that organised the post graduate retreat 2007-2010
- Examiner for 4th year honours projects at UWA, Curtin and Murdoch 2006-2012

➢ Workshops attended
- Scientific writing
- Web assisted learning
- Presentation skills
- Supervision of international students
- Communication of science to the media
- Effective networking
- Lecturing to large audiences
- Confocal and fluorescent microscopy
- Trailer handling

Honours and awards
2006: Society for Reproductive Biology
Meat and Livestock Australia Award for the best presentation in a livestock species

2005: Newcastle University
Best presentation at annual postgraduate conference

2001: Newcastle University
Best student graduating in Agriculture in 2001
Previous positions
➢ Associate lecturer in animal science and science communication
School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia: Jan 2012 – Nov 2012

➢ Unit coordinator of ‘Science Writing’
o 47 students - Year 2, Year 3 and Postgraduate students

➢ Unit coordinator of ‘Science Presentations’
o 97 students – Year 2 and Postgraduate students

➢ Unit coordinator of ‘Animal Production’
o 23 students – Year 3 students

➢ Lefroy research fellow in the field of neurobiology and temperament of sheep
School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia: 2009 – 2011

➢ Project overview
In the UWA temperament flock, the innate qualities of sheep as an animal model for studying stress are complemented by two decades of selection for extremes in emotional reactivity to a stressor. Through the course of the fellowship I looked at the relationship between the behavioural and neuroendocrine responses of the ‘calm’ and ‘nervous’ sheep to different stressors, the impact of lavender oil and pregnancy on their behavioural and physiological responses to a stressor.

➢ Research responsibilities
o Designed, coordinated and ran all animal experiments and subsequent laboratory work and analyses
o Supervised 1 PhD student and 3 honours students
o Wrote ARC grant entitled ‘Born to be stressed - How does genetic susceptibility to stress affect the behavioural, hormonal and cognitive responses to a stressor?’
o Published 3 journal articles

➢ Associate Lecturer and researcher in animal science
School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Australia: 2005 – 2009

➢ Project overview
Socio-sexual stimuli from the opposite sex have a profound impact on the physiology of male and female sheep. In this project we looked at the impact of socio-sexual stimuli on neural activation in the brain of both sexes and the relative importance of different stimuli, reproductive activity (i.e. breeding season or non-breeding season) and male novelty on the neuroendocrine response. Perhaps the most exciting outcome from this project was the discovery that male exposure increased the rate of cell proliferation in the hippocampus of females within 6 hours; both the magnitude and speed of this increase were far greater than that reported in rodents.

➢ Research responsibilities
o Designed, coordinated and ran all experiments and subsequent laboratory work and analyses for Professor Graeme Martin’s ARC discovery grant
o Analyse data; laboratory work
o Wrote 2 ARC discovery grants
o Published 5 papers from grant

➢ Teaching responsibilities
o Unit coordinator of and lecturer in the 4th year unit ‘Animal Science & Technology’
o Unit coordinator of and lecturer in the 3rd year unit ‘Animal Production’
o Ran presentation skills workshops the 2nd year unit ‘Science and its Communication’
o Gave lectures on ‘reproduction and the environment’ in the 2nd year unit ‘Animal Science’

• Postgraduate PhD Scholarship
Socio-sexual influences on reproduction in sheep
Newcastle University, UK – School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development: 2001-05
Teaching
Personal teaching philosophy

I believe there are 5 ‘Ps’ critical to an effective and enjoyable student experience, namely preparation, practice, passion, presentation and participation. I like to engage students actively during lectures and practical classes because I find that this approach stimulates them, both mentally and emotionally, and encourages even the shiest of them to have a voice. I believe that it is vital to express and communicate my passion for science, and continuously evolve my teaching materials and focus, to reflect current research and attitudes in the field

University of Western Australia – Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) hosted by the Faculty of Arts

• English Language and Academic Communication I (HUMA1901 - 2013 and 2014)
➢ Academic level – Undergraduate students with English as a Second language
➢ Class size – 50 - 80 students (dependent on years and semesters)
➢ Teaching method – Lectures, workshops and tutorials
➢ Personal involvement - Re-designed unit around learning outcomes, coordinated and taught all of the unit (including all tutorials and marking)

This unit focuses on English language and academic communication skills for tertiary study. Students learn to produce cohesive essays, assignments and presentations; develop ideas through debate and discussion; and interpret complex written and spoken academic texts. They acquire strategies for independent learning and language learning and explore areas of cultural and inter cultural knowledge in an academic setting.

• English Language and Academic Communication II (HUMA1902 - 2013 and 2014)
➢ Academic level – Undergraduate students with English as a Second language
➢ Class size – 20 - 30 students (dependent on years and semesters)
➢ Teaching method – Lectures, workshops and tutorials
➢ Personal involvement - Re-designed unit around learning outcomes, coordinated and taught all of the unit (including all tutorials and marking)

This unit focuses on English language and academic communication skills for tertiary study, with a particular emphasis on researching information and oral and written skills in presenting information. It uses collaborative learning techniques and methodologies; explores strategies for identifying, analysing and evaluating sources; and familiarises students with investigative techniques used in academic research reports and essays. Students learn to produce cohesive, coherent research essays, reports, and presentations on an academic topic of individual interest.

