Centre for Professional Practice

Excellence in practice trans-disciplinary learning


An alumnus of University of York, Imperial College and the University of Wales, with teaching diplomas from both Trinity College and the Royal Academy of Music, Dr Anne-Maria Brennan is currently Director of Education and Lecturer in Professional Practice at the Centre for Professional Practice at the University of Kent.

Anne-Maria’s field of research is public engagement with science, particularly the interface between science, technology, culture and the arts. Author of five books (one of which formed a plotline in The Archers), she is also an acknowledged expert on the ecology of golf courses and formulated the industry standard guidelines on their sustainable design and management. She is also a specialist in forensic biology, in particular the investigation of wildlife crime.

She is Associate Editor of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society and is a research grant reviewer and Financial Governor of the Botanical Research Fund. In 2014 Dr Brennan was winner of the British Science Association’s Sir Walter Bodmer Award. She was recently granted Freedom of the City of London and said it was a privilege to become a Freeman of the City of London as it marked a 'milestone achievement' in her career as an educator over the past 30 years. She is also the Athena Swan programme representative for the CPP.



Positions held (reverse chronology). Principal Appointments

2017-               Director of Education, Centre for Professional Practice, University of Kent
2015-2016        Associate Professor in Bioscience and Forensic Biology, School of Applied Science, London South Bank University
2004-2015        Principal Lecturer in Bioscience and Forensic Biology, Department of Applied Science, London South Bank University, London [including Deputy Head of Department 2004-2009, Senior Admissions Tutor 2009-2013]
1994-2004        Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Science, London South Bank University, London [incl. Course Director: MSc Environmental Monitoring & Assessment, Course Director: BSc Conservation]
1986-1994       Senior Research Fellow & founder member of Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, University of Kent (also Tutor in Ecology, School of Continuing Education)
1986-1994       Senior Research Associate, Centre for European Agricultural Studies, Wye College
1985-1986       Lecturer in Applied Biology, Thames Polytechnic (latterly University of Greenwich)

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Dr Anne-Maria Brennan: Principal Publications

Books, papers & research reports (excluding small articles- magazines, book reviews etc.)

  • Brennan, A-M. (2015) The International Year of Light sheds light on the ‘Dark Ages’ Science in Parliament 72(2):42-43
  • Alexander, R. (Ed.) 2010 Dear Christo: Memories of Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter. Timber Press, London ISBN 978-1-60469-223-5 (contributor)
  • Al-Hassani, S.T.S. (Ed) (2008) 1001 Inventions Teachers’ Pack FSTC, Manchester 978095524614 (scientific editor).
  • Beeby A.N & Brennan A-M (2007) First Ecology  3rd Edn. Oxford University Press, Oxford ISBN 978-0-19-929808-2
  • Al-Hassani, S.T.S.  (Ed.) (2005) (2008) 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World. 1st & 2nd Ed. Foundation for Science Technology & Civilisation, FSTC, Manchester ISBN 978-0-955246-1-8 (scientific consultant).
  • Beeby A.N & Brennan A-M (2004) First Ecology 2nd Edn.Oxford University Press, Oxford ISBN 9780199298082
  • Platt, R. (2003) Crime scene: the ultimate guide to forensic science. Dorling Kindersley, London  ISBN 0 7513 4576 8 (Subject consultant/contributing author- Chapter Crimes without corpses).
  • Beeby A.N & Brennan A-M (1997) First Ecology Chapman & Hall, London. ISBN 041263065.
  • Brennan, A-M (1996) Living Together: Golf and nature in partnership.  English Golf Union, Woodhall Spa.
  • Brennan, A-M (1994) Over the Garden Wall. Channel 4 Television, London ISBN 1 85144 099 2.
  • Brennan, A-M (1994) The nature, Extent and Management of Grassland within Golf-Related Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In: Grassland Management and Nature Conservation. Eds. R.J. Haggar & S. Peel. pp 241-241.  British Grassland Society ISBN 0 905944 2 6.
  • Brennan, A-M (1994) The role of management planning and ecological evaluation within the golf course environment In: Science and Golf II. Eds. A.J. Cochran & M.R. Farrally. pp.540-545.Spon, London ISBN 0419187901.
  • Brennan A-M (1992) The management of golf courses as potential nature reserves Aspects of Applied Biology 29:241-248
  • Evaluating Sites of High Ecological Value (1992) Department of Transport.
  • Brennan, A-M (1992) Do golf courses pollute the environment? pp. 74-80 In: The positive face of golf development BIGCA. 
  • Nature Conservation Resource of the National Parks (1991) Department of Environment.
  • Your Course.. preparing a conservation management plan. (1991) Nature Conservancy Council ISBN086139 6928.
  • On-Course Conservation: Managing golf's natural heritage.(1990) R&A/NCC ISBN 086139 594 8.
  • Management & Acquisition of National Nature Reserves (1990) Nature Conservancy Council.
  • Brennan A-M (1990) The challenge and rewards of biotransformations.  Biologia Italiana  20:(9)7-10.
  • Isles of Scilly Environmental Management Plan: (1989) NCC/Countryside Commission.
  • The Conservation Biology of Tortoises. (1989) IUCN (graphics editor).
  • Brennan A-M (1989) The sugar-shaped defences of plants. Eastern Pharmacist 32:29-32.
  • Race To Mars: ITN Flight Atlas (1988) (Chapter 2 life science research in space) ITN/Macmillan ISBN 0333 461770
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Research Interests

