As a Principal Teaching Fellow in the Department of Life Sciences, my main activity is teaching evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, and population genetics to undergraduates and postgraduates. I am course leader (convenor) on the Year 1 Ecology & Evolution, Year 2 Genetics with Statistics and Behavioural Ecology modules. In the Final Year, I previously convened the African Biology Field Course module and run 10-week Research Projects, many in association with ZSL London Zoo. I give lectures to postgraduates on the Faculty of Medicine MSc in Genomic Medicine . Social media provides an informal platform for engaging with students as well the wider world beyond the 'ivory tower'. I run an informal Facebook group for students interested in behaviour, ecology & evolution, and tweet as @Magda_Chara.
I am the BSc Biological Sciences Year 2 convenor, and a member of the departmental curriculum review team, that is currently involved redesigning our curricula.
Pastoral care is a high priority and I have a senior pastoral role as Deputy Senior Tutor as well as being a trained mental health first aider.
Continuing development as an educator is important to keep abreast of innovation and best practice. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have an MEd in University Learning & Teaching. I conduct education research primarily to suggest improvements to teaching practice,and am interested in the transition to university level study, and role of self- and collective efficacy in team-based learning. I am on the University STAR framework panel that reviews applications for membership/fellowship of the HEA.
Outreach activities are essential to communicate science. I conduct outreach for primary and secondary schools to show science is full of wonder and encourage students to study STEM subjects at GCSE and A level, and Biological Sciences at university. I also run a stall at the annual family Bugs!Day at our Silwood Park Campus.
Examples of my research
Identification & population genetics of dipteran vectors of human diseases (e.g. malaria and river blindness)
Population variation and effects of B chromosomes (selfish genetic elements) in grasshoppers
Sexual selection on insect (grasshopper) mate recognition systems
Maintenance of alternate reproductive male morphs in bulb mites
Other Significant Activities
I am a Board member of the Imperial College Teaching Fellow Network
I am a member of the Department of Life Sciences:
- Teaching Committee and its sub-committee for Widening Participation
- Exam Board and its sub-committee dealing with Mitigating Circumstances
- Equal Opportunities Committee
- Student-staff Committee
- Former member of the undergraduate Admissions Panel