Key responsibilities for both HUMA 1901 and HUMA 1902

• Redesigned units around learning outcomes and student feedback
• Organised rooms and schedule for both units
• Developed new lectures, workshops and tutorials
• Managed online learning system (course materials, quizzes, grades etc)
• Coordinated, taught and ran all classes
• Marked all assignments
• Student communication – in person and by email


University of Western Australia - School of Animal Biology

• Science Writing (2012 and 2013)
➢ Academic level – 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates and postgraduate students
➢ Class size – 47 students
➢ Teaching method – Lectures and tutorials
➢ Personal involvement - Re-designed unit based on student feedback, coordinated and taught most of the unit

This unit teaches students how to communicate science to a non-specialist audience through a variety of written media. The students have to interview a UWA researcher and write a newspaper article about their work, develop a website on a controversial topic, translate a scientific paper into a media release and create a feature article suitable for publication in a popular science magazine.

Key responsibilities

• Redesigned unit around student feedback from 2011
• Developed new lectures and tutorials
• Managed online learning system (course materials, quizzes, grades etc)
• Scheduled and coordinated invited speakers
• Coordinated and personally ran most of the tutorials
• Marked assignments
• Student communication – in person and by email


• Science Presentations (2012)
➢ Academic level – 2nd year undergraduates and postgraduate students
➢ Class size – 97 students
➢ Teaching method – Lectures and tutorials
➢ Personal involvement – Coordinated and taught most of the unit

This unit teaches students how to communicate science through oral and visual media. The students have to give a series of oral presentations with and without visual aids and develop a poster to communicate a scientific message to a non-specialist audience. This unit dramatically increases the confidence and capacity of students to effectively communicate scientific concepts through an oral presentation.

Key responsibilities

• Organised and managed team of tutors for the unit
• Developed new lectures and tutorials
• Gave all lectures for the unit
• Managed online learning system (course materials, quizzes, grades etc)
• Personally ran 2 out of 6 tutorials
• Marked and moderated assignments
• Student communication – in person and by email


• Animal Science and Technology (2005 - 2009)
➢ Academic level - 3rd and 4th year undergraduates in 4-year degrees
➢ Teaching method – Self-paced handbooks, tutorials and practical classes
➢ Personal involvement - Re-designed course, coordinate, teach much of it

The main objective of this unit is to give students an understanding of the integrated systems that control physiological processes in animals. There is a specific emphasis on reproduction and how we can modify the endogenous control of reproduction by management practices that are either technical or more natural (ie, more ‘clean, green and ethical’). Instruction is by study guides and tutorials that run parallel with a year-long practical that tracks ‘a year in the life of a ewe’. Compulsory topics are physiology and endocrinology of reproduction, lactation and wool growth, and the integration of neural and endocrine control systems. The multi-faceted nature of this unit makes it logistically difficult to coordinate but I have found that meticulous preparation and planning ensures that all students, staff and animals are happy. I personally teach all tutorials and practical classes in this unit and some of my personal achievements associated with this unit are listed below:
• Re-design of the unit (and associated teaching materials) in 2006 and 2009 to accommodate animal ethics requirements, farm practices, timetabling, student feedback and student work load
• Development of a DVD of embryo transfer in sheep with Dr Carolina Vinoles to replace practical demonstration of the technique
• Regular communication (verbal and written) with UWA animal ethics committee to maintain ethics approval for the unit.

• Animal Production (2008 - present)
➢ Academic level - 3rd year undergraduate in 4-year degrees
➢ Teaching method – Lectures, tutorials and practical classes
➢ Personal involvement - Assisted unit re-design, coordinate, teach (5 lectures)

At short notice, I took on the role of unit coordinator in 2008 and worked with the Head of School to develop a unit focussed on the challenges facing animal production in the 21st century. The School of Animal Biology has a strong focus in its teaching and research on the development of ‘clean, green and ethical’ agriculture and we used this concept as the framework through which to educate students on production of wool, meat and milk in Australian production systems. The unit is taught through lectures and practical classes with input from many internal and external experts in the field. The multiple lecturers and subjects associated with this unit again make it logistically difficult to coordinate but I found that consistent and repeated communication with those involved in the unit prevented any problems. Some of my personal achievements associated with this unit are listed below:
• Preparation and presentation of lectures on ‘non-hormonal methods for controlling reproduction’
• Preparation and presentation of lectures on ‘the Australian chicken industry’
• Online handbook entry selected as a ‘model’ entry for the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences by the Chair of the faculty’s Teaching & Learning Committee
• Development and maintenance of unit profile for UWA online learning system (WebCT), including links to lecture recordings, lecture slides and other teaching materials
• Good student feedback – average score of 3.9 out of 5 (range: 3.5 – 4.3)

• Science and it’s Communication (2005 - present)
➢ Academic level - 2nd year undergraduate in 4-year degrees
➢ Personal involvement - Running workshops on presentation and writing skills

• Animal Science (2005 - present)
➢ Academic level - 2nd year undergraduate in 4-year degrees
➢ Personal involvement - Development of 3 lectures on the interaction between reproduction and the environment and 1 practical class on comparative reproductive anatomy and physiology

Current projects
- The importance of male novelty to the physiological responses of ewes to male effect
- Olfactory processing in sheep
Research profile
Research profile and publications
 

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