Research, scholarship and enterprise activity

Public understanding and engagement with science and STEMM curriculum enrichment
Development of public understanding engagement strategies (British Science Association 1981- to present). Winner of the 2014 Sir Walter Bodmer Award for public understanding of science [links: https://www.lsbu.ac.uk/about-us/news/british-science-association-presents-prestigious-award-lsbu-lecturer  
History, philosophy and cultural aspects of science includes specialist work on the cultural value of science specialising in environmental sustainability Work with Foundation for Science, Technology & Civilisation and 1001 Inventions – researching the development of STEM subjects along the Silk Route and the Mediterranean Basin in the period 600-1600. Scientific consultant to The Library of Secrets- winner, best education film category (Gold Award) Cannes Festival 2010.
Partner in 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light. https://www.lsbu.ac.uk/about-us/news/dr-anne-maria-brennan-calls-for-scientists-and-science-students-to-engage-as-a-global-community
Expertise in the role of science in social cohesion. (Projects include Cultural Understandings of Science- curriculum enrichment project with QCA/ASE). CPD development and delivery for in-service teachers. The engagement of BAME (black, Asian, & minority ethnicity) communities within STEMM. National Learning Circle 7thFP Genovate.

Wildlife policy/ law & Wildlife Crime Forensics
Forensic techniques to detect ‘wild taken’ from ‘captive bred/artificially propagated’ specimens. Development and demonstration of macroscopic identification of plant derivatives used in authentic and fake Chinese Traditional Medicines (as used in police/Interpol operation Operation Medon- February 2010 and featured on Costing the Earth ‘Plants to Pills’ Radio 4 18th March 2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rb1xw ).

Current research on molecular techniques to identify provenance of seized plant material. DEFRA Wildlife Crime Inspector. Consultant ecologist and environmental profiler: Alecto Forensics

Plant Ecology & Environmental Management
Restoration ecology- restoring semi-natural habitats on degraded land. (Specialising in effects of nitrous oxide pollution on plant communities.)
Conservation in multiple-use areas/wider countryside. (Specializing in the environmental evaluation of parks, gardens and recreational areas). Ecology and environmental impact of golf courses.
Biological surveying. Development of National Vegetation Classification Scheme. Environmental impact assessment/environmental auditing. Ecological evaluation methods and techniques. Environmental management planning. Environmental management of grassland communities.


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Dr Brennan is Director of Education for existing and upcoming courses at the Centre for Professional Practice. She convenes the Evidence Based Practice and Quantitative Research Methods modules for the MSc in Professional Practice. The Professional Practice programmes (PgCert/PgDip/MA/MSc) are work-related trans-disciplinary postgraduate programmes aimed at professional participants wishing to develop and enhance their current working practice. These programmes are suitable for those from the public, private and third sectors.

In addition to this she convenes the Evidence Based Practice module for Centre for Philanthropy’s MA in Philanthropy, a centre of excellence in research, teaching and public engagement in the area of philanthropy.

She has over 20 years’ of experience in undergraduate and postgraduate research supervision, and PhD examining, along with a successful track-record in curriculum design and delivery. Dr Brennan is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

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Dr Brennan has extensive experience in public engagement and, as a longstanding member of the British Science Association, is active in the Café Scientifique movement which promotes public engagement with science through informal events. She has written for New Scientist and BBC Wildlife magazine, and was a regular contributor to the output of the former Central Office of Information.

A regular contributor to radio and television, she has been a scientific consultant and contributor to the BBC Natural History Unit (including a 20-year stint writing the natural history pages for BBC CEEFAX), and the World Service, and worked with Channel 4 on the programmes Garden Doctors and Over the Garden Wall (presenting in the latter series).

She was also scientific consultant to The Library of Secrets winner of the Gold Award at the 2010 Cannes Festival in the best educational film category.

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Last Updated: 17/11/2017