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Dr Anne-Maria Brennan

Director of Graduate Studies,
Lecturer in Professional Practice
Telephone
+44 (0)1634 202925
Dr Anne-Maria Brennan

About

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 Graduate Studies and Lecturer in Professional Practice in the Department of Digital and Lifelong Learning 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 Chair of the Botanical Research Fund and an Associate Editor of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 2014 Dr Brennan was winner of the British Science Association’s Sir Walter Bodmer Award. She is a Freeman of the City of London and also a Freeman and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

As well as a range of professional Fellowships, Anne-Maria is an alumnus of the Aurora programme and Athena SWAN representative for the Department.

Career

Positions held (reverse chronology). Principal Appointments

  • 2018-present Director of Graduate Studies, Programme Convenor MSc in Professional Practice
  • 2017–2018  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)

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 . The development of inclusive, decolonised curricula within STEM subjects https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/staff-student-news/2018/12/06/dr-anne-maria-brennan-from-the-centre-for-professional-practice-at-the-global-forum-on-balanced-and-inclusive-education-in-mexico-city/ ,  https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/staff-student-news/2020/02/05/dr-anne-marie-brennan-at-the-summit-of-balanced-and-inclusive-education/
History, philosophy and cultural aspects of science includes specialist work on the cultural value of science specialising in environmental sustainability 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 
http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/about-us/news/dr-anne-maria-brennan-calls-need-protect-cultural-heritage-scientific-discoveries
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 ).

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.

Teaching

Dr Brennan is Director of Graduate Studies and Programme Convenor for the Masters in Professional Practice and its pathways. Within this she convenes the modules in Evidence Based Practice, Inter-Professional Practice, Special Area of Study, Academic Thresholds Concepts, Contemporary Issues in Educational Resilience, Leadership in Educational Practice, The Role of Schooling: A Thinking Approach and Addressing Barriers to Learning. 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 and are suitable for those from the public, private and third sectors. In addition to this she convenes the Evidence Based Practice as a blended learning distance/online module for Centre for Philanthropy’s MA in Philanthropic Studies.

She has over 25 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.

Professional

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 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), 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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